Saturday, March 26, 2011

Health Insurance

I know that many people would/have told us that we chose this life, we chose to have children at this point in our lives with our income and such things. People tell us that we are on public assistance (medicaid, WIC) and therefore should be thrilled with that. We've heard all the judgments, harsh comments, remarks which make me feel incompetent, inconsiderate, and like a free loader. So if you feel this way about me and my family, maybe you shouldn't read this or any other blog post I write. Otherwise, feel free to continue.

Evan and I currently do not have health insurance. Our children have medicaid through the government, but Evan makes too much money for him and I to be covered. So unless, I am pregnant or 60 days postpartum, I am not covered. This will change in the fall because the U offers students/student families health insurance, but the community college does not. If we took Evan's work's insurance we would pay 1/4 of his monthly income to be covered by insurance that has high co-pays, high deductibles and from what we are told not very good coverage.

For the most part we have made this work. I am grateful the kids are covered with no co-pays because Kyle would be breaking our bank with them. He sees so many different doctors and follow-ups. Aiden is now following in Kyle's footsteps and so we know we are lucky. Evan has been able to suck up his problems and we know that in September we'll finally be able to see someone about his worsening migraines.

However, on Wednesday night, I got sick. For the 4th time in 7 months, I was as sick as a dog with vomiting, diarrhea, and extreme pain. Luckily, twice before I was covered and went to the ER. I know nothing about the health insurance debate, besides the negative things that my in-laws say. But the way that health insurance currently is in this country does not work.

My husband and I should not have to pray and ask for help deciding whether or not I deserve medical treatment. I should not feel guilty because I cost my family $400 to see a doctor for 15 minutes, have a blood draw and prescriptions. We should not have to debate when or if we'll get a cat scan the doctor wants, or even that the doctor changed his treatment plan once he knew we were uninsured. Now that the vomiting is keeping me from keeping down my antibiotics and antacids--I'm worried about having to get a different prescriptions because that will cost more. The anti nausea won't stay in my body either, does that mean it will cost more to get another? If that requires a followup.....oh goodness. My case isn't even that bad. I know there are those out there who are going through so much worse and need the help more than us, for that I am grateful. But no one should have to face those things.

The doctor said very clearly that I could still be producing gallstones even without a gallbladder. I'm 90% positive that is the problem, because I know what the pain feels like with this problem. I know about the intense vomiting. I even passed stones after the gallbladder was out--which required a 5 day hospitalization and morphine every 4 hours. I'm not sure I'll make it through that again. The first time it was an 18 months ordeal with countless ER trips, exploratory surgery, begging for pain killers, being called a drug seeker. At the end waiting for the surgery I couldn't get dressed, take a shower, drive in a car, work, eat, see friends, or sleep. I don't remember a darker point in my life. All I remember is asking Evan every day to cut out my insides, every day thinking it would be better to die than live through the pain.

Now, I have 2 little children and no health insurance.


Jenny Livingston said...

Holly - First of all, I'm so sorry you're feeling this way! Feeling gross is pretty bad, but feeling gross when other people depend on you is the worst!

That said, you are completely right - healthcare/heath insurance sucks! The first time I had to be hospitalized as an adult we were double covered, but both insurance companies basically said "We can see that this treatment is medically necessary, but we still aren't sure we want to cover it." Adam and I both work our butts off so we can have health insurance, and I'm forced to work full time in order to keep my coverage (so my healthcare is more "affordable" HA!) and there we were being told that NEITHER company could commit to covering my treatment.

It's frustrating to know that people abuse the system and take advantage of the assistance programs when people like Adam and I, or people like you and Evan, work hard to support our families and honestly do the best we can, but still get the short end of the deal. I personally know people who CHOOSE NOT to work and have everything handed to them, and here I am literally working myself sick in order to keep my insurance.

Something is very VERY wrong with that. THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY! I just don't know what it is. (Sorry about that little rant.)

One more thing, I too have put off going to the doctor/getting prescriptions filled because we simply can't afford it WITH insurance. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be WITHOUT insurance. I feel for you, and I'm sorry you are going through all this. You guys are in my prayers.

kirsten.brooke said...

I have no advice to offer. I agree that a change needs to happen. I just don't know what.

What I do know, is that you should be taken care of. I will keep you in my prayers, so that something will happen so that you can get the treatment you deserve!

Mallory said...

=( I agree that health care is out of control. But more importantly I am sad you are so sick. I hope you can get the help you need without having to sell your first born child.

Ami, Joel, and Dane said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so crummy. Let us know if we can help. It is always such a difficult decision about how to handle health problems when the treatment costs more than you can afford. I hate having to make that decision, and I hate that you are having to make that decision.