• Very much alive: Woman reported dead by Social Security Administration can't get medicine

    By: Bob D'Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    A Texas woman must have felt like quoting Mark Twain as she vainly attempted to fill her prescriptions this week.

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    After all, reports of her death were greatly exaggerated.

    Sherry Ellis, 73, of Magnolia, said she discovered she was listed as dead by the Social Security Administration, which resulted in the suspension of her bank account and insurance, KTRK reported. Once Ellis was reported dead, her Medicare was discontinued.

    "As far as they're concerned, I am deceased," Ellis told the television station.

    Unraveling the paperwork has been an issue, and with her supply of medicine running low Ellis said she is becoming concerned.

    Ellis said she takes at least nine pills a day, not including vitamins, KTRK reported.

    Ellis told the television station the pills for her heart and blood pressure cost $850 a month without insurance.

    Ellis said the Social Security Administration erroneously associated her Social Security number with a death certificate. She visited the bureau's office in Conroe on Monday and tried to straighten out the mistake, but she remains listed as deceased, KTRK reported.

    "'You all used my Social Security number on a deceased person on their death certificate,'" Ellis said. "And I said, 'I am not deceased.'"

    Ellis said she returned to the Social Security Administration office Thursday, and officials gave her a letter explaining the situation to her pharmacy. It was not good enough, Ellis said.

    "They said, 'I'm sorry, that letter is no good to us. It has to be in the system because that's your insurance in the system,'" Ellis told KTRK.

    While she waits, Ellis said she only has six heart medication pills left, the television station reported. The cost to refill without insurance is $400, she said.

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