Wednesday, February 10, 2010

i can't believe we have to worry about this

You watch the news and hear the numbers about unemployment, uninsured Americans, foreclosed homes, but it doesn't seem real.

Until it happens to you, I guess.

My mom is in a waiting game, hanging around until she gets the call that she's been laid off. It is a certainty she'll receive the call. She works in a California public school, and she's been told the call is going to come soon. Very soon.

She is also wading her way through the disastrous web of information regarding retirement, Social Security, pensions, and health insurance. Ahhh, health insurance. I never imagined I would hear so much about health insurance from my parents, and I never imagined it would hit so hard, so close.

My parents cannot retire, because they cannot afford health insurance. My dad has diabetes and some heart problems, and this makes them ineligible for lots of different programs until he is 65, at least, which means my mom needs to keep working for at least a few more years. Health insurance for them now is prohibitively expensive. We're talking $1,000+ per month, which would be bad for anyone, but especially for two people living off of Social Security and their savings. Even if one or both of them finds a part-time job, which will be hard because no one wants to hire older adults, they'll still be struggling just to pay their premiums.

My mom spends her evenings researching different health care possibilities, and even considers not going to doctor's visits because she doesn't want to be flagged with a pre-existing condition that will make it difficult for her to receive health insurance also. At least if it is only my dad, she'll wait a couple of years and then he'll be eligible for Medicare. She has a few more years before she'll be 65 and eligible herself.

Tell me in what world it makes sense for my parents to feel trapped and frustrated and worried and lose sleep and PUT OFF MEDICAL EXAMS because they are worried about health insurance???

It is crazy and infuriating and makes me want to cry because I know how worried they are about all of this. They've even talked about moving back to Argentina because health insurance is guaranteed there. So they'll leave the country they've lived in for 35 years, the country to which they are citizens, where their daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren live, just because they can't afford to live here if they have to pay for their own health insurance.

Totally fucking fair, that's what this is.

8 comments:

ttulizzy said...

It totally isn't fair.

My mom got laid off at the end of Jan. She knew it was coming, in fact it got delayed several times over the past 6 months.

Thankfully they don't have the severity of the health issues your parents do, but there are still lots of pills and things keep popping up.

It sucks. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Sasha said...

It is infuriating. And those people who say we do not need healthcare reform can seriously suck it. I hope their children fall ill the day after they get laid off. And you know what? I almost really mean that. They deserve it for their selfish disregard of others.

Chatty Cricket said...

WAIT! Do you want me to call my Mom and find out what your parents' options are? It depends on what the law is in California, but my Mom might know something (she's a benefits administrator for her school district).

Otherwise? Tell them to MOVE TO MA.

I don't understand people who don't understand the need for affordable health care. And you KNOW what side of the aisle I typically fall on. Albeit the very moderate side.....

Summer said...

Oh, I'm banging my head for you! It just infuriates me that the right wing did such an effective job of killing healthcare reform AGAIN, convincing their loyal cadre of the ill-informed that it was about "freedom" when really it was about protecting the profits of the insurance industry. Instead, we have US citizens contemplating moving to South America because they can't afford to insure themselves in the states.

I really hope things work out for your parents.

Stacy said...

I understand. I have been without health insurance for 15 years.

Tell them to check with their state. In our state there is a program for adults that cannot afford traditional health insurance or have no coverage. Here its called healthy indiana plan.

Check into medicaid, they may be able to get it before medicare.

Aak the doctors and hospitals if they have an income based program. My local dr. does my visits for $15 cuz of my income. Noramally its almost 100.

Check the $4 lists at places like walmart, kroger, and such to see if their prescriptions are on them.

Most drug companies also have programs for low income people.

HTH
HUGS

Anonymous said...

Hope things turn around and they found suitable options. THis is so stressful and so not fair.

liz said...

What they all said and also (((HUGS))).

Kristin said...

That sucks so much and makes me want to go bang Sarah Palin and her ilk over the head with something made of cast iron. Regardless of political affiliation, how is it not totally obvious to everyone that we need health care reform? It sucks that so many Americans have been tricked into believing health care for everyone equals "communism."