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Uninsurance: Bless You, Now Shut Up

NOTE: The following is an update, a rant, and a purge. I'm not asking for advice or chin-upping. (Unless, of course, you can put me on your insurance plan (har)). Please don't exhaust me by giving me polite advice to deflect or answer.  

Been awake for a while. The crushing reality that I have two weeks to find two special needs kids medical coverage is back upon me.

I found out yesterday my kids no longer qualify for Medicaid because of my income. Their benefits are over in two weeks. In two weeks, I have to find them a new provider, no mean feat as I have  cartoonist's income (meaning very low). However, I still make too much money, even for CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program). (Not CHiPs, by the way. There's no Erik Estrada in this. I want to scream when people call CHIP "Chips.")

Summer and Fox can't teeter along without benefits since they both have mental health issues (and Fox a disability) that require medication and therapy. Not to put too fine a point on it, their care is life-saving. It's horrifying to me to contemplate Summer's depression when she doesn't have her medication, or Fox negotiating a school day without anxiety.

So today begins another disheartening search for care for them. So many roads lead straight back to where we don't qualify: Medicaid and CHIP. I'm hoping to draw on resources I've already been able to use.

Fox is going to lose speech therapy, which has helped him learn to negotiate social settings with less disasters and more confidence. He's also going to lose the twice-weekly companionship of his therapist Maxine. He's not going to understand why.

Which leads to the purge:

I remember sniggering and righteous loftiness on Twitter about a mom who barricaded herself into a Health and Human Services building here in Texas and posted to Facebook from her phone before killing herself and trying to kill her children. "Why did she have a phone? Why not buy food?"

Let's tackle that phone thing, first:
Try living without a phone when you're waiting for news about a job, help, your kids. I've lived w/o a phone, any phone. It sucks.More importantly, the barrier to having a smart phone is real damn low.

Now the food:
The barriers to insurance and food assistance, Medicaid and SNAP, are very high: hours in waiting rooms, paperwork, having a place to live already, child care (or not). There's a price extracted in worry, too: crushing worry that comes from an unrelentingly unsettled state of finance and mind.

Bless you if you never had insurance that your kids required for their mental health yanked out from under you. I've had it happen twice now. My kids are resilient, but resilience doesn't keeps them in medicine or therapy that, in turn, gives them quality of life.

You're not going to find me barricaded in a government building posting to Facebook and waving a gun, but I understand that anger and helplessness. Bless you again if you don't have that rage and fear and have the glib luxury to tell someone to just sell their phone and go buy groceries or get a job.

Bless you, and until you turn in your phones, insurance, stability, and dignity, shut up.


Feb. 17th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
That really sounds like it's stressful and nasty, and I hope things get better for you.


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