Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Let Just Anyone Knock You Up

In the newest chapter of the book I'm going to write about being smart about who you let knock you up, the midget's biological father has now made our financial situation even crappier. See, for the last three years the midget has had health insurance through her step-mother because her father is required to provide health care if it's available through his work. At the time, it was available through his employer, but it was cheaper for them to go through his wife's employer.

Fast forward three years and he's quit his reliable, good paying job with benefits to go work for minimum wage and no benefits, and due to the state's financial woes his wife has also lost her job. Normally I wouldn't care, and might even feel some petty, malicious glee, but this means my little drama queen loses her health insurance.

Now, because I'm sick and can't work, I do get Medicaid through the state, and so does she, so it's not like we'd have to wrap her in bubble wrap to keep her from breaking an arm or something. She still gets to go to the doctor and the dentist and would have access to emergency care and all of that. It wouldn't be the best care, but she'd have something.

So, where's the problem? Well...the midget, brilliant, beautiful, funny girl that she is also deals with ADHD. Not like the kind of kids whose parents just don't want to parent them, but the kind of kid that is really, really smart but she can't just can't sit still or stop talking or actually focus for more than a few minutes. We had a really hard time with the idea of putting her on medication. It was the last thing I wanted to do, especially before the pediatrician talked us through it and I did the research.

Now, everyone's heard of Ritalin and lots of people have heard about Adderall. They're first generation drugs and have tons of icky side effects, not the least of which is heart disease. So, her doctor recommended Concerta, which is the same class of drug as Ritalin, but more refined with more even results. It's also extended release which means its effects last for the whole day, while Ritalin requires two to three doses during the day.

So, Cass has been on this medication for over two years and is doing really well with it. She hasn't had any bad side effects, and it's worked wonders for her in school.

Well, this being a great drug, it's fairly new and of course there is no generic and therefore it's not covered by Medicaid. Which means either we pay the $147 for a one month prescription, or we start going through the medications that Medicaid does cover, all of which have the same side effects. And all of which are as likely to work as not. And school starts in three weeks, so we'd have to start the school year with her trying new medications to see what works. Not fun.

Now, getting back to where it's the sperm donor's fault we're facing this issue. He told me two weeks ago that her coverage ended on the first of August, but that we were going to work on something to get her covered. So, a week and a half went by with me saying, "What's the story on her insurance, what are we going to do?" And he kept saying, "We'll get her covered through a private plan. I'll look into it." Then on Sunday, he tells me that he can't find coverage because of her pre-existing condition, ADHD.

Except that the insurance company's website (her current insurance) makes it clear that so long as the "pre-existing condition" has been covered by a credible insurer. So, since I wanted to go through that carrier, anyway, I pointed this out. And of course at that point he decides to finally tell the truth, which is that he never meant to insure her at all, that we could put her on Ritalin or whatever works and that it's not his problem or responsibility.

So, I talked to the insurance company about the situation to find out what our options were in terms of continuing her coverage and of course I find out that if her insurance lapses for even a few days she will become uninsurable because of her pre-existing condition. So, we really can't have her go without insurance, because what happens when I get better and go back to work and have to get her insurance, but I can't because of this pre-existing condition. She's only eight, we're talking years where she can't get sick or injured, she can't have her medications, (because she also needs prescription allergy meds).

I explained all of this to her father, and he just doesn't care. It's not his problem. I finally lost my temper and told him that Jamie and I would take care of it just like we do everything else in her life, and that he could go on playing at being a part time weekend father and stopped talking to him about it.

We went ahead and filed the paperwork and applied for insurance coverage for her. It's going to end up costing us more than we can really afford to spend, but I just can't see not having her medication, or face a future where she may be not covered by any kind of health care. In all likelihood we'll have to stretch our dollars farther than is possible. Jamie is talking about selling her drums to finance the first six months of her insurance.

This idiot we call her father would rather keep his drums, guitars, guns and play time and money rather than care for his daughter. I could happily say "Screw You" and we want nothing to do with you, but that would be highly unfair to her because seh loves her dad.

So, we suck it up, buy her insurance and just make the best of it. I hope her father come sot her senses, but I'm not holding my breath.

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