I don’t care what Healthcare Reform “costs” the taxpayers. I care what it costs ME.

Due to a comedy of errors (without The Funny), our family is now without health insurance coverage. When I got the official letter, I admit, I nearly had myself a heart-attack, but because I couldn’t afford to have one, I just had a mild freak fit instead. Sparring Partner has been given strict instructions to get and save every receipt related to medical expenses in hopes of getting some of it back after filing taxes NEXT year.

I tried to reason with myself that our monthly out of pocket expenses surely couldn’t be more than what we’d pay for a monthly premium. Sadly, only two weeks into January and we had already shot our wad.

Doodicus’s 60 day supply of ADHD meds was $210. Aitch’s 18 month check up was $140. Then there was the urgent care visit for yet another ear infection for Aitch and the subsequent antibiotics that were filled. Not once, but twice. So, uh, yeah. Not quite the auspicious start I was hoping for in the new year.

After this last round of antibiotics for Aitch’s second ear infection of the year, we are now starting a six week regimen of AB (unknown cost at this time) that the pediatrician hopes will keep future infections away until the fluid can finally be absorbed by her body. If not? Then she’ll be getting tubes. Average charge at the local hospital? $2,700.

I haven’t made an appointment about my earlier concern (protected post). I haven’t a clue what the cost there will be.

Of course, then there’s the mammogram screening I need since the last time I had one was Fall 2007 as required by my RE before I could go through the donor egg transfer as I was then pushing my big fat zero around with a four. That alone will set me back about $450, including the radiologist’s fee.

What I wouldn’t give to be able to bitch once again about $25 office visit copays; $100 emergency physician copays; and $50 pharmacy copays… *sighs wistfully*

I’ve decided that I’m going to keep track of all of our medical expenses here. With the healthcare reform on life support (sadly) and full-time, permanent employment still a pipedream, keeping a runny tally will not only be helpful to me, but maybe someone else may find it beneficial, or at least interesting, to know what the “typical” medical expenses a family of four incur over a year. So I’ve started a new page on this blog.

And to avoid ending this post on what could without argument be the most boring conclusion ever, I’ll share a little story about Aitch:

She’s a bit “particular” when it comes to routines. Loves them. Chaos and change? Hates. At bath time, normally we go and start the tub water to warm it up, call out, “Bath!” and she comes running. While the tub fills, we get her undressed and the clothes go into a little pile by the door to be taken out to the hamper later.

The other night, I told her it was time for her bath while sitting in the living room. She was happy to hear it and started off. I stopped her by telling her to take off her socks. So she sat down and took them off. And the pants and the shirt (with some help – obviously). I asked her to pick up the now discarded clothes and we went into her room and I pointed to the hamper and asked her to put her clothes in there, and she did.

THEN we went into the bathroom. While my back was turned, adjusting the temp of the water, she dashed out of the bathroom. A few seconds later, she came back holding the pants, shirt and both socks in her arms. She deposited them, very deliberately, next to the door, gave them a pat as if to say, “Stay!” and then walked over to me to check out the status of the water in her bath.

She even puts away the box of colors and coloring books, you guys! Oh, yes, she does.

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15 thoughts on “I don’t care what Healthcare Reform “costs” the taxpayers. I care what it costs ME.”

  1. I hate the entire medical/billing/insurance situation. NOT the nurses and doctors but the red-tape bureaucraZy. Please don’t get me started…and I have insurance.

    Aitch is too cute!! I’m a girl who loves a routine too…so I appreciate her pulling her clothes into the bathroom.

  2. That’s horrible. I hate this country’s stupid insurance situation. It’s actually complicating our move right now, but at least we have it.

    Is there no program just for kids in your state? Can you ask for different rates for paying cash?

    1. There is a program just for kids here. I’m waiting on the last of 2009 tax data in order to have the info required to see if they qualify. I’m doubting they will.

      And yes, there is a cash/payment in full incentive from most healthcare providers. I’ll be including that on my new page.

  3. That is incredibly crappy. Our area has a bunch of pharmacies offering incredibly cheap/free medications for things like common antibiotics and prenatal vitamins and such. Also, appealing to the manufacturer is also a good idea…and negotiating with the doctor too. Pull out the old statements from your insurance and see what the payment was in relation to the actual charge, and then offer them a few bucks more. I’m not much for negotiating, but I would certainly do it for healthcare if I didn’t have insurance. You could bankrupt yourself with one heart attack.

    I hope you can find a decent job with adequate health insurance soon. It doesn’t look like the government will get it’s act together any time soon.

  4. Incidentally, Hubs just today received his offer letter to convert his contract to a full time job. His health insurance MONTHLY will be less than we pay each week right now. Hubs isn’t wild about the job, but we can’t afford not to do it.

  5. You’re singin’ my song. We were on COBRA – to the tune of $1100 a month, since I quit working a year and a half ago. In May, Hubs was able to sign up for his work benefits, which, because he is a contractor, are basically the same as COBRA – but would come out pre-tax. Sadly, we didn’t pay attention to the fact that the prescription coverage was non-existant. We’re still paying $1100 a month, but between Hubs, Zachary, and me, we spend…$450 for prescriptions – and that’s with changing two of Hubs’ prescriptions and Zachary’s prescrption to generics.

    You might talk to your pediatrician and see if Doodicus can have a generic equivalent for his meds. I would say what we are giving Zachary definitely does NOT work as well as Concerta, but at nearly $300 for concerta, we’re tolerating the $80 generic.

  6. While I am aghast at the cost of your health care expenditures, I am most shocked that your daughter is so tidy. If you could bottle that, you wouldn’t need to worry about health care costs, because baby, you would be rich.

    Also..have you talked to the pharmaceutical company that makes Doodicus’ meds? Sometimes you can get one hellacious discount from them.

    Also, I have talked to doctors and dentists and asked what their “cash price” is. Most of them are being reimbursed about $22-40 (seriously) by the insurance companies, on a billing they submit for $90-120 office visit. I asked if we could work something out and every one said yes. I had to swallow some pride, but it was a small price to pay (no pun intended:)

  7. Coming from here it is totally incomprehensible to me that so many there find the idea of universal healthcare provision somehow immoral/ communist/ violation of their freedoms. It totally sucks for you. My cousin has married the son of a wealthy Californian and he is violently against health reform – I haven’t noticed him getting out the cheque book to pay for the birth of their two children in the space of under 2 years (another annoying thing) totally utterly free courtesy of the NHS here whilst sponging off my aunt and uncle.

    Can you send Aitch over here to teach my two some stuff?

  8. I’m sorry that you have no healthcare coverage right now. I’m even more sorry that our government is so bassackwards that it can’t get this right. It is something that needs to be done. Most people in our country without any coverage are people like you. People who work hard, have jobs, houses and families.

You can say it here.

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