Monday, August 14, 2006

Healthcare

The state of healthcare in this country is a big pile of shit. The place where Chris works is pulling the usual "We'll have you work 39 hours so we don't have to pay for you to have insurance" bullshit. I asked my HR person if I could get him covered under mine, and I can't because we're not married. What. The. Fuck? So, because I don't have a fucking piece of paper, our relationship isn't as legitimate as someone who does. Two people who don't have a piece of paper but who have been together for 3.5 years's relationship doesn't matter as much as 2 people who get drunk in Vegas and get married on a whim's relationship? Let's not let the irony of the fact that only about .0000001% of the clients we have here are married be lost on us. It's discrimination, but it's legal.

I don't even want to get married! As of right now, I feel that the only reason for me to get married would be if I wanted to have children and the thought of having children right now makes me want to commit harri karri. I don't think it's necessary, I don't want yet another way for the government to keep tabs on me, I think marriage is a bullshit institution, 50% of marriages end in divorce, and even though I'm in a monogamous, committed relationship, I don't feel that I'm ready to settle, as it were. But you know what? Even if we were married, it would cost $262.15 PER PAY to insure him. WTF?! The Powers That Be at the insurance companies are sitting pretty while we peons fatten their wallets.

Medical Assistance is out of the question because we make "too much money." But if he were a drug addict or an alcoholic or sat on his ass doing nothing all day, then he could get insurance. I consider myself to be pretty liberal, but I'm not happy with the Medical Assistance program. I work full-time (I will be the first to admit, however, that I do have a pretty cheap insurance premium) yet I have to pay co-pays, pay for my scripts, pay a deductible for labwork, pay a penalty fee if I cancel at the last minute. If I didn't work, everything would be free. Yeah, it's harder to find a place that takes Medical Assistance that it is to find a place that takes private insurance, but still. I should move to Canada *waits for Homeland Security to swarm office*.

16 Comments:

Blogger Kris said...

"I think marriage is a bullshit institution"

From someone who's been happily married for over 8 years...thanks! Real nice.

FWIW, if marriage was not required to add a "partner" to your insurance, how would propose employers validated the relationship? What's to prevent you from adding a friend and/or roommate and just saying it's your 'life partner'?

8/14/2006 10:38 AM  
Blogger noelle feather said...

You are so lucky to have insurance. SO lucky. I'm on my way to have the thyroid procedure, and so far, I've had to pay over $100 bucks for it, and it's going to be more than that, EASILY. I've had to have my blood taken twice, and have had 2 doctor's visits, which easily cost me $100 a pop (for the blood draw) and then $150 for the office visit. The thing that pisses me off so bad is that if I were pregnant, or had a kid, I'd be able to get medi-cal and all my bills would be covered.

But no. I'm a SWF, going to school, working as much as I can, trying to better myself and get an education, and I get screwed up the bum.

Yah, it freaking sucks. And, my doctor said that in a while, most insurances will not COVER pre existing conditions PERIOD. Then, I'll really be screwed up the bum w/out a paddle.

8/14/2006 10:59 AM  
Blogger noelle feather said...

PS! And, I should add that if I were an immigrant (ILLEGAL OR LEGAL) I'd be able to get health insurance! But, here I AM, a freaking American citizen, and I CANNOT get health insurance, that will most likely SAVE MY LIFE.

8/14/2006 11:04 AM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Kris: Everyone's entitled to his or her own opinion. If your marriage is great, good for you! I just don't know a lot of people who are stuck in unhappy marriages or who appear to be shiny and happy on the outside but truly aren't. To me it's a piece of paper.

I don't know how one would prove that someone was one's significant other and not a friend or roommate, but if the premiums are being paid it shouldn't really matter. What about homosexuals? They aren't allowed to marry. Is their relationship any less valid?

Feather: That sucks. I have a deductible for labwork. I went to have my blood taken, was in there less than 15 minutes, and received a $150 bill. And nothing was wrong! Not that I want something to be wrong with me, but it was a complete waste. I'm not sure if illegals would be able to get insurance here since it goes by SSN. I guess if they had a fake one.

8/14/2006 11:18 AM  
Blogger Autumn said...

My sister had to have surgery for cervical cancer when she was 19. Since she doesn't have insurance, she has to pay the bill without any help. When she can't afford to pay more, she pays $5.00 a month; when she can afford to she pays more. She's 23 now and still paying. At the rate she's going she should have it paid off when she's in her 40s.

In Tennessee, where I'm from, Tenn Care, the state health insurance for those who don't have insurance has been cut by more than half. People have been dropped right and left including one gentleman because the state refuses to pay for his dialysis and none of his doctors seem to care. He's been given a death sentence because his kidneys aren't functioning.

It's disgusting that we live in the only industrialized country in the world that doesn't think it's citizens are important enough to keep them healthy. Our government is more concerned about making sure that the drug companies can make a couple of billion dollars a year.

Personally, I wouldn't mind immigrating to somewhere that gives a damn about its citizens.

8/14/2006 11:34 AM  
Blogger noelle feather said...

Autumn, I agree about moving to a place were citizens were treated better. I can tell you, it sure as hell is NOT California. And, yah, JG, in California--for the immigrants (illegal, of course) it's all about the FAKE SSN. Oh and Autumn, was your sister able to apply for help from the hospital? When I had my thyroid surgery, my portion I had to pay was $37,000. The hospital wrote it off, and I didn't receive ANYTHING from the hospital. Granted, they treated me like crap and it was hell in the hospital, but they still wrote off my entire balance. It might be too late now though....

8/14/2006 11:53 AM  
Blogger Dim said...

Not to be argumentative, but if marriage is just a piece of paper, why not get married? If your relationship now is like being married, only without the paper that says it's legal, I don't see the difference.

Not to mention, if significant others were allowed on everyone's health plans, there would be fraud all over the place and your premium would be so high, you probably couldn't pay it.

I'm not defending the insurance companies. I'm just saying what's what.

- D.

8/14/2006 12:44 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

fwiw, Jen you didn't say bad marriages are bullshit, you said this entire institution is bullshit. Nothing like backpedaling on a blanket statement!

I'm with Dim...if it's just a piece of paper, why don't you get one?

Also, it's up to the employer to cover gay couples. My former employer insured gay "spouses" without question.

8/14/2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger B. said...

Good discussion going here. Let me chime in with my 2 cents. I'm not even going to comment on marriage (knowing that I'm a Christian, you already know my opinion). Insurance IS a bunch of crap. My grandfather needed rehab and the insurance companies said no. We are also waiting for a bill from our insurance company for 20% of my husband's diabetic supplies for his insulin pump. Now, our insurance will cover 100% for an alcoholic to be in a 7-day tetox program, but will only pay 80% for supplies my husband needs to STAY ALIVE! Alcoholics make a choice to become that way, my husband did not choose to be a diabetic at age 12.

8/14/2006 3:26 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Autumn: That's so horrible.

Noelle: Sounds like you dodged the bullet on that! I'm surprised they ate that.

Dim: Without getting into the details of my relationship with my boyfriend: #1 We're nowhere near ready to get married and #2 Even if you have an uncontested divorce you still have to pay for it.

Some companies pay for significant others. I understand the possibilty of insurance fraud, but that's just focusing on one possible area of insurance fraud and ignoring the others.

Kris: I'm not backpedaling. I don't like the institution of marriage and at this point I don't wish to be a part of it. I hate all this talk about how things in our society are threatening the sanctity of marriage. Now, if I were a Christian, I know I would feel differently, but I'm not.

See reply to Dim re: why I don't have a piece of paper.

What's the difference between covering gay "spouses" and covering non-married partners? Neither of them are legally married.

B: How heartless can you be to turn someone away from rehab? That has to be a shitty job. What makes J's insulin thing so much worse is that he's not even diabetic because he didn't take care of himself. It was completely unpreventable.

8/14/2006 3:54 PM  
Blogger Funky Smith said...

Looks like you picked a heated topic!

I feel like you; thought marriage was crap. After going out for 4 years and living together for 3 of those years, we eloped to the courthouse. I had to be convinced! Of course I was happy with the decision; I didn't see my life with anyone else, but I just didn't feel like I wanted to be married. I hate all the commercialism of weddings--big expensive dresses, presents, multiple bridesmaids in matching (ugly) gowns. Ugh. Not for me, no thanks.

We did get some benefits from being married--our car insurance went down, and I believe we got a tax break on our paychecks.

That's just my story, I know it's different for everybody.

On the insurance thing, some companies do allow domestic partners and I think they should be supported. The other ones should get petitioned. Makes me HATE people against gay marriage. What are they supposed to do?

Anyway, I used to work at Wachovia and they had domestic partner coverage.

Sorry for all that crap.

8/14/2006 6:44 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Funky: Apparently! If/when I do get married, it's definitely going to be a courthouse deal. No way am I spending that much time and money for something that lasts about 5 hours. Unfortunately I work for a non-profit and they just don't have the money to cover everyone. I really can't complain because my coverage is great.

8/15/2006 9:54 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

You went from -
"I think marriage is a bullshit institution"

to -
"I don't like the institution of marriage and at this point I don't wish to be a part of it."

Sounds like the definition of backpedaling. There's a huge difference between the two statements. The first is a blanket statement encompassing the institution of marriage and everyone who's chosen to be a part of it. The second statement backpedals into a declaration of your personal opinion on the topic and how it affects you.

BTW, I predict you will be married and a mother within 10 yrs. Wait and see.

8/15/2006 10:46 AM  
Blogger Funky Smith said...

Oh man, that Kris sure knows how to piss people off! Urgh!

8/15/2006 3:25 PM  
Blogger Jenny G said...

Serenity now.

8/15/2006 7:25 PM  
Blogger defiant goddess said...

I think in CA they waive the marriage thing if you have a cohabitation agreement. It's like a pre-nup without the nup. lol

But I agree, there are so many things wrong with a system when people who aren't even citizens can get free health care and we have to pay through the nose.

8/20/2006 10:28 PM  

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