Thursday, September 21, 2006

{insert pithy title here}

  • Why is it that Fall officially begins in two days, yet the forecasted high for Friday is 97 degrees?
  • Why, after almost 10 years on the waiting list, did we finally receive the Medicaid Waiver for Maddy, only to be told that her "Medicaid won't actually become effective until respite care is in place."?!?
  • And if the second point is actually TRUE, then why does her Medicaid card state that her coverage started on 9/9/06?

Just a few questions I'm pondering as the hour creeps toward three AM.

I do have an intake appointment set up for tomorrow for an interview with a respite provider, but I have no idea how long it will actually take to get the provider in our home. I've already requested her new wheelchair, feeding supplies (including formula! yippee!) and diapers, and a slew of other Medicaid-provided items that will save us, on average $300-$400 per month for her care. Suddenly, I feel like we're going to be okay. Really, really okay. It's almost like hitting the Lotto, in a strange way.

Respite care isn't something we particularly need, but we definitely need the Medicaid coverage. It will pick up all medical expenses that our traditional insurance does not. A nice thought when you consider that her last hospitalization lasted for almost a month, and cost upwards of a million dollars. Our co-pay was only $500 for that nightmare, but with the new insurance plan, we'd be responsible for *gulp* 20%. Plus, our insurance has a "lifetime maximum" of $2 million. Two hospitalizations, and we've maxed out her coverage. At least with Medicaid, we don't have to worry about that happening. She can stay on it for the rest of her life ~ no maximums, and no co-pays.

I feel absolutely no guilt whatsoever about partaking of this particular social program. Matter of fact, I firmly believe that anyone who bears or adopts a child with special needs should automatically qualify for this benefit ~ no waiting. I know that's an unpopular stance with my conservative family and friends, but those people haven't been in the predicaments we have been in over the years with Maddy's health care expenses. I've fought with insurance companies, while working crappy hours for lousy coverage (and I worked for an insurance company!); my husband has passed up lucrative job offers because they didn't provide health insurance for dependents, and we've been "out of pocket" to the tune of, literally, millions of dollars over the years. We even had to file bankruptcy because of medical bills that we couldn't afford to pay. At one point, I applied for SSI for Maddy, hoping to qualify her for that so we could get Medicaid for her. Our family of three made "too much money". The Social Security Administration representative that I spoke to on the telephone actually told me to ~ and I quote ~ "Divorce your husband, honey, then you'll qualify for all kinds of aid."

I laughed out loud. This, from an administration that is supposed to have "family values" at its core? Yeah, lady, I'll look right into that.

Needless to say, we've made it. To the top of the list. Last December. And her Medicaid card arrived last week. Now, we've just got to get everything in the pipeline....

Had it not been for friends and family over the last several months, we literally would have starved. T was off work with his broken leg, and I am on permanent leave from my job, due to migraines and a bad back. No income = no formula, diapers, or food in the house. Friends stepped in and bought gift cards for food, brought formula and diapers, put gas in my car, paid for doctor's visits for Maddy ~ you name it, they were there for us. My family even helped with the mortgage and the electric bill. I thank God for them every single day. And I can't wait to start paying them all back...or paying it forward. Now that we're back on our feet (T, literally!), I hope that we're able to do some good for others.

The bell just tolled three AM ~ I need to go change a diaper and try to sleep. I just didn't want another week to go by without getting something down here...I'm trying really hard to make good use of this blog.

Thanks for reading...

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