Well I decided today will be a day of talking about health, this should be fun! To start with I'll explain our situation with our health insurance and lack there of.
When we moved to Missouri we received state health insurance (Medicaid) just like we did in Illinois and Iowa before that. With four kids at the time and an annual income of less than $11,000 we didn't have much of a choice. Since the time I got pregnant with my first child and was allowed to sign up I've been on Medicaid. When I met my husband, his son was on Medicaid but he was not. When we got married we all was on there together. For 18 years.
We never took advantage of the assistance that we received. Three babies born, major dental work done at one point by 3 of us (not my husband, he was next in line), no surgeries, only a handful of emergency room visits over all the years, some well child/woman checks, and minimal prescriptions. We really took it for granted, just assumed it would always be there. Boy was we wrong!
When the health care reform went through something happened to our ability to receive Medicaid and now we are not eligible. Now I know it's not that big of a deal in theory but it our instance it was a huge deal. It was denied for my husband and I not the kids in 2013.
Although I was under doctor's care for my mental health problems and my high blood pressure, I am unable to go the doctor now at all. To go to the doctor I need at least $150 for the office visit and if the doctor will re-prescribe my meds without any blood work then I'll need at least another $50 for my meds. I'm glad I was intelligent on weaning myself off the meds and didn't cause myself to go into a dark depression from lack of pills after taking them for about 2 years. Thankfully my blood pressure hasn't been a major problem since losing our Medicaid or else I guess I'd had to go to the ER.
They kept implying that I had not filed out the paperwork correctly and that once I did it would be re-instated so I reapplied numerous times. Finally after months they said no matter what we were not eligible to receive Medicaid and that the kids would still receive it. OK so we're screwed but whatever at least the kids still have coverage.
In early 2014 my oldest daughter moved out and so I removed her from our case and she applied on her own. When she applied we knew she probably wouldn't get it but figured it was worth a shot -- she worked 2-3 jobs so her income was quite high. Still to this day, a year later, she doesn't know if she is approved, denied or anything in between! And now that she's had to come back home to rent out a room from us because of losing income, she has a $3500 hospital bill from just a few of her health problems.
Also early in 2014 my husband had to be rushed to the hospital for stomach pains that he'd been putting off for years. Luckily he was able to be fixed with removing a very bad gallbladder. Of course he could have a normal gallbladder - NO not him! He had a extra something or other and it was shaped funny -- none of the surgeons on duty -OR- the ones the called in to "help" had ever seen a case such as his in all their 40+ years of internal medicine. He was in surgery that day for about 6 hours - then 2 days later they took him back into surgery for another 3 hours. After 8 days in the hospital he was finally released - with 2 tubes coming out of his stomach that had to stay there for a couple weeks till everything healed better inside. 2 months later he had to go back to the hospital for another surgery to remove a stint that they had to place inside to help his body work right. In the end we owed about $125,000 in doctor/hospital bills with no health insurance -- plus he was out of work for 3 months.
We had to move back with my father-in-law for 2 months to get Illinois Medicaid to pay for those hospital bills -- which they did without batting an eye or asking a question!
In July 2014 I lost my mom. Thankfully I made it through that hard time - STILL making it through - without any problems mentally or with my blood pressure, thank the Lord! There are small miracles obviously.
Now, March 2015 I get a letter that they have "re-evaluated my case" without any changes in our household - they have decided that my son who just turned 17 is no longer eligible for Medicaid. But they CLAIM that all kids are covered! I guess they don't count him as a kid now?!
It took many, many phone calls and talking to receptionist to learn the upper income bracket is to receive Medicaid as an adult in the state of Missouri for a family of 4 - the MOST we can have as income is $368 a month!! Of course if you only make that amount your also eligible for cash assistance so what's the point of that??!! (cash assistance for a family of 4 with that income is about $550 a month!)
What seriously doesn't make an sense is if we cancel all assistance we receive from the state of Missouri and drive 2 miles away from our house and live in our car for a month we can receive full assistance in the state of Illinois - but not here. But I'm not a dishonest person - and neither is my husband. We are honest and like to follow the rules - without bending them. But with rules like these it makes it hard on honest folks to do the right thing.
My son now can't go find out why he's having chest pains. Plus he now has a terribly ingrown toenail. I know that sounds trivial but I'm telling you it looks HORRIBLE!
In the mean time I'm trying my hand at herbal remedies and when money is available I buy animal antibiotics. Next post I'll explain some of my best working remedies =)
Sorry for whining and bitching but it makes me feel better =)