"I finally reach someone and then the drugs are not covered," he says.
The shortfall ranges from simple sleeping pills to more potent anti-psychotic drugs. For the time being, Rannamaneni is helping defray much of the costs himself.
"I give them the medications and tell them we'll figure out the money later," he says.
Help on the Way?
This generosity is one of the few things keeping some unstable patients from sinking deeper into trouble. Advocates for the mentally ill say they have heard of a spike in relapses and hospitalizations after people with deep psychiatric problems could not get the drugs through their new insurance.
Michael Leavitt, the head of Health and Human Services, said there were clear glitches in the initial Medicare roll out but vowed that any problems would be fixed soon.
"We are working around the clock to make sure all seniors who participate can take full advantage of the benefit," he said last week.
But some worry that this breakdown in coverage is likely to persist for those with mental illness. Depending on where they live, psychiatric patients are often given a 90-day supply of medications, which means that plenty of former Medicaid beneficiaries have not refilled their prescription under the new plan.
"We are just seeing the first wave now," says Sam Muszynski of the American Psychiatric Association.