Saturday, June 28, 2008

June 28th, 2008

Insurance update:

I worked for the same company for almost 20 years.  During that time, I had really good health insurance.  The health insurance was privately funded and was very inexpensive for employees.  Since it was so good and affordable, I always covered the entire family (9 people).   When we had Kinnick and Carver, we were given Medicaid for the first year of life.  We qualified due to their birth weight.  Medicaid is typically income based and we did not meet the low income guidelines, but qualified for 1 year based on the babies birth weight.  Medicaid is always a secondary health insurance if you have other health insurance.  So, my privately funded health insurance was always hit before the bill went to medicaid.  Kinnick and Carver's medical bills were in the 2 million dollar range (per child) the first year of life.  Luckily about 1/2 of the medical bills get written off when you use a preferred provider.   After write offs, we have exceeded 1 million dollars per child.  We have a 2 million dollar maximum coverage.  After you hit 2 million dollars, the child or individual is dropped from the insurance.  This stinks because eventually we will lose medicaid and our good insurance will no longer cover Kinnick and Carver.  In January of this year, we added all of the family to my husband's health insurance.  It costs a lot more then my insurance and doesn't have as good of coverage.  This added about $500/month to our bills.  This was necessary in case we max out Kinnick and Carver's maximum coverage causing us to lose their privately funded insurance and we lose medicaid.  When I quit my job, we chose to keep my health insurance under Cobra.  This costs an additional $1,000/month.  I'm being told that we will continue to qualify for medicaid based on the babies technology needs.  This is effective in August with the new TA waiver.  However, we will have to pay a family premium for the insurance.  I'm not sure how much this will end up costing.  I'm told there is a sliding scale that is based on income.  So, this will add an add'l monthly cost for health insurance.  Anyway.... the GOOD news is that I've been working on getting the State to help me pay for my Cobra insurance.  I found out this week that the State is going to start paying my Cobra insurance premiums.  In fact, the state is going to back pay me for any premiums that I already paid.  Thank God, once again.  This will help us afford the new medicaid premiums that we'll have to start paying.  

My next job is to fight for disability income for the babies based on their disabilities and their income.  They are permanently disabled (Kinnick is blind and Carver is deaf), but I'm being told they do not qualify for income assistance because they are basing their income on the household income and not on the fact that Kinnick and Carver do not have an income.  It is important to get this assistance because at some point, I could lose the medicaid and nursing assistance.  Their disabilities will be very costly long term and the assistance would ease the pain of the significant bills associated and may allow me to continue to stay home caring for them.  I have an Aunt that has fought this battle for one of her children and she has agreed to help me.  Thank you Aunt Kathy!  As always, I will share any tips that I get for any of you that may need the same assistance.

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