Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Whatever gets you through today

I called the insurance board yesterday and spoke with someone.

I said, "My daughter's policy is being canceled and she is being denied for private insurance coverage."

She said, "So she has a pre-existing condition then?"

I said, "Yes, I suppose. Something like that."

She said, "Well, you can call the high risk pool--"

"We already did that. My husband's employer offers group coverage, but it is way out of the price range we can afford. They said even so, she couldn't be in the high risk pool."

"Oh, yes. That is correct. If you have group coverage available, they won't cover you."

"Do I have any other options to pursue?"


"Okay. I guess that's it then."


And then I hung up the phone, my eyes welling up with tears and my heart clenching in my chest.

I thought, I hoped, that somehow this would be the point of solution, that I would call and find I'd have misunderstood something along the way or that they would have a solution I hadn't heard of just waiting for me. It felt like the last unturned stone and once I lifted it, I would find what I have been searching for. Now there are no more stones to be turned. No answers just waiting to be found, we only have decisions waiting to be made. Decisions we'd rather not make. Pay cuts, second jobs, night jobs. If we choose the pay cut, Josh will technically be capped out at work. He will be unable to receive choice. That just makes me feel sick. A second job or a night job likely will not offer benefits, but it would help finance Josh's crappy work insurance. Josh's work insurance costs almost three times as much as the pay cut amount would be and the benefits are not early as comprehensive as SCHIP. A pay cut could financially handicap us...because if it makes things too tight, how can we rectify that? The alternative is that I could work nights on the nights I'm not in school or Josh could get a second job. The sacrifices there are sleep and Josh seeing the kids when they are actually awake. I don't know, really, what we'll do. There are no good choices to be made, but there are still choices to be made nonetheless.

Alright, enough of that. I have to go study for a 5 chapter A&P exam that we scarcely covered in class. He went over two entire chapters in one class period (last night) because he was in a hurry to get out the door to go hear Obama speak. As much as I like Obama and I would have wanted to get out of there, too, I wish he would have just pushed the test back one day and given the material the attention it needed. I feel totally unprepared. I could have skipped class last night and read my text and learned more than I did last night. So, I have two chapters to teach myself today and three more to review for the exam. Plus, KayTar woke up two hours early this morning, effectively eating up all the time I would have had to quietly work today until it is quiet once again at nap time. It is going to be FUN trying to study with a wide awake (and very cranky) two year old! And I won't have study time tomorrow because I have to take KayTar to the geneticist and that eats up roughly 6 hours or so. You WANT to be me right now, don't you? I know, I know. Try not to be jealous, though. ;)

PS: When you can't think of a title, just use the name of the song that happens to be playing when you hit publish. Handy!


InTheFastLane said...

GRRR! That made me want to scream and the unhelpfulness of it all.

Good luck on the studying!

Liv said...

Honey, the words seem weak, but I am so, so sorry. This whole thing is so crappy. And, weaker still, all I can do is offer up some good energy in your direction. (hugs)

Anonymous said...

oh Kyla - I'm sorry. I wish I knew what to say.

Beck said...

Move to Canada. My parents can adopt you. You'll fit very nicely into the age gap between my brothers - and you can live in Toronto with EVERY OTHER BLOGGER IN THE WORLD and a fine children's hosptial and Josh can see his kids in the evening. What a great plan...
... and in the real world, I've got nothing. I'm sorry.

Chrissy said...

Ugh, horrible horrible insurance. Awful. Evil.

Becca said...

I really hate this on your behalf. It should not be so hard to protect our kids.

Good luck on your exam... has that professor not heard of a DVR?

Anonymous said...

Delurking w/ ideas I'm sure you've heard before...I know some companies offer benefits even if you only work part time. The catch is that you have to work at least 3 months before they kick in...and of course its still a second job, which sucks. The places I know of are Starbucks, Container Store (fun!) and Lowe's (not as fun). Insurance sucks...I hear Norway has great insurance. --a

Christine said...

There are really no words for how angry I am that you and doubtless thousands of others have to make these choices.

Janet said...

Somehow the title you chose works, though.

This healthcare struggle of yours just sucks so much. My son asked me yesterday why I like living in Canada and we actually got into a big talk about universal healthcare. When I explained to him that some people can't get the medical help they need because it costs too much, he could scarcely wrap his little eight-year-old head around it. Then he said, "Mom, that's just wrong."

If a grade three student gets that, why can't your policy makers?

Mad said...

F@ck. I am so angry on your behalf right now. How can a country grind its citizens into the ground like this. It is cruel.

Julie Pippert said...

Every other blogger in the world! HA Beck! HA! I think you meant every SECOND blogger in the world is in Toronto---since the other half is clearly in HOUSTON.

Kyla it troubles me that Josh's employer---knowing it is his crappy plan that causes the problem in the first place---would accept a salary cut as a solution for a good and loyal employee.

I'm not finished.

Can you talk today?

I'm calling two people to see what we can do to try to get a pretax account perhaps that would keep the money going to you rather than a cut rate for the employer (GAH!) but would lower the overall income. It's probably an insane longshot and I'll be told I'm nuts.

But you're tired and I'll pickup the baton if you want.

You can't move the mountain? let's go around it.

Can we be very squeaky wheels?


Sarcasta-Mom said...

OMG, what a load of crap!!!!! Call the state board back again and again- sometimes if you talk to a different person, they can give you a different answer, especially with government agencies. Call until thier ears bleed, and they're willing to help you with whatever you want just to get them off your back. There has to be some kind of clause for children with dissabilities regarding coverage!!!!

I mailed out my second application to the state begging for insurance myself yesterday. I thought of you guys as I stuck it in the mail. All of our choices suck here as well, and I'm just not sure what to do a this point either.

If you need petitions signed, or people called, say the word. I know I speak for more than just myself when I say I'll do anything I can to lend a hand.

PunditMom said...

Does anyone know the insurance commissioners??

amanda said...

I have this overwhelming urge to beat someone up for you! (not that it would help, I understand that, but Good Lord- How Shitty!)

Good luck on the exam, I remember those days well.

Mimi said...

I like Beck's idea. Stupid real world is overrated, anyways.

And I'm sorry your teacher crapped out like that. Not fair.

Anonymous said...

I love Julie's comment and I agree that it's very troubling to hear that Josh's employer isn't more concerned or trying to help rectify the situation.

And I agree with another comment, I also feel like going up to something (not someone) and kicking the sh*t out of it. What is this country we're living in???

Anonymous said...

D@mn, Kyla! I don't know what to say.
I doesn't change anything for you and it won't fix the problem BUT please know that we are praying for a solution for you.

Anonymous said...

Damn :(

Amy Z.

motherbumper said...

I don't know what to say because this has to be the most frustrating, unfair CRAP. It makes so sense that a basic human need is denied in the name of the almighty dollar.

mommamia said...

I'm so sorry. If there is anything I can do to help please let me know. Make calls, write letters.

Our pre-tax account does not lower our income. Maybe a professional would know how to do that.

Betsy, short for Elizabeth, formally known as Esther said...

Love Julie's comment. There must be something someone who knows something can do. We are in the middle of a friggin' presidential campaign. This is the Achiles Heal for them all. Who can I call? Get me the phone. I am not kidding, I am a champion letter writer and will begin drafting one now!

Anonymous said...

What are you studying for?

Gretchen said...

Arrgghh! It sucks, it really does. Love how helpful they were. There have got to be alternatives out there! Have you called your senators, state reps, etc? Start bugging them.

This country is crazy sometimes.

Chaotic Joy said...

Oh Kyla. This really totally sucks and kind of feels like it should be part of the twilight zone or something. I am still praying for a miracle for you and a better system for us all.

ewe are here said...

I am so incredibly sorry... I don't even know what to say.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop.
Don't take no for an answer.
Be the squeaky wheel.
Advocate for your family and for your child and others like them that don't have voices.
Kyla, you know this is wrong. How far are you willing to go to correct it?
You are a talented writer and
Kaytar is a beautiful and charming little girl. Your camera just eats her up. You must have a news station and newspaper near you with consumer advocates that would love LOVE LOVE!! to eat this story up and spit it out for the February sweeps.
Use your skills and her charms to your advantage. You and Josh are not sitting on the couch drinking beer and doing nothing. He is gainfully employed and you are in school working hard to make a better life for your family. You are not looking for a hand out, but a hand up.
This situation sucks there is no doubt about it, but it won't change until you and Josh stand on the top of the mountain and demand change.
It will be a hard fight and probably a long one, and I know you are both tired and frankly have enough on your hands between your family's exisiting needs, plus Kaytar, plus work, plus school, plus, plus, plus . . .
But you have to move the mountain. Take this fight to the streets and the TV stations and CNN and the blogosphere to anyone who will listen.
It means exposing yourselves and that is scary (been there done that), but you have to do this.
I've had some experience in this area although not with matters quite so critical. If you want to talk about it more, please comment on my blog (or reply to this comment) and let me know how I can contact you directly.
Good luck!

PJ said...

I so hate that feeling of helplessness -- of not having any choice acceptable to the situation. What can I say? I'll be praying for you!!

Girlplustwo said...

K, i just posted something about this at MOMocrats. I refuse to give up on this. xo

moplans said...

Well I think Beck has a good suggestion except for the fact that I just read you are going to the geneticist and SORRY BUT I DON'T HAVE ONE TO RECOMMEND HERE.

This all sucks and I am so sorry you have to deal with it. I know nothing so take this assvice for what it is - have you called anyone from the state or is insurance a federal matter? I didn't even threaten to call our MP (member of parliament) last week, I just asked if that was who I should call, and all sorts of services have started rolling in.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I keep thinking a solution will come insurance company will sponsor you...something.

Crap on a crap cracker.

I'm calling my Houston Chronicle contacts to see if they could cover this story.

Anonymous said...

What a mess. One good thing is that when you get your nursing degree you should have decent insurance available at a good rate. Good insurance is a major benefit of working in healthcare.

If you feel you have to go the route of you working you might want to check into nursing aide jobs. Sometimes you can get a deal where you work 3 or 4 12 hour shifts every pay (something like this) and are full-time and therefore benefit eligible. The downside is, of course, that working, school and mommying are a lot.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Do you know any lawyers? It seems to me that there is a class action lawsuit here waiting to happen.

Lawyer Mama said...

That completely sucks, babe.

You know, if Josh is going to take the paycut, he should get some sort of agreement in writing from them that they will continue to recommend him for raises (with the amounts noted in his employee file) and when y'all are able to get coverage some other way, have his employer implement the raises. Or they might even be willing to pay him retroactively for the amounts he's missed out on. It works for them because they sort of get an interest free loan and it would give you a nice nest egg down the road. Your situation just sucks. I hope that they'll help you out.

What does Josh do? Has he thought about looking for a different job as opposed to a second job? (Of course, I'm sure he has. I'm just clutching at straws for you....)

Magpie said...

I wish there were something I could do. It sucks and it's wrong.

kittenpie said...

Kyla, every time I think about this, every time I read your frustration and the total inhumanity of this, is burns me up. I am with your pediatrician - it shouldn't be legal. Not really helpful in the big scheme of things, perhaps, but I hope you know I'm rooting for you to find some way to make this work. I just wish it didn't have to be such a monumental worry and such a huge, crippling mountain to overcome when you've got your hands full enough with worries about your daughter's progress even when she is covered.

Bon said...

Kyla, i've clearly been in a bucket and missed how bad this had gotten, this fast.

my god.

i guess my righteous indignation does you no good but i am just sitting here sick with shock about it, the naive Canadian blown away. she's a little girl! fuck their pre-existing condition rules...that's just not right. it's disgusting.

i'm sorry i'm not able to offer much in the way of real world support...though i'm all over Beck's option, quite seriously. PEI is a lot cheaper than Toronto to live...! :) oh yeh, but we don't have the specialists they do. right.

and you shouldn't have to leave your country to get health care for your child.

oh sorry. so hoping you get better news soon.

OhTheJoys said...

This makes me so mad. It's so unfair and so wrong and I am just spitting nails over this.

I'm so sorry, so sorry.

crazymumma said...

You know how I feel about this.

Could you move up here? Like really. Could you?