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Health insurance

June 24th, 2010 at 07:13 am

My First Sergeant, who is a former medic, decided that he is going to reccomend me for a med board after the kidney transplant. He was vocal about not wanting me to do the transplant because it's expiramental medicine. Since he is a former medic, he knows all the paperwork to have me shown in a negative light to get me chaptered out of the military. I would lose our health insurance which is the biggie.

If I decide to not give DW my kidney so I could then stay in the military, I would in turn be chaptered out on a compassionate discharge due to the longstanding and ongoing nature of dialysis and her need for constant care. Once more, losing the health insurance.

Damned if you do, Damned if you don't. The only major difference is that with a med board chapter, there are two options. First, and most likely, is a medical seperation payment, or severance pay, of about $40,000. The second, and not unlikely, is to be placed on temporary disability retirement until it is known if there will be any issues from the kidney transplant. I would draw $1200 a month based on this for up to 5 years, and then if actually medically retired, continue to draw that $1200 for life, adjusted for inflation. Still without health insurance.

Does anyone know anyway to get health care coverage for someone with a longstanding, permanent disability outside of from a group rate from an employer? Tricare is paying $70,000 a month for her right now. There is now way we could come close to affording any of that. If my First Sergeant is successful in chaptering me, it would be about a year from now. Im going to college full time for an economics degree.

8 Responses to “Health insurance”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    In short no. Although when does health care bill take effect? At some point she has to be covered regardless of her past medical situation, right? I'm sorry I'm not up on the particulars. And I'm sorry that you have to go through this. I'm glad you are pursuing other employment options. Best wishes.

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Right now states run high risk insurance groups (contracted out to private companies) for people who cannot get insurance any other way. I have heard that in my state it is still very expensive insurance. I imagine she would end up relying on the charity of various hospitals, doctors, and clinics even with that insurance. But after her transplant, don't you expect her medical needs to drop precipitously? I hope your own recovery will be without complication or ongoing expense. The other alternatives at the moment are Medicare and Medicaid (or what ever your state program is called.)

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    This is absolutely terrible that they're doing this to you.

    I would read up on the new laws and when they go into effect. It won't be cheap, but at least it will be more affordable/possible to get insurance once the no-preexisting-conditions rule comes into play. Unfortunately the bill didn't go as far as I hoped, and there are still plenty of loopholes for insurance companies to gouge people (and they'll be even more aggressive about taking what they can).

  4. swanson719 Says:

    It would cost about $10,000 a year to cover medications and health care under Missouri's High Risk Pool, and it has a $1 Million lifetime cap. That's a year of dialysis and pills. It's great for the interim between transplants, during which time I should be able to procure a group rate. As long as I am able to find employment making the same as we do now, we would be able to cover all of the bills, but would have to stop investing. If I do receive $40K in severance or am placed on TDRL I would be able to use the income from either of those to cover health insurance costs.

  5. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    $1 million per year actual expenses is pretty sobering. I'd jump at that $10K policy even if it only covers one year. My DH and I pay 60% more than that on a group policy.

  6. Jerry Says:

    In what way is a kidney transplant considered experimental medicine? I don't know what your MOS is, but as long as you aren't infantry or some other boot pounding gig, you should be able to do plenty of Army jobs just fine on one kidney. Your First Sergeant is being a dork, and I am sure that the TriCare insurance isn't going to come to your aid. You'll need to be proactive on this one, I think.

    Is there any way for you to cross-rate (sorry, I was Navy, so I don't know what they call it in the Army) into another specialty that is in need of manpower? If so, then you could extend your career, your coverage, and lead yourself away from this situation with the First Sergeant as well. Good luck to you...

  7. swanson719 Says:

    Jerry, I re-enlisted for 6 more years in March. The army is only allowed to re-class during re-enlistment windows. I won't be eligible for another 4 years unfortunately.

    A kidney transplant itself isn't experimental medicine. The way we're doing it is. We're not a perfect match. We're blood type compatible, but after her transfusions last summer she has antibodies in her blood that don't play nice with my blood, so her body would want to reject the kidney. There is a drug that effectively kills those antibodies over the course of 4-5 months, and then the transplant is done. There have only been 19 of these type of transplants done, and 18 have been successful. We're working with the Mayo clinic to be part of their next group. Surgeon General of the Army already approved it.

  8. Online Counseling Says:

    I would like to share it with all my friends and hope they will like it too.

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