Thursday, March 4, 2010

Unwanted Insurance Stress

***Warning Vent***
It's been 12 hours since my "outburst" so I think I'm safe to finally post. I don't think I could have handled posting this last night.

As many of you know, Frankie started his new job on Feb 1st. Prior to switching jobs, I had this panic about insurance switches and I was assured "things would be fine." Switching jobs is never "just fine" when you have a child with a chronic illness. I asked him to find out WHEN the insurance would kick in so I would know what kind of lapse we were looking at, if any? He asked and the reply he got from the main boss, "Well, I'm not sure because I don't have the insurance through here." Hmmm...ok so put him in contact with someone who knows, right? Two days pass and on that Wed, I ask AGAIN, you found out anymore on the insurance? His reply, "They said I'd get the papers in the mail." THEY? Who the f#$% is THEY? Grrrrrr! I want a REAL answer. Get me a number I can call and find out! So about 3 weeks after he had been working there, he came home from work and handed me 2 ink pens with the company logo (he knows I have a fetish for a good writing pen) and he said the boss man gave him 2 new hats too! He was all smiles til I asked, "So what did you find out about this damn insurance?" He said, "Well I talked to one person that said 90 days and two others that said 30 days." OK....I was cleaning the kitchen and it was at this point I'd just picked up the tin foil to put it away when he dropped the bomb on me. I threw the box against the back door and screamed, "90 DAYS?!?!?! DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE F#$% THAT MEANS? DO YOU HAVE A CLUE?!?!?" I was so upset and literally fell apart. What did this mean? I went into a panic! I knew we had enough supplies to last about a month. I wasn't sure when our other insurance would lapse so I called in her insulin and test strips. It was too soon to fill the test strips but they filled the insulin. The co-pay was our normal co-pay. In the meantime, the following week he finally got me the number to someone I could talk to about switching insurance. I called and spoke to the Benefits people. The lady was very nice and understanding but "nice and understanding" isn't really gonna help when you're gonna have a lapse in coverage. She explained that we'd be able to get coverage til Frankie had been there for 30 days....Mar 1st. Ummm ok, we'd be fine since I had enough insulin and strips. So March 1st rolls around and I called them back. He's able to get his benefits BUT now we have to wait til April 1st for them to be available. WTF?!?!?! So THIS is why I've cried for the last few days....been so stressed the last few weeks...and worry what life is gonna bring us. If we elected Cobra coverage it would be $1500 a month. Thats F%$#!&* ROBBERY!!! There is no way we could afford that. Kacey has 3 bottles of insulin left in the fridge and plenty of pump supplies so we're covered there. BUT now we're down to 100 test strips! I called to get her strips filled and the lady said ....$527 please. WHAT?!?! So the insurance has officially lapsed! What the hell do we do when she's testing 10-12 times a day and dropping low 2-3 times a day? I contatced her CDE and explained that we no longer have coverage and we NEED help! She is going to give us 100 strips to help. So now, I guess we will either have to buy them over the counter or we will use all the extra meters that came with strips.

As a parent, I'm SCARED! I can honestly say I am! I've not told anyone about this because I don't want the "pity" factor. But I've gotta vent these feelings or I'm gonna need meds for myself soon! I'm scared because I don't know what's in store for us. We've just gotta make it thru the next 4 weeks! It's really sad when you say to yourself "Does she really need to test now?" just to save a strip and try and ration them. It's scary to think about the lows and retesting 15min later and then think to yourself "Well thats another strip and now we're down to 2 bottles." I HATE THIS FEELING! I hate being scared of the unknown. I don't even wanna think about her getting sick in the next month WITHOUT insurance! My biggest fear....a lapse in coverage...has happened. I've made myself sick thinking about it and Frankie keeps saying "Jill, it's not as bad as you're making it out to be. If she needs strips, we'll buy some over the counter." HE DOESN'T GET IT!!!!

So, several of you are wondering my lack of lack of plain old lack you know! Lemme tell you....I can honestly understand the phrase...."Stress will kill you!" Stress is some awful stuff and I'll just be counting the days til Apr 1st! Having a child with a chronic illness is bad enough and then you add the worry about being able to keep your child safe and alive adds a while new element! I can feel the pain for those that live with diabetes and don't have insurance. Sad part for us, Frankie makes too much to qualify for any assistance. Yep! That's right! We live in a house that was built in 1964, both driving older paid off vehicles, no credit cards, no other loans except the house and we live as frugally as we can.....and we can't get help! The systems SUCKS! If we quit our jobs and layed on our asses watching TV all day then we'd get money for food and all our medical paid for. Something is wrong with that picture? So my husband continues to work every day and bust his ass so some lazy ass bum can sit on their ass and watch TV! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
If you made it this far, thanks for listening :(


Amy said...

Jill is Cobra $1500 for the whole family or just for Kacey?? That seems awfully steep for just one person...when we made our transition last year, Jada was the only one covered for a few months because we could only afford to do one on Cobra. You may still be able to get Kacey on a Cobra plan if it hasn't been too long.

Whatever will work out!!! ((HUGS)) This crap is SO stressful! Sometimes worse than the disease itself!!!

Love you sweetie!

Colleen said...

I want the stress graphic - can I "borrow" it.
Do some more checking on the Cobra.
March will go by quickly.

Jill said...

Amy~ I just called them since you mentioned that and they said they couldn't give me an accurate quote over the phone since it would have to be reviewed and then they would notify me by mail but the lady said that most likely it would cost us Employee + Child since we didn't want the family but needed coverage for one child. So I asked her what that rate would be and she said, "Well I can tell you an approximate number but it might be something different when you get the paper." ....OK so tell me dammit! She said it would still be almost $800 for that. ***bangs head against the wall*** we need coverage for 27 days. She said that if we elect it once we get the paperwork then it will cover us once they received payment and there would be no lapse. So we pay the $800 and have the insurance til Apr 1st or do we wait it a cheap meter/strips and pay out of pocket til then? It IS stressful and we have too much shit to deal with as parents already and this just adds more CRAP! Luv ya too! Thanks for listening! OXOX

Colleen~ Of course you can have the pic...LOL! I printed it out and stuck it to my desk ;) I did have it stuck to the front of my shirt and gave everyone a giggle :P Gotta find some humor somehow!

Kelly said...

Oh dear. We paid for COBRA back in 2008 for 7 months....I hear your pain! We have yet to financially recover. Are you SURE your insurance coverage lapsed? My heart just aches for you right now....

Jill said...

Yep it has....there was no coverage when I went to pick up her strips! Thankfully the week before I got her insulin filled so we have 3 bottles in the fridge and I have one bottle stashed at school that I can always pull and use if it gets close and we're low. We've been getting 4 days out of pump sites so we're good with all that. It's just strips. I think I'd heard someone mention the cheap meter from Walmart before? Not sure who....maybe they could tell me more. I'm gonna swing in there tomorrow and see what they have.

Rachel said...

Oh I'm so there with you...on 2/26 we got a letter saying that Tristan's coverage would expire on 3/5. My husband and I both work full time but our company doesn't offer health care insurance. We had a state run program but now we make too much money and no longer qualify. So we have to go through the whole headache of finding another state run program (because private is just too expensive) and applying and then waiting. We were able to get our current coverage extended until 4/01 because we explained that we couldn't start coverage on the other program until 4/01.

I have been stressed out since last week. I just want this whole thing to go away. We shouldn't have to worry about medicine/supplies that are needed to keep our children alive!

Jill said...

OHNO Rach!!!! :( GOOD GRIEF!!! And they wonder WHY so many parents have to be medicated for depression?!?! This is just INSANE that we have to worry and stress over things to keep our kids alive. It should be against the law to deny anyone service if they are busting their ass to work but just can't make ends meet.

You all will be in our prayers! Once we get some coverage established in April, then maybe we can help some til you are able to get coverage again!

Shamae said...

Oh jeez Jill! I am SO SORRY! Really I am. What meter does she use now? Is it one the "talks" to Herbie? I would probably opt for the cheaper meter for now and cheaper strips....27 days. It does suck we have to worry about these things. Syd has been sick here...just found out it's strep throat. And we have been BLOWING through test strips. I tried to order more but we can't until the 10th...they won't let us. To many guidlines that hold us up from keeping our kids healthy. It's just not right.

Keep us posted ok.

Shamae said...

Oh and, by the way, the price of Kobra would MORE than pay for strips to get you through til April 1. Obviously if she got sick and stuff then it would probably be worth it but even then there is probably a copay and coinsurance even with the premium. I think I would bag the cobra if it really is just until April 1. If were going to be more than 1 month then I would pay it. But that's just me. $800 plus copays and coinsurance...for 1 month. I think out of pocket is cheaper for that amount of time.

Meri said...

What kind of strips do you use friend? We can send you a hundred no prob if it is the one touch ultra!

Jill said...

Yeah she uses the Freestyle meter that connects to Herbie. But we can use any meter and enter the number in manually. I just had 3 D-Mommies contact me with good news and they can help with One Touch stuff :) So that will be a HUGE burden off us. We can just enter them manually when we run out. With these hormones, Kacey is blowing thru strips too! We just went thru the strep throat battle so we know your pain and we blew thru the strips then too! Thats how we used up our "spare" boxes that I had stashed for those "sick" days. Now that she's having her period, she's on this roller coaster that is scary as hell!

THANK YOU to all of you for reaching out to us and we hope that we can repay you in some way!!!

Now we just need some prayers for us and that she doesn't get sick!


Jill said...

Meri~ we were posting at the same time! THANK YOU for the offer :) I had 3 other Moms offer so hang onto're gonna need them!!!

I'm sitting here in tears over the outpour in support from you all! I'm forever greatful!

LOVE YA's!!!

Penny said...

Hi Jill,
I read your blog but don't comment all that often. My daughter uses FreeStyle test strips and I would be happy to send you a box or two. She is just 7 and was diagnosed in January 2009 when she was 6. I also have lancets for a FreeStyle if you need them.
Have you checked out VA's children's health insurance program? I live in PA but we have CHIP here that insures my daughter only in our family cause we meet income guidelines. The rest of us in the family have insurance through my hubby's work. I just checked out what's available in your state and here is the website:
You might want to give them a call and ask them about the lapse in coverage for Kacey, maybe they can help you.
I wish you and Kacey well. Hang in there. Please reach me through my name/contact if you need the test strips, I am happy to send them your way.
Be well.

asskeeper said...

Jill e-mail me at wendy dot ort at gmail dot com.

Karen said...

If you have an Accu-Check Compact Plus meter laying around, I can send you a couple of boxes of strips too. Feel free to email me if you need them - now or in a few weeks or at any time while waiting for your new insurance to kick in.

Hallie said...

I'm so sorry Jill! That sucks! BIG TIME.

We use the One Touch - and would be happy to send you some strips. Let me know if you need them. I'll check our "extra box" and see what we've got down there, too.


Donna said...

Jill.... I am so sorry to hear about whats going on! We could help with strips as well... We have the FreeStyle lite. Just let me know.

Wendy said...


This D Community totally ROCKS. I'm going to cry just reading this.

Jill...we have a box of sites...and we have a box of Cozmo cartridges too.

Lots of hugs, prayers, and love to you, my friend.

Matthew 6
34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 7
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jill said...

I am so overwhelmed with the love and support here! I was in tears last night reading all of your comments and your willingness to give! We have a One Touch Meter and strips that are being sent to us by one of the D-Mommies :) I can't even begin to express my thanks for the outreach here!

I've always had trouble with asking for "help". I always feel like I should be doing things myself and dealing with things myself and yesterday it all came crashing down when Kacey opened 1 of the 2 boxes of 50 that we had left. I just felt a panic attack coming on and between last night and this morning, we breezed right through 10 strips. Yep...2 lows and then a skyrocket high over that meant every 2 hours...2am, 4am, 6am. Who am I to tell Kacey NOT to test that much?

So what else was there to do but PRAY? Then I had to vent. I've been bottling up all these frustrations for so long and I wasn't telling anyone about it. It's a downer when you suck up your pride and you go ASK for help and be turned away because "you make too much money" and I wasn't even allowed to show where that money was going each month! We didn't meet the qualifications from the get go! So how to you ask for help again after being beaten down? I was made to feel like we should financially be able to buy that $500 worth of test strips. And mentally I knew there was NO way! Which brings me to Wendy's post.... those scriptures were dead on! I didn't want the rejection or the pity party but sometimes we just need to learn to ask for the help we need instead of being too proud and keeping our mouth shut.

I hope that I can repay these Mommies! Once again, I'm very blessed and I'm thankful for the offers!!!


Jill said...

I also looked up the qualifications for FAMIS~

Who is eligible for FAMIS?
Your children may be eligible if they:

~Live in Virginia
~Are under age 19
~Don't have health insurance now and haven't had it in the past 4 months (There are exceptions to the four month waiting period)
~Are not eligible for any Virginia state employee health insurance plan
~Are not eligible for FAMIS Plus (also known as Children's Medicaid)
~Live in families meeting FAMIS income guidelines
~Are United States citizens or qualified aliens (other children may be eligible, please call us to find out more)

NO INSURANCE IS THE LAST 4 MONTHS! Thats why they told us we didn't qualify and we only need insurance for one month.

Cody Turner said...

Call Abbot Diabetes explain the situation and see if they can see you some freestyle strips. I have had to do that in a pinch with One Touch.

Medical Insurance Birmingham said...

Diabetes today is a major problem in the UK and in the rest of the world; the treatment of which costs millions of pounds for which purchasing medical insurance for diabetics is a good solution.