Sunday, February 25, 2007

The attacking squirrel

Details of the attacking squirrel was first reported over on Flawed & Disorderly's blog:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Healthcare/Health insurance

I'm going to "go there" because it is on my mind constantly.

I never gave healthcare/insurance a second thought, until our baby almost "ran out" of health insurance. By the time Matthew was 10 months old, 1.9 million of his 2 million dollar "lifetime cap" had been met.

Lifetime cap?? Oh.My.God. I had never heard of a "lifetime cap" in my entire life! I had raised a 22 year old without ever reaching the deductibles and I have always been very very healthy. You just think ... when you have insurance ... you have insurance, until you lose your job or discontinue your coverage. You think you are safe.

NOT always true. You should go check your policies. If you have a one million or two million cap... trust me... it's not enough if you have a major medical event. Also, they can have clauses in there that you don't know about. For three months at Stanford, we were told we were OUT of insurance b/c heart transplants had a $250,000 maximum payment... even though he didn't have a heart transplant... but a graft... the re~insurer tried to cut us off.

I think it is disgusting that in this rich country of ours ~ the middle class and above get screwed.
We middle class pay the taxes that pays for Medicaid. BUT, if we middle class "run out" of health insurance w/no options ... WE are not protected. At least if you live in Nevada. Yes, we supposedly have HIPAA to protect us... but from our experience ... the insurance companies find every single loophole possible to get out of it.

We were "not eligible" to purchase private insurance for Matthew... we fell thru every loophole the HIPAA protection had. Because we earn over the poverty level we (Matthew) didn't qualify for straight up Medicaid. "No health insurance" would be a death sentence for this boy who will need a lifetime of heart surgeries and care.

We were facing horrible and outrageous options ... such as: DIVORCE (so I could be a single, poor mother), moving out of state to another state that has a "high risk pool", giving Matthew up for adoption to a family member (saying we were unable to care for our baby), or my husband quitting the job he loves in hopes of getting more insurance at another municipality ...

WHAT IS THAT???? How crazy is that??? Makes me spit firing mad every time I think of it.

It was 18 months of a living hell (that I could never relive) ... not only worrying about the life of our medically fragile baby... but then to worry about the financial end of it at the same time... it's almost unbearable.

Luckily for us, my husband's employer raised the lifetime cap this past November. Just in the nick of time, I might add.
This was a livesaver for our family and Matthew ... I am still thrilled beyond words and thank God every chance I get.

But... this doesn't change the fact that this type of thing is happening all over this country!!

You are safe in this country if you are poor... at or below poverty level ... then you will get all the medical care you need. Medicaid pays for it all. We have seen "illegal" mothers get free healthcare for their babies and other families that went home to care for their baby with a Medicaid card. No worries for them. But, not us....forget it...."we make too much money". HA!! Anything over the federal poverty level means you make too much money. I sure don't know anyone in my life that can afford Matthews care without health coverage.

My husband and I call this "reverse distribution".

Healthcare prices are so outrageous now... no one can afford it without insurance. Holy Cow, even with insurance, these cardiac kiddo's are VERY VERY EXPENSIVE and can be quite a financial drain. It's no wonder we almost "ran out"~ because of the horrible prices our insurance paid out. Everyone should treat their health insurance as if it's a savings plan and watch every penny spent. FYI, one hospital overbilled by $130,000.

That is why we are continuing our fight to the State of Nevada. We are going to testify to our legislators soon. We testified in August of last year and persuaded Senator Joe Heck(R) to draft and submit a "Medicaid buy~in " bill... unfortunately there is an income cap ... so we would not qualify. This bill will help 40+ Nevada families, I hope it passes.

We need something to protect the middle class families.

We need changes in our healthcare system. No one should ever face what we faced.

Here is an eye opening link:
Article written by Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor called...Sick and Broke.

Monday, February 19, 2007

All went quite well today

Matthew was a champ as usual. Everything went perfectly. Mike has posted some great pictures in a slideshow pre op and post op!

We will have results of some biopsies on Thursday ... but so far, everything looks pretty normal .. except for some inflammation at the bottom of his esophagus.

I explained everything in Matthew's blog.

I must run for now... Matthew is getting into everything!!