It’s time for an update on my rant about health care insurance. Since my post several weeks ago my wife has found a woman at the insurance company who really seems to care. She has guided my wife through the maze and has gotten her approved for the testing required before she starts treatment. We will be going to Seattle next week. After testing, the results and recommendations of the doctors will be reviewed by the insurance company’s transplant committee. Provided she’s approved, the treatment can begin. She’ll have to stay in Seattle for at least three months and have a caregiver with her. We have been blessed with friends and family who have volunteered to take the caregiver training and be with her throughout this ordeal.
One of my wife’s daughters, Jessica, will be her primary caregiver. She has a family of her own, so she is sacrificing quite a bit. Fortunately, my sister has volunteered for a week, one of my wife’s sisters is a teacher and has volunteered to be a caregiver for several weeks after school lets out. And there will be others coming to relieve the primary caregivers for a day or two at a time.
Why aren’t I going to be her primary caregiver? I have to stay home and go to work every day to pay for the insurance premiums (which take about one-half my paycheck every month).
So, things are proceeding at a pretty rapid pace now. To those who have responded to my post here or privately, thank you for your thoughts, advice and prayers. They are appreciated.
There were a couple of people who took exception to my stance on a national health care program. I expected that. I live in a very politically conservative part of the state. Just a couple of days ago, I saw one of our local state representatives on TV speaking against a state supported health plan. I wish I had counted the number of times he used the used the politically charged phrases “socialized care” and “socialized medicine”. I’m sure the locals here agreed with everything he was saying.
The people who replied to my post citing how inefficient national health care plans are in other countries had very valid points. Whenever you let the government, especially the federal government, get involved in any kind of endeavor it’s going to get bogged down in red tape and bureaucracy. The VA boondoggle is a perfect example. But my contention is that it doesn’t have to be that way. And it’s beginning to look like the states are going to get involved individually in health care. Some already have.
One of the people who replied to my post stated that there is a line of Canadians waiting to get into the U.S. to get health care because their national health care system is so bogged down. Maybe so, but I saw a news report last night where insurance carriers in this country have started approving Americans to go overseas for certain procedures because they can save thousands of dollars over what they’d have to pay out for the same care in this country. In one state, Premera Bluecross will even pay for transportation overseas (coach class of course) as well as paying for the medical treatment and housing while abroad. Patients are finding that instead of having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, they “only” have to pay tens of thousands.
My detractors asked my why I didn’t plan better for such a contingency. Why didn’t we use COBRA to continue my wife’s insurance after her place of employment finally terminated her? We discussed it and debated it and finally took the advice of our bankruptcy attorney not to go with COBRA. I was able to continue our insurance through my place of employment, but it was terribly expensive to add my wife. And how do you plan for something like multiple myeloma? We used to have some money in savings. We have several small retirement IRAs, but we’ve already had to cash one of those in.
One of my favorite saying is, “Don’t whine, or God will make you live longer.” So I’ll stop now. I think I’ll go out and watch for the Publishers Clearinghouse van to pull up.
Thanks for all the prayers and kind words. They are appreciated.