Monday, March 24, 2008

It has come to this.....

Our finances are so difficult right now. My husband works hard. But we can not afford healthy insurance at the new company.The new company charges at least 600 dollars per month for eoverage. We can not afford that and eat and pay rent and utilities. If I went to work what I could earn would all go to day care and after school care costs. With Christopher's needs we can not afford to go without insurance, plus I have to be ready to pick him up on a moments notices if he has a severe attack or eats something by accident he is allergic too. I have tried to find kids to baby sit. I did get one ingquiry but she wanted me to watch 3 kids ages 6-11 from 3:00 pm to 10:30 pm at NIGHT! When would I have time for my own children. I would be raising her kids in the afternoon and helping them with homework etc and they would be at school in the day, when would they have parent time. I can't raise someone else's kids at the expense of my own family's time. Coverage from his old job runs out at the end of the month. So today I have applied to state covered insurance through Tenn Care for kids, for our kids only. We are not applying for any other assistance despite the fact we could probably qualify and use it. But I pray I so pray we can at least get insurance for the children. We are so frustrated. We have cut expenses, we don't eat out or go to movies.....or if we do it is once in a blue moon. Easter......our kids got the bare minimum and my inlaws bought their Easter outfits.

Years ago I worded for the office that determines benefits for families in need. Too often I saw workers judging the people who came in and asked for assitance. I said then and I say it now. we are all one paycheck away from needing assitance. When you have to choose between feeding your kids or taking your sick child to the doctor for medical care it is time to ask for help. Today's society makes it shameful to ask for help even when you legitimately need help. You don't even want to mention that you have applied. But we have to do something. Our income is below the poverty level for a family of 5 despite how hard my husband works. God has met our needs but with insurance running out we MUST do something NOW. I hesitate to mention it but you know my kids needs have to come above my pride. I hope and pray they approve us today. Oh God please, cause my babies need insurance. We could probably qualify for foodstamps and it would help but myself and my dh do not want to have to jump through those hoops unless applying for medical coverage does not help the situation. My husband can't get his head around having to ask for help as it is, he would feel even worse if we had food stamps. He feels shame because he says he is not a good provider.....but the man is doing all HE can. He is working. He is NOT lazy and takes whatever shift or hours he is given.

So off I go to see if I can get some help for my kiddos. I will post later in reply how it goes.


Thelma said...

Update: utter failure......sigh. Christopher was denied based on our income and his age, Jennifer and Hannah would qualify for a short time only. So Mike will have to continue to work 2 jobs in order for us to pay for insurance at his new job. We could get CoverKids if we did not have insurance for the kids for 3 MONTHS! With Christopher's needs and constant medical issues we can NOT go without insurance for any period of time.....much less 3 months! I am frustrated. Mike will have to continue to work like a mule in order for us to survive at the cost of family time. But we MUST have insurance. There is no other option.

If we lied, and said Mike was not in the home we could get it. If I had more children by more than 1 baby daddy........I could get it. But as an intact family.....we can get NADA. I am not passing judgement on others, just frustrated because I know how the system works. Some people, abuse the system and get loads of benefits. Those of us who are honest, hard working and trying to get on their feet and stay thier can't. Countless single parent families get denied assistance because the parent works like a dog. Countless two parent families get the same treatment. Our country does not help those who are trying to help themselves. The system is supposedly there to help, but it does not help them. Even elderly are denided assistance because on their low, fixed incomes, "they make too much". Yet their medical costs are so high they eat garbage so they can buy meds or go without meds and suffer needlessly. What a shame that in our country, all people do not hav access to medical care. I am so frustrated I could scream. I know people who abuse the system or lie to the system simply because they are forced into it by the beauracratic system. They have to choose to lie or let their family go hungry and without medical care. I have seen this one family with two young children who the father works hard hard hard, but the mother claims he is not in the home so she can get help for her kids. If she told the truth her children would not have medical care or food because the father does not make enough money to provide. They dont hae the latest anything. They have two old clunkers for vehicles, they don't do drugs, they don't waste money, everything they have they use for their bills and kids. They have an infant. What are they supposed to do? What am I supposed to do? As criticized as I may be by some, I choose not to report her. She is a good mother. She takes good care of her children and their father. She is a good, kind, caring person. If I were to report her, her kids would go hungry and I could not live with myself. She is not getting assistance to get ahead.....she is using it to feed and care for her kids. Yet, some would say I am wrong. but so be it, God forgive me if I am wrong. I can't turn her in and watch her children go hungry. She lives in my community and I see her daily at the bus stop. I hear her pains, worries, joys, fears, frustrations and guilt about having to lie. She is trying to do right but she also needs to feed her kids. She brought it up to me. I am slowly opening the door to witnessing to her. I am not shoving it down her throat or judging her for lying or being unmarried. She is a mother just like me. She loves her kids and wants to teach them right from wrong. She is trying and she has a desire to learn. In any case.......all of this has me thinking how many people out there get assistance because they are forced to lie and how many have abused the system and get away with it. And how many families out their fall through the cracks like we do into a black hole of need and debt and financial hardship?

Thelma said...

oh and our income.........HA that is a joke we make too much.....they figure it on a family of 3 because we were only applying for the children because as adults we do not qualify......there in lies the rub.......we could get food stamps for a family of 5 but not medical assistance for the 3 kids.....go figure.

Shawna said...

Thelma, apply for medical for all 5 of you then! If Mike feels badly. he doesn't have to use the insurance for himself but by applying as a family unit it provides for the kids.

The system is flawed; terribly flawed. I have always felt that it helps the dishonest and not-always-deserving, and penalizes those who try. I do not say that judgmentally but from experiencing the system myself many, many years ago.

Thelma, see if the Salvation Army can help with rent for one month (if not rent than maybe a utility that is passed due) so that you can continue insurance coverage that month -- that could be one less month out of the three that are needed for the other program.

Also, check for other sources of assistance to help fill that 3 month gap for the other program. The Lutheran Church often has assistance program, the Catholic Church as well, the Church of the Nazarene used to offer assistance, Care & Share-- all are Christian and denomination does not matter to them, humanity matters. Cities usually have assistance programs or can direct you to organizations that assist.

Just enough to fill that 3 month gap so you can qualify for the program you need. There is no shame. We all need help now and again... just give something back when you are able and all works out.

David and I pick up two items each week at the grocery store and place them in two separate gift bags, when the bags are full we deliver them to our cities food pantry and to Salvation Army (SA has helped my family on more than one occasion and for that I will continue to give to them.)

Also, check with your electric and/or heating companies for discount programs based on income... this has helped us on more than one occasion. And consider joining any coupon trains to help with shopping costs. Agreeing to a 42 cent stamp once a month is worth the savings in coupons!

I hope some of this helps, hon. I have been in your situation and it is not fun and it is scary and frustrating and heartbreaking... and I have been there without the help and support of my husband as he tends to stick his head in the sand at times like these. I just do what I know a mother needs to do... my husband's pride is irrelevant when it comes to my children!


Thelma said...

thanks hon.........I will try those suggestions. However as for all 5 of us applying for medical we can 't as since I am not pg I do not qualify and Mike does not based on being an able bodied man....go figure. However, I am doing some research into other options and am going to suggest to dh those ideas you gave me to get us through the 3 month period. I am willing to do w hat it takes to get this family on its feet. Dh is too, to a point, LOL. He would rather work two jobs than go without insurance. But the options you gave are not ones I knew existed nor had I though of. I think I am going to check into slavation army rental assistance so we can use that money for any medical needs for that month...if we dont use that then we have another month down etc. Great idea.......I will find coupon trains too........thanks for the idea......I have long wanted to figure out how to use coupons to save money as I have seen women who save their family up to 300 or 400 dollars per month just by using coupons. I know God is in control and at the same time I think we all have those moments we hit bottom in frustration, fear and discouragment......that is where I was yesterday........the I am feeling better and more sure of myself and my ability to find an answer with God's help. thanks my friend for understanding where I am coming from. My dh can put his head in the sand fact he has yet to do our taxes! so we can get our refund and stimulus check.....those two things alone could get us through 3 months without medical for the kids!

Thelma said...

oh and I meant to add we have to prove the kids had NO absolutely NO insurance of any form for 3 months before we can qualify for the program! we have to pay out of pocket totally for 3 months of medical expenses in order to show we qualify for the program.