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Our Health Insurance Freakout

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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