Well, I got a very prompt and personal letter from James Bacalles and George Winner in Albany. Many of you will remember our recent health insurance scare and my subsequent soap box tirade. I sent letters to all of our state and federal representatives bemoaning the lack of insurance options for working class Americans.
The response from Bacalles and Winner, while sympathetic, left me with the feeling of "that's just the way it is." Here are excerpts from their letter:
"While we understand the $700 per month cost is a burden for your family . . . . on the open market could run as high as $2-3,000 per month."
"All of the subsidized health insurances sponsors- Family Health Plus, Child Health Plus, Healthy NY--had to be approved by the federal government . . . ."
"The state tried to be as flexible as possible with options, sliding scales and generous eligibility guidelines, and still win federal approval. We don't anticipate these rules to change in the near future. In your case, you must choose to either work part-time while keeping your income level at a point where you will remain eligible for Family Health Plus or not."
So, it appears to ultimately be a federal issue. I still don't 'get' why Child Health Plus can charge monthly premiums for families who 'go over' the income guidelines and Family Health Plus just terminates coverage and a family is forced to consider the next equivalent option . . . with a price tag of $700 per month. I'm curious to see what kind of response I get from our representatives in Washington . . .
For now, we're opting for me to volunteer my Friday hours. This helps to keep our income in the right spot. I think this option allows us to retain our integrity AND continuous health coverage. I'm confident God will inflict us with a good dose of guilt if it is not part of His plan for us! He always seems to get His message through to us one way or another!