Sunday, March 21, 2010

Health Insurance Insanity

This has been an anxious weekend for me. I have been working, still not 100% and worried about the employee health insurance plan. I've been told by coworkers that the amount deducted for a family insurance plan is almost $800.00 per month. I cannot believe that! The sheet I have in my employee packet says the premium amount for the cheaper plan is $363.63. Then it says (Deductions Taken With Each Payroll). When I saw this I assumed the $363.63 would be divided, with $180.00 deducted from each payroll. Could I have been wrong about this or are my coworkers incorrect? Of course, it being the weekend, no one from HR was around.

Lets say, even if I luck out and only have to pay $363.63 monthly, it doesn't kick in for 90-days. In the meantime, we'll lose the very low cost insurance coverage we're now receiving from the state. So in a way, we're getting screwed because I have gone back to work and am making more income than qualifies for the state coverage. What happens if one of us gets sick between now and mid-June? This brings me back to the terror I've already been living the past few months without insurance for the boys and I. It is a nightmare!

Say the verdict is the unthinkable $727.26 a month. I can go to a private insurance broker to obtain insurance again on my own. But I have been there and done that - and it was not good. Paying $350.00 a month to Blue Cross Blue Shield with a still large deductible that had to be met - no prescription coverage at all - no coverage for my sons' acne treatment - a co-pay for every doctor visit. I ended up paying way more monthly than the $350.00 already going out. It never seemed worth it and I always felt like I was getting robbed.

Well, I'll find out tomorrow from HR what the real scoop is. But as I've stated, I'm in for more worry whatever way it ends up. Having to get through a few months without coverage scares me beyond belief, especially since I have just gotten sick. I will be exposed to more illness at the nursing home including the Scabies I encountered today. What if I bring something home like that to the boys and then we have no insurance for treatment?

The response I heard from coworkers this weekend is that most obtain insurance from their spouse's plans. But here I am again, the middle-aged mom without a spouse. It is only me and me alone. All I care about is trying to provide for my sons' health, happiness and well being. It just seems as though women in my position with no one else to fall back on or rely on are the ones really screwed by this crappy health care system. How can we ever get ahead having to pay outrageous premiums? We get assistance when we're at the bottom of the barrel but then as soon as we start to do better, the benefits are abruptly stopped leaving us in the lurch. Can't there be some kind of grace period to cover us between the time the new insurance kicks in?

I am beginning to believe that the only way out of this kind of worrisome life is to remarry. It is almost as though that is the only way to survive these days by being able to reduce cost of living expenses by living with someone. I almost started crying at work this afternoon feeding two unresponsive residents. It is all so overwhelming at times. I am trying at this miserable job and still feeling as though I'm not going to catch a break.

I need to stop worrying. I won't know what is what until tomorrow. There is nothing I can do in the meantime but to post about my plight and hope my dire situation may have some bearing on the health reform voting going on today. Maybe the Universe will pick up on my desperate mother worry and sway the hand of one of those voting. The insurance crisis is real and serious I know for many. But maybe even more trying for only parents already stressed out of their minds. As usual, there is no one to help shoulder this load of responsibility and strain I feel. I'm willing to work but I do need affordable health insurance coverage for my family. I can't be expected to only be working to pay for the peace of mind that comes with having health insurance.


  1. Trying to banish worry is easier said than done, but you are right that it doesn't do much good to worry until you have the facts.

    The good news is that flu season is over and unless you are a spring allergy sufferer, there isn't much catching going around.

    We try to avoid DR's as much as possible, and I have come to rely on home remedies. A neti pot is good for people prone to sinus issues. Oil of Oregano is amazing for coughs, sore throat, sinus and ear issues (seriously, a couple drops under the tongue morning and night at the first sign of sniffles and my daughter is right as rain within 48 hours). Health Food shops always have herbal teas for congestion and flu that have worked well for us too and drinking warm tea/water washes away germ build up in the back of the throat and is a good preventive for flu/colds (in addition to sleep and hand washing.)

    Nursing homes are sad places. My late husband lived in one for almost a year before he died, so I am quite familiar with the atmosphere. There is so much loneliness and creeping finality that it's hard not to let it effect your own mood.

    Hope you get good news from HR.

  2. The insurance worry is a big one for all of us. I am blessed that the boys have insurance, but I do not. That means I can't afford to get sick and see a Dr. I have found alternative means to get antibiotics. But that also means self diagnosing. Not a good thing. I have been lucky that the broad spectrum antibiotics I am able to get at a reasonable price has worked thus far. I work for a non profit and there is no insurance. Yes, most get theirs from their spouses. Dead end there for me. I pray I don't get anything of consequence, like cancer, that would require treatments that would be far beyond my means. No insurance at that point would be a death sentence.
    I hear everyone, Republican and Democrat, fighting about the Insurance Reform etc. I tune out. Why? Because I don't have any insurance and unless someone, somehow makes it possible for me to afford it on my week to week living situation, then it really doesn't matter to me. Do I think Health Reform is going to happen for me? No I don't. I'm not being pessimistic, just realistic. At my age, I will have a better chance of qualifying for medicaid before they fix health insurance.
    I hope HR has some decent news for you. I hope the insurance is adequate and gives you the coverage that you need in every area. You need less, not more, things to worry about.

  3. Good God, $800 a month is insane! I hope it turns out to be the lower rate.

  4. Vanessa, I agree! How can anyone afford those kinds of rates in our situation?