Sunday, January 10, 2010

Working within the system

Guess what?? I made $26 too much last month and we were told we were no longer eligible for Family Health Plus. Is that CRAZY or what?? We found out that to get the same coverage it would cost almost $700 a month (and that was WITH an income-based program)!!! UGH!!!! So, keep working 36 hours a month and pay $700 a month or quit and pay nothing??? (And let me ASSURE you that I don't make the $20 an hour it would take to pay for health insurance!!)

I am going to take some time this week and send letters to all of my congressman and representatives. I can easily see how millions in our country are going without health insurance. I also am getting a good feel for what 'they' mean by the working poor. With healthcare reform in the news every day, you'd think I might be optimistic about a solution, but let me assure you, I am not!

Here's what I'd like to propose to anyone who will listen: Follow the example already set out for the Child Health Plus Program. Yes, use income guidelines, but as families work themselves out of their income bracket, start charging a monthly premium. In the case of CHP, it goes up to a monthly maximum of $27 per child, I think. Though our family has had Family Health Plus for years, we would have been happy to pay co-pays on doctor visits and prescriptions or a modest monthly premium. It seem crazy that if you make below a certain amount, you can get FREE healthcare, but if you surpass the limit (even by $26) you are TOTALLY ineligible for ANYTHING (except that $700 option!)

This universal healthcare talk makes me sick! (no pun intended, but it works!) Trillions of dollars in cost??? Who's going to pay for it? Where's the bank vault that's holding all this money?? Why the need to give handouts to people who are able and willing to work???!! So many people are buying into this idea of letting the government take care of them. I must admit that subsidized healthcare seems like a better option to me . . . but I suppose if you have insurance through an employer you may not even want tax dollars going into a subsidy. It seems to make sense to me that people should be contributing toward their healthcare costs, maybe using a sliding fee scale. I know I don't know enough about this to probably say too much, but it has hit really close to home this week and it's made me think about it.

Thankfully, because of Sumana's disability, she gets her own insurance through Medicaid. AND, Gretchen and Andrew still qualify for Child Health Plus. So, that leaves, Jeffrey, Greig and me. I reached an agreement with my employer to cut back my hours to stay within the guidelines of the 'system'. I've struggled with the whole idea of integrity through this decision. We feel we're being honest, because I'm not hiding unreported income, but it still feels awkward to have to 'play by their rules'. Sorry for the soapbox speech . . . it's been rather all-consuming this week! For what's worth, I'm going to take these ideas and frustrations and pass them on to the people who are making the rules.


  1. I COMPLETELY understand! We're in a similar boat right now with insurance! It doesn't make a lick of sense! I know my brother and his wife have quite a few stories of frustration from the provider side of it too! It is such a mess!

  2. I'm annoyed too...for you Cheryl! It doesn't seem fair to you and your family!