Friday, October 15, 2010

Our Health Insurance Ordeal

I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since we brought our precious Brielle home! The time has flown by, and she is adjusting so well to our family! I am so thankful she knows she is loved and taken care of, and she picks up everything so quickly. She is truly a master imitator which means that when my boys do things like "forget" their table manners, she jumps in right along with them banging her spoon and making buzzing noises. She still does the cutest little shoulder shaking dance when she is excited and lets out piercing squeals of delight.

Our biggest struggle thus far has been battling some oozing infections on her head that the doctors believe to be impetigo but could possibly be fungal in nature. She also still has diarrhea everyday leading to may diaper and out fit changes. The main reason I have not been able to put a stop to all this nonsense except by giving her antibiotics and a thorough, painful routine of picking through her hair and putting cream on all her sores is that we have been having a horrific ordeal with our health insurance company. We were told that she would be added from day 1, but being an individual family plan in Tennessee she had to go through medical underwriting which we assumed would not be a big deal since she has no chronic illness. Also, I had falsely been led to believe by several health insurance informational sites that they would be required to pay for the first 31 days of her being home. Unfortunately this is for group plans only which are regulated at the federal level and not at the State like ours. Tennessee has very few restrictions on what insurance companies may and may not do. Therefore when our company came back and said that because she was not up to date on all immunizations (being from Ethiopia where many are not available) it would be $700 extra per month to add her on in addition to what we are paying for the rest of us (which is around $400 total). The Healthcare bill is a playing a huge role in this amount! My mouth dropped as the implications of this catch 22 became evident: we would now be saddled with an $800 dollar bill from initial doctor's visits and vaccines that occurred before we found this out. Of course our small church can not afford to pay $700/month extra and of course we can not pay this huge medical bill now, but we are trusting in the Lord and praying that our doctor's office will by chance have mercy and lower the amount we now owe them.

Thankfully, there is a program called Cover Kids Tennessee for lower income families whose kids are unable to get health insurance. We just found out yesterday that beginning Nov. 1st, she will be covered by this insurance and it will most likely mean less out of pocket than our other insurance. Praise the Lord! Perhaps in a year we will apply again once she is caught up on all her vaccinations and then hopefully be added on for no additional cost.

All that said--I can't wait for Nov. 1st so I can take her in and get her labs done and scalp cultured if we manage to not be able to rid this infection before then! To all of you who are adopting and have group health insurance consider yourself very blessed. If it's individual coverage you have---make sure you know your State's laws regarding adopted children. Tennessee has no protection for adopted children in this regard. I pray that this changes in the future, but for now, I am thankful for His provision through Cover Kids.

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