GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Michael Johnson and his wife Rebecca say they're in terrible situation that can't be resolved. "I'm labeled as deceased in the Medicare system," said Michael.
The Gilbert man who does have health conditions is very much alive, but he's considered deceased. And that's not a laughing matter for Michael and his family. "It used to be funny. They don't do it anymore because they're all, they all can't believe that it's still going on," said Michael.
The problem started last December when Michael was treated at an out-of-state hospital. Michael says hospital staff made a huge mistake by entering his Medicare information under someone named "Michael John" not Michael Johnson. And Michael John is dead.
"They mistakenly used his name, his birthdate and put it onto my medical, my Medicare specifically information. At the hospital, so that my Medicare and my insurance, kind of took over his costs," said Michael.
That mistake is having serious consequences because now, the deceased man's medical bills are going to this Michael and those bills are stacking up. "I have multiple bills from him. It's a totaling, it's got to be well over $100,000 to $150,000 at this point that they paid out of my Medicare, and I can't even get my medications," said Michael.
Michael is diabetic and as a result of the mix-up, he's almost out of this insulin. And with no access to his correct Medicare account, he's forced to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket for medicine Michael says he just can't afford. "Bank accounts have been frozen. I am going into collections on multiple bills they have paid a considerable amount of his medical bills, yet. I'm being denied all of my costs now for everything that I need in order for me to keep on living," he said.
The identity mix-up is taking a serious toll on Michael and Rebecca financially, emotionally and physically. "Every day that goes by without him having the proper medical attention is one day to several weeks probably less that he has, less time that he has with us," said Rebecca.
The couple has spent countless hours trying to resolve the issue on their own and become even more frustrated when they get responses like this letter Michael read from Medicare. "We know this is affecting your ability to see providers and we are very sorry for the inconvenience it has caused you."
While Medicare claims it's trying to fix Michael's problem, he's hoping 3 On Your Side can get it done and get it done soon. "I need somebody to at least step up and at least give me a hand on this. I don't know where to go from here," said Michael.
CVS Pharmacy sent 3 On Your Side an email saying they're trying to help resolve Michael Johnson's issue.
"Our Queen Creek store's pharmacy team has been trying to help Mr. Johnson access Medicare coverage for his prescription medications since April. We are now working with Mr. Johnson's primary prescription insurance provider to try to resolve the issue."