Friday, January 9, 2009

Insurance Wars

Good grief.

I've always felt that the insurance companies were a mixed blessing. They're wonderful if you don't need them too much! But heaven forbid you actually USE the services you're PAYING to be insured for. I mentioned in a previous post that my husband's insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, is forcing me to get Medicare because I'm on disability. Basically, they are sick of paying my medical bills, and have found a loophole through which to shove me. Gee, let's punish the sick people even more!!!

I have been checking into this national insurance of ours, and let me tell you, it STINKS. To really know that this is how we "take care of" our elderly and infirm is nothing short of stupefying. This country should be ashamed. I feel horrible that I had no idea what people on Medicare, who are the weak, the mentally or emotionally disabled, the elderly, have to deal with. I've been trying to call the local Social Security Office in Kalamazoo. All I get is a recording saying that all the lines are busy and I should hang up and call again. I have probably called 500 times in the past week, never to get through. And their website is a joke. It's just a big circle with labyrinthian answers.

For me it's not even as bad as it is for older folks, or folks without any other supplemental insurance. Take my parents for example: My mom takes one medication that costs $3700.00 a month. She has acromegaly, a very rare disease in which the pituitary gland never stops making growth hormone. Without the medication she would likely go blind and die from an enlarged heart. But since it's expensive, my parents have to pay 25% of the cost (with Medicate part D which is $61.00 a month for each of them). So that's $986.00 A MONTH for one prescription. That doesn't take into account the "regular" insurance, which costs each of my parents $97.00 a month ( as it will me). Then, after $2700.0o of coverage, the next $4035.00 have to be paid by my parents, and then everything is paid 100%. Well they'll be bankrupt by then! (My dad is one probably 8 or 9 medications).

PLEASE tell me what senior citizen, mentally handicapped, emotionally impaired, or disabled person can afford $17031.00 a year for Medicare insurance with ONE prescription????? A lot of folks on Social Security don't even MAKE that much! I'm on 7 prescription drugs. Thank the Lord, the BCBS supplemental insurance will cover prescriptions. Otherwise I don't know what I'd do. Without my CellCept, my quality of life is not half what it is now. I have no idea if Medicare will cover plasmapheresis either, or how much of it they will pay.

Oh, another absurd problem with Medicare coverage: they don't pay for preventative care. For diabetics, they pay for supplies, which is good, and they pay for hemoglobin A1C test twice a year. But they don't pay for an endocrinologist to follow you. It's ridiculous.

I did not vote for Obama, nor am I looking forward to living in a Socialist country, but if he can fix this inane medical system, kudos for him.

It's hard enough dealing with the everyday challenges of living with myasthenia gravis and raising a 2 year I have to fight tooth and nail just to get medical coverage for a disease I am stuck with, but sure as heck didn't ask for. In this country, you can't afford to be sick, and many can't even afford to die. Unacceptable.

God Bless America.


Leigh@intentslife said...

God bless America, indeed. Heaven knows we need it. Our insurance premiums are going up 15% this year and what we pay now is unbelievable.

Just think, Heaven will be an insurance free zone - hallelujah!

Love ya, friend. Hang in there! :)

Laura said...

I am in agreement with you Kerri. My best friend has narcolepsy. One of the medications for narcolepsy caused a "sagginess in her blood vessels". She has since had 4 aneurisms. The anti-seizure medications was $1700 for 21 days worth. Medicaid wouldn't pay for it so they put it on their credit card. Then this anti-seizure medication is causing all of her teeth to literally fall apart. Guess what, medicaid doesn't give you dental coverage if you are over 19 years of age.

It's a farce. But if you write your congressman or representative they just send you a form letter response because they're too busy with their own platforms.

And don't even get me started on the mental illness issues as Krysten's caseworker hasn't been in touch with her in 7 weeks.

Ok I'm done now.

Renee said...

It is very frightening to realize what has become of our country with the insurance companies and pharmacutical companies in charge.....I am hopeful for a change with our medical system. We all need it....I keep holding my breath with long term treatment for LYme and wondering when our insurance BCBS decides I should be cured so cuts off paying anymore..