Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Things That Make Me Angry

After I took one semester off teaching to give birth to Phoebe, I lost my health insurance. Since I am a part-time teacher, my insurance eligibility depends on how many hours I teach, and missing those few months made me fall below the minimum amount of hours needed to get on the group plan. I paid for cobra for several months, but it was nearly $600 per month for me alone, and we just couldn't afford it.
Todd, who is self-employed, hasn't has health insurance since he started his own business several years ago. The high costs have just made it something that we can not afford.
The kids are on plans, but Todd and I have just been focused on preventative care and paying any health needs (like for my asthma medications) out of pocket. However, a few weeks ago, Todd and I decided that we should really get on a health insurance plan. So, we got online and filled out an application for a family insurance plan.
Two days later we each got a letter in the mail, and each of us was separately denied for coverage. Todd, who was in a car accident in January, is currently being treated by chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists... and his entire treatment is (and will be) covered by personal injury protection through our car insurance. We even submitted a note on our application stating that we would not be seeking coverage for anything related to his accident. DENIED.
I have asthma, which I have had my whole life, and I do have to take medication for it. Additionally, the application asked if I had ever had any miscarriages. I reported honestly, and said that I had had 2, both of which I waited out and did not seek any treatment for. I also included a note that said that we are not planning on having any more children, so the fact that we have previously had 2 miscarriages is irrelevant because we have no plans to try and conceive again. My letter stated that I had been denied coverage because of multiple miscarriages and asthma. DENIED.
So, what are people, like me, supposed to do? The cost of health care is astronomical as it is, but to have health insurance, you must have a job that offers it to you. Otherwise, asthma, miscarriages, car accidents- these things that can happen to anyone, make you un-insurable. So, if my family decides that health insurance is something that we need, one of us would have to quit our jobs and take a job (if we could get hired) at a big corporation that would offer us an insurance plan.
How can the simple act of having health care be such a stressful situation? I exercise, eat well, and take care of my body, yet I am not insurable. So, for now, my hubby and I have our fingers crossed that we will stay relatively healthy and that nothing major will happen to either of us. It is a tough game of chance to play, but what choice do we have?

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  1. I totally understand and empathize with you. We have been in your same boat. I have a similar story about an exclusion being put on our then 18-year-old son for surgery he had when he was seven which was completely healed and was to correct a condition which he was born with and could not possibly come back!! The insurance company would not even listen to reason. My current health insurance as a teacher has a $5000 deductible! Fortunately my husband's insurance only has a $1,000 deductible. I thought that "health care reform" would correct this and hopefully it will, eventually. Health care in this country needs to be different...really it does. Don't know what your political leanings are, but if you haven't,watch Michael Moore's movie "Sicko" which really hits the nail on the head about health insurance!

  2. Just awful- no one should go into financial ruin if they get sick and yet if you can't even get insured that is a huge risk that you take-
    Is the Obama Care plan going to change this?

  3. Have you checked out this website: Since your husband is self employed there should be some organization that could help. My dad was self employed and through a small business assoc was able to obtain health insurance. If I remember the association I'll email you more.

    I hope you find something soon. And you should write to the your representative, senator-squeak and squawk they might point you in the right direction.

  4. How infuriating!! I'm so sorry!

    I can relate a little bit...we haven't had healthcare until this past year, and we will only have it for a few years. Sigh.

    I hope that you find something that works for you!

  5. Yikes!! So sorry, hope something works out for you.

  6. This should make you and all of us angry. This is just plain wrong. I am so sorry. I wish that I had a solution for you and so many others in the same situation. Keep us posted.