Since I have a guest blog posting today, with my testimony about Breast Cancer, I thought I would write a bit about insurance coverage, 20 years ago vs insurance coverage now, since my testimony includes the challenge of “How do we pay for this?” when I was first diagnosed with BC 20 years ago. If you have not yet read my testimony as a guest on “Overcoming With God” (OWG), here is a link to that blog post: My Breast Cancer Testimony (Guest Blog)
The prior 6 months had been a time of financial challenge for us after Jon lost his job and it took several months to find a new one. During that time, we had qualified for the new Oregon Health Plan (OHP); however, my diagnosis came as our coverage was ending. At that point in time you only had to qualify for OHP by making less than than the poverty level during the month you applied ONLY!
After a phone call to our state senator, who had helped get the OHP into place, and whose wife was also fighting breast cancer, we were told to “Do what ever you have to do to make sure you don’t fall into the cracks”. This entailed having my surgeon write a letter to OHP stating that due to a life threatening illness, I need coverage to continue with a break, and would be needing my husband’s help in my care (thus explaining his missing work, and since he was a contract employee at the time, if he didn’t work, he didn’t get paid–no sick pay or vacation) and then told to make sure he did not work any more days than would still keep us qualified. Because of this, he was able to be with me at most of my appointments and surgery’s during that first month, and then our coverage was reinstated for six more months. By the time this coverage ended once again, Jon had been made a permanent employee and he then qualified once again for insurance–meaning that most of my care was covered 100% by OHP.
Now, you have to qualify for the same income level for the month before, the current month AND the coming month! We were able to qualify during the month of my diagnosis by Jon limiting his work days/hours and thus have insurance coverage for my care. Had this occurred now, and we were in the same financial situation, we would NOT have qualified for care. (From what I understand, if you are not a pregnant female or child, you will be unlikely to qualify from OHP now…) Somehow, it is not clear that we have made much progress in our healthcare coverage in 20 years. What do you think?
Note: This was in regards to OHP–NOT ObamaCare, as I have not had any experience with ObamaCare as yet, I don’t feel I can comment on ‘the new healthplan’..