Too Many Resources

The U.S. needs healthcare reform.  That is not news in and of itself, but our story is unique.  We have 4 children.  I make $2400 per month.  I can’t quit (not that I want too).  I can’t get a raise even though I’m definitely owed it, and my bosses want to give it to me.  The problem? Resources.

I’m both the last person who is interested in discussing this topic, and one of those who probably needs to speak up more at the same time.  My wife is legally disabled due to brain tumors.  We discovered this at the most inopportune time when we were “between jobs” so to speak.  We signed up for personal healthcare, but Marque had already been getting migraines and BlueCross had deemed anything head related uninsurable.  This is something that group health insurance cant do, but if you are getting private insurance, they can stick it to you.  And they will.  And they did.  Our healthcare system badly needs reform.

Just before all this happened I had begun the process of starting a non-profit ministry. In the midst of the physical and emotional trauma of it all, we came to realize that because my income was so low, we qualified for SSI (Social Security Income).  We didn’t necessarily want government money, but it was the only route that a younger person can take to also get Medicaid.  With the crazy amount of potentially expensive hospital bills we could foresee coming soon, we applied and were accepted.

What an amazing country we live in that my wife could basically get free healthcare because we were, and are, technically poor.  This was a major blessing and I will be forever grateful for it.  However, over 3 years later we are still on SSI and Medicaid.  We don’t want to be, but we practically must stay on it since she isn’t healthy and we have 4 kids that all prefer to eat food on a daily basis.  Yet still, someone has to help us with groceries too.

This reality has caused some difficulties that surprises many people.  I may go into greater detail in future posts, but here are just a handful of the bizarre things that have happened at the hands of SSI/Medicaid:

  • Marque is still uninsurable unless I join a large group healthcare plan.  In my field of expertise, that simply does not exist.
  • A SSI employee indirectly yet quite clearly told me to not work so much.
  • When I made a few extra bucks working a side job, the government tried to revoke medicaid because we had “too many resources.”  I had to figure out a way to legally find multiple expenses to blot out the appearance of financial gain.
  • When we didn’t blow through our entire tax-refund check within 30 days, the government tried to revoke medicaid. This came at a time when she had just had her third brain surgery in four months. Their reasoning: Too many resources.  My reasoning: I was paying someone for house repair that I’m ill equipped to do myself, and they hadn’t submitted a bill yet.  Their response: Too bad.  My response:  I had to get a U.S. Congressman to get involved. Thank God for that help!
  • Last summer our 4 kids had combined savings accounts totaling nearly $1500.  Though this had been the case for many years, previously unstated and unclear rules of SSI were suddenly to be enforced, and the government tried to revoke medicaid once again because we had “too many resources.”
  • We own one car with 173k miles on it. It needs replaced. I can’t afford to upgrade.  It’s not worth very much. My salary is capped in such a way that if I make even a few more dollars a month, once again the government will try to revoke medicaid because we have “too many resources.”
  • My wife is still not healthy.  Just one of her hospital stays last year was billed at $40k. She will likely need to return in the future.  We can’t afford to “not” have medicaid.

    Do we sound like a family with too many resources?

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