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