RE: Life, insurance, flu shots, etc.

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Umm, ahem, um, is this thing still on?

Oh! Hello there. How are you? It’s been a few hot minutes hasn’t it? Sorry about that. I’ve been busy keeping my head above water over here. You know, splashing around and wailing and scream-crying (mostly in my car).

Things are much calmer now. My bank account is in the black, my brother (who is now living on my couch) has officially held down a (full-time!!) job for more than two weeks, and neither my cable nor my cell phone were shut off even once.

That’s in large part because my mom is awesome. No, more awesome than that. Seriously.

Life hasn’t been cake for her these days, but as always she pulled some random things together and everything seems to be getting back on the right track again.

Well, you know except for the fact that nobody in my family has health insurance. Well, I have health insurance, sure. And my dad is on Medicare, I think. But well, due to a sad series of events, my mom, my two brothers and my little sister no longer have access to affordable medical care.

The crappiest part though isn’t even the lack of medical insurance, but the fact that my sister currently has braces on her teeth but no longer has dental coverage. I’m pretty sure she’s had serious fears about the orthodontist demanding to immediately take off her braces if they can’t pay. So pray about that, ya?

The frustrating thing is that my two brothers both are working full time, and my little sister is 12. There is no reason ever in the world that those three people should not have medical insurance in the United States of America.

And seeing as how my mom bore said children, and then raised them and everything, it just seems to me that she too should have some sort of medical coverage. At least for emergency care.

My brother (the one living with me) randomly got the legit flu last week. I admit, at first I was very older-sister about the whole thing, all, “You JUST got this job. You have to go to work. I’ve gone to work sick a bazillion times. That’s what adults do. So get your butt to work.”

And to his credit, he did just that for two days. But on the third day he was so weak that while trying to bath himself and he literally fell asleep in the water. At that point, I was all, “FINE. Let me see if you have a temperature. ”

He did.


So then I felt bad for him. And after much prayer/anxiety-filled decision making, we decided it would be best if he went to his job and told them he wanted to work there with all his heart and soul but that he didn’t exactly have the strength to stand up right now. Thank the Lord in heaven right now that they were cool about it.

After I tucked him in to couch to go to sleep, I started to play my favorite mind game – worry about everything ever.  Which off course led my brain to the possibility that my brother would end up with pneumonia and die.

Dude has had it once before, so it’s not really that far-fetched people. Just sayin’.

I got super nervous that he would need medical care and started Googling for signs its time to take someone to the hospital. And then, of course, I got even more freaked out because he doesn’t have medical insurance.

I mean, ya, I know, they would HAVE to treat him. But they would also have the right to charge him exactly one arm, one leg and one first born child for said treatment. Not exactly the kind of bill he or anyone else in my family is in a position to pay right now.

Luckily, after he slept for about 48 hours straight, his fever went down and he regained the strength to bath himself so we never did end up having to go to the doctor.

But the point is, going to the doctor shouldn’t cause financial panic. Not in America.

And I don’t understand why he works full time and doesn’t have insurance. And I don’t understand why I work two jobs, but I can’t put any of my immediate family members onto my insurance plan. And I don’t understand people who think the health care system in American is awesome.

I just don’t.

The good news is, my company gave me a free flu shot this year (the nurse came to our offices and everything), so I was totally golden illness wise. Good thing the one with the medical insurance won’t need to be seeing a doctor for the flu anytime soon, huh?


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  1. Having worked in health care, I know too much…

    The good: Many hospitals/health care systems have Foundations, which essentially are able to cover health care costs for underinsured people (even as homeowners, when my other half was uninsured and needed an ER visit, we were able to get some of the costs dropped…lots of paperwork, but worth it). Look, especially for, nonprofit hospitals/health care systems. There are also sometimes clinics – for the day-to-day stuff – in most communities with a sliding scale for the underinsured (we have one here).

    Sadly, too many people deal with this. Including us. J hasn’t been to the dentist in more years than I’d like to admit due to no insurance coverage. So now we will spend our lives paying to fix his teeth. Hate.

    Good luck, friend. 🙂

  2. Thanks Mandy!

    I’ve heard about a lot of those programs, but I haven’t done much research lately, so I’ll have to look into some of those things in my area.

    And, if you makes you feel any better, I have dental insurance and I still don’t go because I don’t want to pay the co-pays. In fact, I still have two wisdom teeth because I would need major surgery to have them removed, and it would result in a lot of out-of-pocket costs.

    P.S. I miss you. Hope all is awesome for you. 🙂

  3. Have you looked up whether your sister is eligible for AllKids (AllKids is different than Medicaid. AllKids is basically insurance for kids whose parents would be classified as “working poor.”. AllKids includes medical and dental coverage. Then if your sister gets on AllKids, your mom would probably qualify for FamilyCare, the sister program of AllKids. Also, UIC has a great dental clinic that does a lot of pro bono work, and The dental hygienist program at Harper College offers free teeth cleanings. For your brother, if he just needs to see a doctor/ nurse practitioner, consider a minute clinic/ take care health center. They accept private pay, and the average cost of a visit is about $75-80, much less than the ER. I hope this helps. Facebook message me if you have any more questions about this stuff- my actual job all day every day is to help people get access to health care even when they can’t afford it.

  4. I don’t have any helpful advice like the previous commenters, but I just wanted to say that you’re absolutely right, it’s wrong and DISGUSTING that our national priorities are this screwed up.

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