No More Empty Fortune Cookies!

Friday, May 1, 2009

No Health Care For You!!

I hate to beat a dead horse. I even hate to use that saying. Another thing I hate to do is use my bloggy blog to bitchy bitch, but eh, it's my blog, I'll bitch if I want to.
I've moaned and complained about this so much for the past couple of years, even gone to rallies to protest the inequality of it, written grade A papers on the topic...and still, here it is.
We're back to my frustration over my marriage not really being a marriage in our country. America, the land of the free, represses my rights.
All I really, REALLY want is for our country's policies to be consistent. Here's my bitch on this fine Friday. As most of you know, I recently lost my job which also means I lost my health care insurance. Oh, sure, I was offered the option of keeping it, at a rate of close to $400.00 a month. Who can afford that? I mean, really? What normal average person without a job can afford FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS a month for insurance? I declined and went about my way trying to find private insurance. With my diagnosis of epilepsy, getting insured for any less than that $400 is for all I can tell, impossible.
I abandoned that quest and Wifester attempted to get me insured via her plan at work. It seems that Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN will not allow her to add me to her plan because our state does not legally recognize our marriage. Even though we have a legal marriage license from Canada that any heterosexual couple would be able to use to obtain coverage on their spouse's plan...for us, it's a no go.
OK... fine. That's what we have TennCare for...uninsured Tennesseans, right? So I contacted our local Department of Health and Human Services to try to get TennCare. I mean, I have a serious medical condition that requires medications, physician monitoring, and occasional hospital visits. I NEED insurance. Tennessee says that they have to count Wifester's income as my income because we share a checking account. That said, I do not qualify to receive TennCare because Wifester makes too much money.
Do you follow me here in the inconsistancy?? How is it that we are totally separate entities when it comes to filing taxes or buying insurance but when it comes to state funded health care...all of a sudden, they want to recognize this person in my life as a part of my life!
It's not right. If they want to count Wifester's income against me, then they should consider me as a dependant on Wifester and allow her to insure me on her policy! I'm no lawyer, but to me that's discrimination, blatent and outright.

I have hope that Souther's replacement will be a gay friendly justice who will help lean the Supreme Court toward a more tolerant and accepting policy on my marital status. What do you think will happen? How do you think equality will be gained? Do you think it will be gained at all? Tell me what you think.

8 cookies cracked:

Rebekah said...

Dammit dammit dammit! It WILL happen...this is my mantra every day. But what do you do in the meantime? Change checking accounts? Do you qualify for medicare?

It will happen. Changes and improvements are happening all the time. I mean...IOWA? I think the next 10 years will bring it about.

Don't have a seizure for 10 years. OK?


Karen said...

I am sorry that you are frustrated. It has to be really scary when you NEED insurance for an ongoing issue. I cannot imagine being uninsured. When I was between jobs, I always thought that I'd not pay my rent before not paying my COBRA. It never came to that, but you can always find a friend's couch to crash on, but you can't always find someone to help you pay for a medical problem.

The only thing I can say is, it is wifester's company and the insurance company who make the decision not to cover domestic partners. There are many company which do cover spouses in your situation - such as Starbucks, California Pizza Kitchen and Shoprite - just to name a few that I know off the top of my head. It is a shame that Wifester's company does not fall into that catagory.

With regard to the state insurance, if you do share a bank account and a joint financial present/future plan, I can see why the state won't cover you. I know it is not fair, but they have to draw the line somewhere. Unfortunately, you fall outside. The state has to assume that if you can't afford your COBRA on your unemployment, that Wifester has to supplement.

I wish good luck in your quest. I know it not easy.

Reb said...

That really sucks, they've got you coming and going. Move to Canada, if you can find a Dr, at least it will be free.

Fortune Cookies said...

Rebekah - Ha! funny! A bit too late...had a seizure last weekend that I really needed to go to the dr. after (fell in the parking lot of Target and got all kinds of road burn)but I agree...10 years and things will be so different. I did think about the take my name off of the checking account option, but they look at your account going back 60 that won't work. :(

Karen - It is frustrating...actually it is not Wifester's employer, her boss who is the owner of the practice tried to get me covered, but the insurance company says no way...because we live in a state that does not recognize the marriage. The reason other companies, Starbucks, Tmobile, etc are able to grant domestic partner benefits is because their home offices are located in states that do allow domestic partner benefits to employees. It's a tricky little matter of where your billing and payroll is conducted. Even with Wifester's income, we could not afford to pay Cobra. And definitely not private insurance. But my point here is that if the fact that I share the checking account with Wifester isn't enough to allow us to file taxes as a couple, then it also should mean that her income is not going to be counted against me when it comes to getting me insured. Or, if it is going to be counted against me, then we should also be able to file our taxes together...and I should be allowed to get coverage under her plan. It can't be one way for one situation and another way for the other.

Jay said...

So you are separate entities when it comes to receiving rights and benefits, but you guys are counted as ONE when it comes to PREVENTING you from getting benefits. Nice system.

There are many companies that cover domestic partners for both gay and straight. Disney was the most famous of these for basically being first among the really big companies to do so. And because of the right wing groups boycotting them afterwords.

There are also lots of groups who are trying to outlaw allowing companies to extend benefits to unmarried or same sex partners. They are also the same people who claim that the government is interfering in business too much.

I could go on, but I won't. ;-)

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I say fukityfukFUK! The US needs to get healthcare for everybody and stop worrying about who wants marry who and what kind of crazy joke is THAT about your checking acct and all?

Drowsey Monkey said...

I don't understand American politics sometimes ... okay, well often, lol.

We have universal health care in Canada and it works well. It's not perfect but I, as someone who earns near the poverty line, never have to worry about not getting medical help for whatever - whenever. I don't have medical insurance thru work so I do have to pay a much higher rate for prescriptions, etc - but at least when I had to have a lot of medical tests done a year ago I didn't pay for any of that - other than thru taxes which, in my opinion, are affordable, even for someone like me who doesn't make a lot of money.

Hope it all works out!

Gramps said...

You are absolutely right about the health insurance. It's a damn shame. Good luck!