Andy is a diabetic. Andy didn’t care about being a diabetic. He cares about it now.
When I first met Andy he didn’t bother too much with his diabetes, in fact he ignored it. Chocolate cake, soda, candy, he just didn’t give a fuck. Once, we’re were going to the lake and he scarfed down an entire case of soda. That dropped him into a frothing at the mouth diabetic coma. Cancel picnic, got to the ER. Another time he spent two weeks in the hospital while the doctors tried to save his leg. They did. Now Andy pays attention to his diabetes and takes care of it.
Diabetic nerve damage has left Andy numb from the hips down. Aside from walking funny, he watches his feet for wounds that could become a problem. He had one on his foot. When it grew big enough he went to the doctor. He had a compound fracture of his foot and the bone was working its way through his skin. Fuck. Surgery was required of course. he got a pin in his foot.
Andy worked as a building custodian at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A cushy State job. One night he dropped a chair on his foot and broke it. The same foot. Another surgery and another pin. More of plate this time. Work put him on light duty working at the recycling center. Not much walking and a lot of sitting around waiting for stuff to come in. His foot broke again. This time, spontaneously. The bones that the plate and pin were attached to shattered. Back to surgery. Now he walks on a titanium tripod imbedded in his foot and has to wear a supporting boot for the rest of his life. He can’t work but with his State pension and disability payments he has enough to live and pay his medical costs. Obamacare won’t cover him.
Common warnings signs of diabetes include:
Increased hunger (especially after eating)
Frequent urination or urine infections.
Unexplained weight loss (even though you are eating and feel hungry)
Maybe you won’t like it as much now that Obamacare has kicked in. The Nevada Health Exchange has some fun “facts” you might like to know about.
First Let Me Tell You a Story
In 2005 I had a “Cadillac” health plan courtesy of the Teamster’s Union. In December of that year I underwent an emergency appendectomy. I cut it close and infection had me in the hospital for a week. I paid $20 for my ER visit and $296 for the surgery and hospital stay. In 2011 the Trust Fund that services the Health Plan of Nevada policy started to change to “Get ready for Obamacare”. The day before Thanksgiving I had a nose bleed that would not stop. I never get nose bleeds. It scared me. The ambulance took me to the same hospital that I went to for my surgery. My treatment was to lay down until the bleeding stopped. The treatment options the doctor gave me were to have cotton shoved up my nose or a cauterization procedure. Following a prudent “do no harm” protocol we decided to wait it out. The bleeding slowed and stopped in about an hour. A little light headed and no worse for wear I was sent home. That adventure cost me Three Hundred Dollars because I went to an ER instead of a primary care place because the doctor coded me out as not having a life or death situation. I went because I thought I was bleeding out. I was glad that I did not.
Okay it’s now two years later and I have a primary care doctor and am getting some health issues resolved and the co pays are reasonable. In short, I like my Health Care plan.
Here is Where It Gets Fun
I like my Plan. I don’t pay a dime for premiums on me and my wife and daughter. My Union pays that. But I went to the Nevada Health Exchange to ask some “What if?” questions. I logged on to the NHE on 1 October to see what I could see and today the site is completely different. Hmmmm? But more on that later.
What if I lose my HPN care?
Right off the bat, I can’t claim my daughter on my taxes so I can’t enroll her in my Health Plan. That immediately puts me in violation of our child custody court order for me to provide health care for my daughter. Sorry Mom. It’s on you now. I punched in my estimated income and got….
I then added my wife’s income and got this…
“Market Rate”? Hmmm” What does that mean? Today’s NHE site says…
Market Rate: The income level you entered into the premium calculator exceeds 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. You are not eligible for a discounted premium through the Advance Premium Tax Credit Program.
On Tuesday the NHE site listed all the Insurance companies available and HPN’s “Market Rate” was $429.23 a month for me. Double that to cover my bride. She called shenanigans and poked around to find premiums would cost about $841 a month for both of us. Then she added Vision and Dental and our smoking habit and the premiums coasted up to just shy of $1200 per month.
$1200 PER MONTH
Fuck that. I don’t like my health plan anymore so I punched in this….
GREAT!! Now I can sign up for food stamps and welfare. But I probably might have to find some part time job to pay for Medicaid if that’s still around.
Remember when I said the NHE site changed from Tuesday until today? I watched on the news and read up on the Internets that the exchanges “were having problems” nationwide. A lot of crashes. It was also reported that the software used to calculate the premiums was flawed and the number were wrong. Best guess was they were coming in LOW.
Just as I was writing this post I wandered around the NHE site and did find where I could find the rates for the various health care providers available in Nevada. On the homepage under “What is New” there is a link to NevadaHealthLink.com. There you can enroll and select a plan. This is the link where Jamie found her numbers.