Monday, April 05, 2010

Without a Paddle (or Health Insurance)

I got a letter from Jamie's health insurance provider, the state CHIP plan. I have to verify my income for a six month review. Since I last applied for coverage, I got a raise (yay, me). Apparently, it's just enough of a raise that it may very well mean Jamie loses his health insurance coverage very very soon. I was expecting to lose it come the end of October. But I was not aware they'd be doing a review halfway through the year. I am now officially up a crap creek without a paddle. Him not having health insurance is not an option with as many special health concerns as he has. He takes about $1,000 (retail) worth of medication a month. That doesn't include the cost of doctor visits to the five different specialists he sees a month, plus any sick visits. Then there's the cost of the unplanned prescriptions - those for ear infections, sinus infections, etc. Sure, I can afford to pay for all his medications and doctor visits, if I stop paying rent, don't buy any food and stop making car payments or pay utility bills. I could get him insurance through my work - for about 20% of my monthly net income. Or I can purchase an individual health insurance plan for him at 15% of my net income and not have as much of his stuff covered, meaning I'd still pay a lot of out of pocket costs. It just seems totally unfair that I now make too much to qualify for CHIP, so I will be bankrupted by medical bills.


Strangeite said...

That really really sucks. Couple of things to keep in mind when budgeting these choices. First, while adding Jamie to your plan might cost 20% of your net pay, remember that it will be taken pre-tax. So in theory it might be cheaper than the 15% plan that won't cover as much stuff. Also while an individual plan might be cheaper they might try to pull a "pre-existing condition" on you and not cover his conditions depending on when you get the policy. The new law will make this practice illegal but that clause has not kicked in yet and you don't want to be a week on the wrong side.

If I think of anything else I will let you know.

p.s. Is there exclusions that you can subtract from your income to get under the threshold, i.e. increased 401k deposits, payments for child care, etc.

Suze said...

Oh that sucks. I hope you can appeal somehow.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

The only exclusions they allow is for childcare. I only paid $20 for the whole year of afterschool care through a city program here. I am so screwed.

Anonymous said...

That is unreasonably low for childcare. Perhaps you could figure out a way to count the cost of time when he isn't with you--even being kept by a friend, or those church nights...

It can add up.

Or there's the route of finding a friend to say they keep them for X-amount.

Hrm. My step-father once had his pay lowered in order to keep a benefit... which is weird, but it did work.

Good luck!