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New managed care plan forces East Texas children to find new doctors

Parents with disabled children currently on disability-related Medicaid may be forced to find a new physician before November. STAR kids is a new managed care program serving those who are 20 years old and younger and goes into effect on Nov. 1.

The program, like those currently on disability-related Medicaid, will provide benefits like prescription drugs, preventative care, personal care, medical equipment and hospital care.

Looking at a map of managed care service areas from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, doctors can be found based on the county a family lives in.

For East Texans, that means driving all the way to Houston.

Michael and Tammy Wolven are the proud parents of 5-year-old Tiffany Wolven who was diagnosed with life-threatening genetic disorders. To avoid the long drive to Houston, they are moving to the Dallas area.

“We have three weeks to pack up, find a new physician and settle in,” Mrs. Wolven said. “We’re having to move to the DFW area.”

Mr. Wolven was just offered a job in Tyler and was forced to turn it down. He said anything to keep his daughter alive is worth the financial burden.

“She is my everything. Without her, I am nothing. This little girl is my whole world,” Mr. Wolven said. Uprooting their lives for the life of their little girl.

The Wolvens said they had no idea about the upcoming change until they received a packet in the mail one month ago.

CBS 19 reached out to local physicians for advice to parents who are forced to switch doctors. However, doctors were either unaware of the upcoming changes or said they were not informed on the topic well enough to comment.

Parents must have new plans picked out by Oct. 12.

For more information on the STAR Kids Managed Care Program, you can visit the Star Kids website.

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