Monday, September 21, 2009

Health Insurance Woes...Part II

It's been awhile since my health insurance meltdown that I shared with you all, and in light of this week's events, I thought I'd give you an update. I've been fairly good lately when it comes to worrying about our health insurance options. Occasionally, I'd start to worry, Ronnie would crack a few jokes about how ridiculous I was being, and I'd be alright. This last week however, we had some (potentially) devastating news.

We received an email on Thursday from Ronnie's mother, forwarded from the President of the University of Arizona (Ronnie's beloved alma mater and his mom's employer) stating, "Governor Brewer signed House Bill 2013 which states: "For the purposes of this section, beginning October 1, 2009, 'dependent' means spouse under the laws of this state, a child who is under nineteen years of age or is under twenty-three years of age and a full-time student."

What does this mean you ask? This means, that by a strict interpretation of the new legislation, Ronnie will no longer be covered on his mom's insurance (as it does not mention anything about disabled adult children). Ronnie and I spent all morning calling government office to government office, trying to get a clear-cut answer about his coverage. Not a single person had a definite answer, and any answers we were given were quickly refuted by another government employee.

At the end of the day we realized what the clear-cut answer was: there wasn't one. The Attorney General's office was still "interpreting the language" (AKA deciding if they wanted to include disabled adult children in the "dependents" status or not). We were told there would be an answer "shortly" and "in a timely manner". And man, I hope "timely" actually means timely because October 1st is 10 days away!!

So for today, we are sitting, waiting and hoping. Come October 1st, we'll be scrambling, but for today, we are just hoping. Ronnie, not surprisingly at all, has remained calm, cool and collected throughout the process - My steady-Eddy. And I have, really surprisingly, not felt worried. I don't know if it's just that God has started teaching me to trust, or because I have an undying faith in other people to do the right thing (I truly think it was an over-sight and they'll decide that disabled adult children are still covered). I have a feeling it is a combination of both.

We'll keep you posted. If you live in AZ, are over 23, and are covered under your parent's insurance as a disabled dependent because they work for the state...leave a message and we'll make sure to get you news as soon as we hear anything!

8 people had something to say...:

Jesse Petersen said...

Sounds like it's time to pony up to a job with your own bennies, Ronnie. I had to get my own back in '99 due to the dependent definition and have probably paid out a good $100k in healthcare since, between company-provided, COBRA, and individual policies over the years.

Insurance was a huge consideration with every job (earn enough to pay for individual insurance or enroll in the company plan) and is now our second biggest expense, right behind the mortgage... but it beats paying full price for care since Creon and Pulmozyme are $2k/mo alone. Just look at it as a discount club for healthcare and make out-earning the costs a new priority.

NoExcuses said...

i'm right there with jesse. all CFer's have to think about this - getting a job with bennies.

Many CFer's aren't in love with their jobs, but we chose them due to the health insurance benefits we need.

It's just something adults do :)

Katelyn said...

I know how frustrating, and terrifying, insurance can be. I had to take a job that isn't technically my dream job because I will officially be out from under my parent's insurance umbrellas as of October 1. It's a frustrating thing to have to deal with, but it's necessary, as I know you are well aware of. I'll be praying for you both and that there will be some form of clarification for you, and soon!

JulieStarrk said...

It's not that easy getting a job a with benefits. I am about to lose my insurance and cannot seem to get a job. It's not that easy just to grab a job with benefits. I am working and going to school fulltime--I can't drop school OR work, and can't get a second full time job with benefits, especially since those benefits won't kick in immediately, which i need them to since I am also epileptic ( I need medication EVERYDAY just to function without having a seizure, I can't have a waiting period in between benefits kicking in). We have been struggling with this for awhile. I definitely feel for you Ronnie. Best of luck,

Julie

Kat said...

In response to the idea that you need to get a "job" leaves me speechless. First of all, that assumes that you do not have a job. I have yet to email you and find more than an hour delay in response time, I have yet to meet a parent that has talked with you that hasn't felt like speaking with you has changed their life and perspective on how they are with their children and their entire perspective on CF. I know none of this brings you health benefits, but it brings all those you touch health benefits. I hope that somehow this all works out for you because your support in the CF world is a full time job and is more appreciated than you will ever know.

Lovin Lane said...

I agree with Kat, I really do not know how you keep up with Run Sickboy Run, it alone is a full time job and is priceless.... I pray God will work this all out for you... I always kinda wondered how you qualified for insurance with your parents, thanks for shaing because the lack of Insurance in the future is a concern I have... I dont know how people do it...

Mandi said...

Ronnie would never tell you this so I will. While Ronnie has not had a job that gives benefits, being on his mom's insurance has enabled him to bless others. In the last ten years he coached football, started a t-shirt company, started a non-profit t-shirt and jewelry company that benefitted children's charities, started a cafe in a homeless shelter to raise funds for the shelter, is currently starting another non-profit and doing RSR.

It may be time to find a job with his own benefits, but it would be at an extreme loss for the community.

Katey said...

WOW! I know how frustrating this is! Thankfully in Alabama, they do include adults in the dependent clause (or whatever it is called) and I am able to say on my parent's insurance plan as long as I am termed "disabled." There is no age limit, and no full-time student clause as well. For "normal" kids/adults, in our BC/BS of AL plans, the full time student clause was removed, and the age limit was set at 23.

Of course, when I graduate from nursing school(or take a job with my 1st degree---), I will be required to get my own insurance, and that always worries me! I keep praying I can get a job that offers great insurance, and it will not be difficult for the plan to accept me with my CF diagnosis. Also, there is a slight possibility my Dad will retire before I graduate, and that would remove me from the insurance, and add another twist.

I'll be praying for you both regarding this issue!