Of course, this now applies to me that our daughter was born with a rare severe heart defect. A year ago I would just claim to be naive about the nation's healthcare and gov't assistance programs. My husband and I are college educated, hard working middle class and we are forced to put our daughter on Medicaid and WIC because of our obscene amount of hospital bills from Delaney's open heart surgery at 6 days old. I believe there should definitely be assistance for the middle and lower class to be able to keep their children healthy, BUT the criteria to keep our daughter on Medicaid is horribly unrealistic. I am being forced to make the decision to either stay working and be able to pay our bills...or... quit my job so that my daughter can still be eligible for benefits and be covered if she ever has heart problems again. Let me add that we have insurance through Blue Cross/Blue Shield, but because of the cost of medical treatment she will have her portion of the insurance maxed out before she is even a year old. Therefore, it's either work and afford her day to day expenses, or quit and have insurance to pay for her Cardiologists, Orthopedic surgeons, pediatricians and numerous other specialists... Medical expenses have paralyzed many families that we know personally, but now we feel paralyzed by the "system". It is ridiculous that we do NOT want to be on any assistance, but we are forced to due to our daughter's medical condition...and, because of the cost of healthcare. I understand the government cannot afford to pay everyone's medical bills, then we should visit and investigate as to why healthcare has gotten sooooo expensive...I mean, really, a $15 band-aid??? So sorry about the rant, but as you can see this has been a very sensitive subject for my family. What a great way to start out with our first baby. Having a sick baby is stressful enough without having to worry that we may have to sell our home and live out of our car so we can afford to feed her.
What an awful experience for all of you. I can't imagine how stressful that must've been...and continues to be. It's just wrong that you should be put in that situation. And what a good example you are of how the system is failing the country -- in the sense that, as you say, you are educated, hard-working people. If it doesn't work for you, how will it ever serve the disadvantaged. And it's really disturbing to me that you're on a "good" insurance plan (BC/BS) and yet this could happen to you.
This reminds me of a story I was listening to on NPR the other day about mental illness in children and how families are unable to pay for the care they need. Most of these families are good people with good jobs and they have insurance, but the insurance either does not cover mental illness or, if they do, coverage is minimal. Once they have maxed out their plans, they have to pay out of pocket. When that burden gets too much, they are faced with the unthinkable: sign over their parental rights to the state, which enables the state to pick up the tab. Apparently, this affects thousands of families each year in the US. Appalling.
Hope Delaney is doing well now. Keep us updated.
ponytrainer, what a horrible situation to be in. I hope things work out for you and your daughter.
One of our children has a mild form of autism, and while his situation isn't a life-threatening one, trying to help him via any type of non-traditional method and have insurance pick up any part of the tab is next to impossible. I'm not talking about some really far-out-there procedure... I'm talking about proven, non-medical intervention, like changing his diet or taking certain supplements or certain types of occupational and physical therapy.
Any other members facing showdowns with their insurance companies? Any advice you can give for fighting with the system?
Dear Pony trainer,
My son needed surgery at 5 days old and it was a very scary time. I can understand to a level what your are feeling. Having a healthy child is stressful as it is, let alone a sick child and it is your first. On top of that you need to be faced with additional stress of insufficient healthcare.
My husband and I watched "sicko" by Michael Moore and we were appalled. We were ready to move to Europe.
Are there any organizations or charity related to her illness that offer assistance? Is there are support group for you, maybe someone has had a similiar experience that can help guide you. I found a support group for what my son has and it has helped to no end. There were times I thought I was going to just lose it and the support and the experience the others mothers gave me was endless.
I just recieved a bill from the hospital where my daughter was born 1 1/2 yr ago. It was for a MANDATORY hearing test for infants before they leave the hospital. It's $300. My insurance won't pay for it. I will fight it. It's mandatory!! Just a little example - just not right.
I wish you a lot of luck and I am so sorry you are going through this.Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 19th January 2008
I hear you.
When I had my baby - a healthy baby, normal birth, etc. -the total bill from the hospital came out to over $20,000! How is any family with no insurance able to afford that?
Even when I had insurance, my portion came out to $2,000. When I called the insurance company to see why my portion was so high, they said it was partially because the doctor who examined the baby at the hospital was not in the network. I guess I was supposed to ask the doctor as they examined the baby to see if he was part of my network! Unbelieveable!
There is an organization that I found that is really trying to put a voice around this and other working mother's issues - www.momsrising.org. Here is a paragraph from their website:
"Medical issues are a leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States. A February 2005 study published in the journal Health Affairs, authored by a well-respected team of experts that includes several Harvard University professors, found that families like Sharon’s are part of a growing trend of medical bankruptcies. In fact, half of all bankruptcy filings in 2001 were related to medical issues.
And medical related bankruptcies are skyrocketing. There’s been a twenty-threefold (2,300 percent) increase in medical related bankruptcy filings between 1981, when only 8 percent of bankruptcies were medical related, and 2001. And, it turns out, these medical related bankruptcies look a lot like what Sharon’s family experienced
isn't it just frustrating! Our two kids are on medicaid. they are healthy kids (so far) but it is a relief to be able to take them to the doctor when they are sick or have problems without worrying what is in the bank... and can we afford it.
We ALSO recieve assistance (state and fed) for daycare while my husband is in school full time. It almost $15k a year we get in assitance, but If i increase my income too much... we'll lose all that help but not be able to make it up with my additional pay. It does make me feel a little powerless. Also, I pay taxes on all my income, but not on the assistance we receive which makes the "assistance" worth nearly 30% more.
Its a complicated thing, but I hope somebody finds a reasonable solution. I want to be able to make as much as I can for my family, not as little as I can "for my family".
My thoughts and prayers go out to each of you faced with this unbelievable healthcare problem (crisis) we have in this country. This is a situation not easily resolved. My gut feeling is that it has stemmed from greed. The doctors want more, the insurance companies want to pay less and unfortunately we are an extremely unhealthy society. We have more major health issues now than ever before. Think back 20 years - that is if you're old enough ( I sure am), we didn't have the obesity problem, the diabetes problem, the asthma problem or the rash of autoimmune problems that we have today. My belief is many of these problems have been brought on by our fast paced, stressed filled lives. There are billions of dollars being spent on health problems that in my opinion have been caused by an over-indulgent society that wants a "pill" to cure everything. This situation unfortunately leaves little left over to help those who truly have serious medical problems...especially children!!! It is ridiculous that a family should have to be bankrupt because their small child has a major medical problem early on, while millions of people have insurance paying for cholesterol medication that they take while eating a chicken wing!! So sorry for the rant. I'm just really saddened by these stories of sick children and struggling families stuck in a system that is failing.
If found a way to help our family save some money on healthcare. I joined a Discounted Medical & Dental Plan Organization. It's not traditional insurance but rather a discount program offered through a company by the name of AmeriPlan. They have have been saving millions of families on Dental & Medical costs for 20+ years.
I use this Discount Plan in conjunction with my regular insurance to help fill in the gaps for things my Dental & Medical insurance won't cover. It even offers discounts for Chiropractic, Vision & Prescriptions. An individual can get this all for just $14.95 a month or for an entire family it's only $20 a month.
Here's the link I used to join- http://mybenefitsplus.com/benefitsconsultant
Hope this is of some help to some of you. I know it's helped us save some money over time.