Moments between the moments . . . photo between the photos :)
I need to write the most when I feel like writing the least. These past weeks have been challenging.
We lost our health insurance when my husband was laid off after ten years. I can only work part time because of my disability so I am inelegible for benefits. I was foolish and thought this wouldn't be a big problem.
Wrong. It's a big problem. The past month, I've spent hours trying to get health coverage. Exhausting and frustrating hours.
Every single independent company that I contacted has rejected me. I can almost hear them laughing over the phone. One said that if I had a prescription filled in the past 12 months, I would be ineligible.
COBRA coverage only helps with 65% of costs, and we cannot change the terms our health plan. We had good coverage and we supplemented the cost when he was employed. How are we supposed to pay a bigger chunk of that cost when we bring less money home? I have no idea. Even with me alone, the cost is $600 a month. And that doesn't count insuring the rest of the family. For all of us, it's almost $2,000 a month. On unemployment!
So we can't afford continuation coverage. And investigating government programs to help is another dead end. We miss the cut-offs for assistance by a few hundred dollars a month (which I guess means we should pay about half of our monthly income for health coverage instead). I tried Medicare/Medicaid next and I saw that anyone on SSDI for two years is elegible, but I am on State Teacher Retirement for Disability so I think I'm out of luck there, too. Being a teacher, I can't apply for SSDI even if I wanted to try that route. I'm going to fill out the massive paperwork just in case.
The California Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan requires that you have been uninsured for the past six months. So I guess I'll qualify in another five months.
I'm looking into High Risk options, too, but I think that will cost about the same as COBRA.
And the crazy thing is that my health condition isn't even that dramatic for health-care. I have routine visits with the neurologist, and I take medication for pain, but only about 5 refills a year. I had bronchitis last year. No emergency room visits, or surgeries, or massive bills. Thank goodness I don't need big medical care right now.
Obama's law about pre-existing conditions doesn't begin until 2014. Hopefully my husband has a job by then.
What a mess. A scary, sad, frustrating mess. Where I feel completely toxic. Since I took care of myself last year, I am punished now. If I had been less willing to take care of my disability, I'd have better chances of getting coverage now. Insane.
And then I have the question: Do we pay our mortgage? Or my health coverage?
What is this crazy system? I am shocked.
Meanwhile, bedtime and homework. All this must fall in the moment between moments. Because life happens. Ready or not.