Wednesday, March 24, 2010

brace update

Corinne has been a trooper with her brace but defiantly doesn't like it. About a week and half ago she wore it through the night for the first time. I was away on a womens retreat so she got to sleep with daddy while wearing the brace through the night for the first time. She will moan during the night and some mornings she wakes up acting really uncomfortable/sore. We went to the orthopedic yesteday to do x-rays to make sure the brace was pushing on her spine in the right way. It was so we don't have to make an adjustments. The doctor also said she will probably need a new brace in a year. I know this makes sense because of growth but it hadn't hit me. The brace cost $2400 and it was all out of pocket. So now that will be $2400 every year. I know there is alot of discussion about healthcare reform, ect, ect. But having a medically needy child who comes from a country with no healthcare coverage my perspective has been influenced to say the least. I know that there are alot of things wrong with the new bill but I personally feel that there is a moral obligation to provide healthcare to people. Now what that looks like is a whole 'nother bag of worms. I can only speak to our experiences. We have an individual policy (no coverage through my husbands work). Every year our premiums go up up up and our deductible for our daughter gets higher. Sure the insurance company can't boot her off the plan but they can nickel and dime us. Right now her decuctible is $5000. As you know she wears hearing aids which requires hearing tests every 4-6months, new ear molds ($150 pop), repairs, ect. Guess how much insurance covers - Nada - not one stinking thing! They didn't even cover the hearing aids - another $4500. In the great state of Tennessee this is no mandatory coverage for children with hearing loss. So since it isn't mandated it won't happen. Insurance will pay for 20 visits for speech therapy and we had to go through a "special process" just for that. Everyone knows to speak you have to hear so if you haven't been hearing you can't speak - well at least I thought most people knew that. So she has been in speech therapy for almost 3 years 1 time a week - cost $150 a visit. Like I said BCBS covered the first 20 visits then it was up to us. Corinne didn't have just an "r" problem or stutter problem. (she had 2 medical problems contributing to her issues) She had major speech delays. Now that her speech has improved alot we have moved her therapy out of the Vandy system and closer to home which also brings the cost way down - $60. As I was racking my brain today thinking what do we do it hit me "Shriners". I didn't know much about them but now I do. I called a nice lady today in Lexington and she said they would be happy to help our family and meet Corinne's healthcare needs. I asked her "but do we qualify, what income level do you help, ect, ect." She said as long as the child is under 18 and has a medical condition that falls under their speciality then they will see us. Preadolsecent scoliosis falls under their umbrella so we meet the criteria. It is that simple. What ever insurance won't cover Shriners will cover the rest! Isn't that amazing. And such a relief. I also feel like an idiot for not knowing what a wonderful thing Shriners is.
Anyways a little food for thought as the topic of healthcare reform is mentioned

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