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Our Health Insurance Freakout

By Amy Keyishian |

Pelosi and Health Care

Image via Speaker Nancy Pelosi / Flickr

I haven’t blogged in a couple days because I’ve had to put a full stop to everything and work full-time at getting new individual health care for my family. Our COBRA coverage is ending – that is, we still have a few months left during which we could use it, but the federal subsidy that makes it affordable for us ends this month. I haven’t ever had to do this for a family before – only myself. And what should be simple and straightforward is frustrating, overwhelming, and scary.

First, there’s the apparent fact that, because I dared to go to my doctor a few weeks ago and admit that what I was feeling was probably PPD, I am likely to be declined by the major carriers. This is what I was told by my insurance agent: that my high blood pressure won’t be a problem because it’s controlled – that would just send me into a more expensive tier, but I would be coverable. But going on an antidepressant? That, apparently, is unforgiveable.

We’ll see if it’s true, but the agent seemed pretty sure about this.

So please, enlighten me: while opponents of health-care reform were screaming about “death panels,” did they not understand that the insurance companies are, essentially, acting in the same scary, judgmental fashion? Penalized for preventive care: that’s what the current situation gives us. And yet some insane terror of appearing too socialist – voiced by people who don’t seem to understand the definition of the word – is keeping us from the same system of medical coverage that works in Canada, the UK, France, Australia, and tons of other perfectly respectable countries.

Anyway. I am applying to three different carriers, and the process includes pages and pages and pages of online forms – this makes graduate school applications look like an Etch-a-sketch. And for Kaiser, I have to do a separate application for EACH MEMBER OF THE FAMILY – they do not allow a family plan. Buh?

At least I can say with confidence that I don’t need a maternity plan! That is… assuming my IUD really works.

Thanks to the Obama plan, at least I don’t have to worry about Penelope being rejected due to her premature birth – no pre-existing conditions. Also under this new legislation, regular checkups don’t require me to pay out my deductible – well visits and preventive care are not subject to a deductible, just my normal co-pay. So I’m glad there are at least these small improvements.

But the fact remains that I am completely consumed with trying to get my family covered – and then, if and when I am accepted by a carrier (or several carriers – I may have to insure the kids under a separate policy). This is stressful, frustrating, and scary. I wish, wish, wish one of us could find a job that carried benefits, but until that happens, I’ve got to keep us covered. So off I go – I’ll post as much as I can manage when I can take a break. Arrgh!

One cool fact I’ve learned: Costco, the warehouse store, offers health insurance plans! Right now, they don’t have any for California, but they are supposed to in a few months. Which led my husband to ask: do I have to buy a whole case of health insurance?

Are you worried about health insurance for your family? Got any hot tips?

Image via Speaker Nancy Pelosi / Flickr

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About Amy Keyishian


Amy Keyishian

Amy L Keyishian is a writer who has been on staff at Cosmopolitan, Brooklyn Bridge, Tower Air, and has freelanced for Glamour, Self, Redbook, Maxim, Men's Health, and many others. She was a blogger for Babble, along with The Stir at Cafe Mom, and Kveller. More of her work is featured on her blog, MadFoot. Read bio and latest posts → Read Amy's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “Our Health Insurance Freakout

  1. Kate says:

    The Canadian system is horribly flawed, sad to say. Better than the American system? My outsider opinion is yes ($17,000 for the birth of a child? WOW. I was never handed any sort of bill for my prenatal care, childbirth or hospital stay! That’s what taxes are for!) but my opinion is just that– an outsider’s.

    The $17,000 figure is one I saw on a blog recently, I don’t actually know much about the costs of care in the US medical system.

  2. perelwll says:

    So as I say, I wake up every morning, thankful that I have exceptional health insurance coverage I found through wise health insurance for my family because it gives me peace of mind knowing that my family can count on me to deliver their health care needs.

  3. Heather says:

    Please keep us posted!! I’m in a pickle as well. My families insurance plan is currently through my employer. I am due to go into labor any day with our first child. The thought of daycare costs just makes me sick. I have a side job that I do from home that could potentially bring in a substantial amount of money if I put more time into it….thus eliminating the need for my full time job and day care. But that doesn’t seem to be an option with the cost of health care!! I’ve priced a few companies and am curious to see what you come up with!!

  4. PlumbLucky says:

    @Kate – what I know of the Canadian system is this: my Canadian rellies will freely admit it is a flawed system, BUT they are horrified at what we shell out in premiums, the PITA that is switching carriers when your work switches every.single.year, the headaches involved with various health insurance carriers, AND they freely admit that though its flawed, they’re terrified that they’ll ever be under a “system” (or lack of) like the US.

  5. shon billy says:

    CSA Insurance Group of Ohio providing Auto, Life, Business, Home, Health Care Insurance.
    CSA Insurance, Business, Progressive, Insurance.
    CSA Insurance Group providing Auto, Life, Business, Home, Health Care Insurance serving Fulton, Henry, Defiance County Ohio, Wauseon OH, Napoleon, OH, Defiance OH. CSA Insurance Group services all of Northwest Ohio including Lucas, Fulton, Henry, and Defiance Counties for your convenience.

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