Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Guilt-free Way to lie to the Government

On January 1rst, Illinois changed the income limits for Medicaid, so now me and Shmuli can get free health insurance. Obviously, as an economist I agree this a completely stupid policy, but it would be even stupider not to take advantage of it. However, I had problems applying, because the computer program insists on asking about income received in the last 30 days. As a student, I'm paid irregularly, so that often I'm not paid at all in a given month, but when it's more than the monthly income limit. I've tried reasoning with the bureaucrats, but they always say that the computer system does not allow people to have irregular pay.

However, I figured out a completely (I hope) legal way to get around it. I applied for FamilyCare using whatever numbers I needed to make the computer system happy. Then, on the signature form, I wrote 'The numbers I gave on the application were altered slightly to make the computer system happy, but I certify that I am legitimately entitled to FamilyCare". I'm 90% sure that whatever bureaucrat that processes the form won't even notice the note right above my signature. So, I can get all the benefits of lying to the government without actually lying to them.

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