Saturday, September 19, 2009

My Story on Health Care

I know that the debate in the US right now over Health Care Reform is very heated. There are lots of folks, like me and my family who are stuck right in the middle...between a rock and a hard place that is. I have always worked since I was a teenager. When Brien and I were married, I always worked at jobs where I could carry the insurance. Brien is a plumber and worked under some of the best plumbers in town, but unfortunately never had the opportunity to carry health insurance. Now we are small business owners. We have, at any given time at least four men (2 with families to support) on our payroll. Up until last year when I had our third child I worked and carried the health insurance for our family. When Emily was born, we took many things into consideration when making the decision for me to quit my job and go to work with Brien at his business as his office manager. He was paying someone else to do the job at the time. I knew that when Emily was born, I would have to consider child care, transportation back and forth from school and daycare for all three children. When we took all of the factors into consideration, we decided that it was in our best interest for me to quit my job. I had the option of taking the COBRA insurance which would continue my current policy for an additional 18 months at a VERY hefty price. This was our decision. After Emily was born, she went to the office with me and I searched diligently for policies that would fit our family's needs. Unfortunately, with the pre-existing conditions of my husband which include sleep apnea, hypertension, and the fact that he smokes no one is willing to insure him. I have found coverage for the children and I, with exclusions of course. I have a rider for Emily, the youngest member of our family who had a round of RSV last winter. I am paying 175% more for her to be on the policy each month with exclusions! Yes, you read that right. They are charging me 175% more for her to be on the policy but anything that is considered "pre-existing" to them, which I am sure will include any type of ear-infection or anything to do with her lungs such as bronchitis, etc since she had ear infections and RSV in the last 12 months.

As I read over this policy, it just scares me to death. For one, when I sign the dotted line and write that big check to them my coverage will end on my current policy thus terminating coverage for my husband, the bread winner of our family as well as 4 other families! I have a sneaky suspicion that after the first visit or two I will start to get provisions in the policy saying that certain things can no longer be covered. I hate this feeling of insecurity. I hate this feeling of the unknown. It scares me that I will have NO coverage for my husband. He is un-insurable. So, now what? What happens if, God forbid he has to be hospitalized or worse?! These fears will always lurk in the back of my mind.

My opinion is that something needs to be done. I just don't know what. Things have gotten out of hand. Medical costs are sky rocketing, but our pocketbooks aren't rising with them. Our business is the slowest we've ever seen it. Most people can hardly make their house payment, let alone call a plumber for a leaky faucet. It's scary times, folks not just for my family but for yours too in one way or another.

At least the lottery will start next month. Maybe I will put in some lucky numbers and become a millionaire and all of these troubles will just disappear. I'll just hire a personal doctor who can see to it that my children stay healthy.

6 comments, add yours here:

Akelamalu said...

Sounds like the proposed reforms would be good for you. I can't praise our NHS system highly enough. OK it has it's faults but at least we don't have to worry about getting sick and having no money to pay for treatment. :)

Anonymous said...

I suggest contacting an insurance broker (i.e., one who represents many companies) and see what they can do for hubby. There are companies who will write a policy for him. Also please check to see if your state has a high-risk pool. If so, check in to see if he qualifies.

Patois said...

We are months away from being right where you are. My husband had the triple bypass 19 months ago. Obviously, he's uninsurable. Our only saving grace was California bought us another 18 monhts after our COBRA ran out. Fingers crossed for all of us.

Bubba's Sis said...

We are there, too - in a little bit of a different way, but still bad. Right now I am uninsured, and that makes me VERY nervous. But to add me to his policy at work, Hubby would have to pay $1000 a month. THAT is ridiculous! I don't know the answers, either, but SOMETHING needs to be done!

Linda said...

Something most definitely needs to be done but by the same token, I don't think that the President should be trying to shove ANY sort of reform down people's throats. It didn't break overnight and it's not going to get fixed overnight.

Plus, frankly, I do believe the government has spent WAY more than enough money since the new Administration came into office through all of the bail-outs and cash-for-clunkers and everything else. We don't have an unlimited supply of cash and can't just print out more without deflating the value of the dollar even more.

There's got to be a compromise somewhere that works to everyone's advantage that gives families like yours decent health coverage without breaking the Nation's already maxed-out bank accounts.

Crunchy Carpets said...

If they can do one thing, it would be do to away with that pre-existing condition stuff.

That I cannot imagine worrying about.