Thank you for all of your responses. I'm still seeking help, but am editting this discussion because I feel a little exposed having it out there. Thanks again for your support and understanding. I will let you know if I find a solution to my insurance issue (or lack thereof)
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I'm sorry to hear about your problems.
The letter sounds very effective however I am not sure how much assistance an insurance commissioner will provide, as their responsibility is usually to make sure that the companies are operating according to the regulations which I would suspect they are. The current "no new taxes" environment doesn't provide much of a safety net. It sounds very unfortunate. I hope that there are some people in Connecticut who know a way around, through or over this situation for you.
Wow. Well written and it actually makes me sick to my stomach to read (which in this case is a good thing!)
A few suggestions:
First, get the part about being an insulin-dependent/type 1 diabetic up earlier in the letter. And make the statement very clear that, without insulin, you die. Make a clearer connection early on that the basics you need to stay alive and breathing are insulin and test strips.
Second, send this letter not only to the insurance commissioners (they do have some limited jurisdiction over this issue, especially if any of the rules are being interpreted incorrectly by the insurance company), but also to your local news stations, your local newspaper, your Senator, and your representative. Hell, cc: the White House!!
We type 1 diabetics represent a really interesting conundrum when it comes to health insurance and medical coverage. Our needs are so basic and immediate - without insulin, we die. If we don't have ready access to insulin, we end up in a coma first, and hospitals are required to treat us once in that state. If we don't have insurance, we end up as "uncompensated care" once in the hospital, in that the hospital doesn't get reimbursed for our care and must eat those costs (i.e., pass them along to everyone else).
Suggestion: Where does your daughter get medical coverage from? If she's falling under CHIP in your state, there's a good chance that, upon losing your coverage, you may be eligible to get coverage with her. Rules differ in each state, but look into that.
Also, I would downplay the stay-at-home mother angle. Your job moved while you were on maternity leave and going back to work would be futile because you'd basically be paying for childcare and commuting costs. That wasn't your fault and that alone (IMO) is justification for quitting. I'd fold in the stay-at-home mother part because, given your company's decision to move, it just makes sense. And someone without a serious medical condition could do that, because they would be able to obtain private coverage or wait things out (something you just can't do with T1D because of the immediacy of the condition).
I'd play down the stay at home mother part too. While I think it's admirable, I can also hear the thoughts of people whose basic bottom line is money saying that is a personal choice, if you were so concerned for your health you'd stay with your job. I think you could make a stronger point by simply saying it isn't cost effficient for you to commute and now you are at a loss and you need your health insurance, or some other kind of assistance or health coverage, without it you risk not only your health but your life, that failure to maintain control of your disease ending up hospitalized is ultimately more costly for everyone than assistance with your testing supplies and your insulin needs.
Yeah, I meant to add that too - add something about how if you don't get insulin, you WILL end up in the hospital (if not dead first). You will be in a coma in the ICU and the hospital will be required to treat you. You need to draw the connection that it's far cheaper to treat you with insulin and test strips than let you get to the point where you have no insulin and are then cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive ICU care (not to mention taking up a bed in the ICU, which is a huge problem in many communities that have limited ICU beds).
I'd definately go to your local news. The power of the community can be really strong. Might not get you insurance, but it may very well lead to some pharmacy donating supplies or insulin. You never know but its worth a try.
Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Your letter is very well written, well reasoned and effective. You have clearly pointed out the absurdity of our cobbled together system, especially as it affects those most in need. Asking a person with a life threatening chronic condition to go without insurance for 6 months is beyond understanding.
I hope your letter will do you some good. I might recommend also writing letters along these same lines to newspapers as well as your representatives in congress. I doubt the government can change the rules for you, but perhaps the pharmaceutical companies could come through for you, Publicizing your situation could help you get some action on help, you clearly deserve it.They like good publicity and abhor bad. I would emphasize their unresponsiveness. You have clearly played by the rules and should have the option of raising your daughter yourself, without endangering your excellent control. This is truly a magic time, especially in the case of a first born.
Good luck, I've been without Insurance for nearly a decade. It's amazing how many problems diabetics face other then trying to manage the disease. It's always been said that diabetes is a "rich mans" disease and they weren't kidding. People like Brett Michaels, Jay Cuttler, Nick Jonas will never have to worry about the cost of living with diabetes which is a hardship for most.
I am sorry to hear you are in this situation. Being cut loose from insurance is a fear many of us have. You are a great writer and your letter tells a touching story. But, you want action and making someone cry won't cause a government bureaucrat to take action. What you need to do is present a situation where you have been wronged either by some insurance company, your old company or someone along the way. That they violated some rule, treated you against the law or did something wrong. Wrong not by some basic moral or ethical basis, but the violated a rule or certain contractual terms. Just because they treated you like cr*p or your situation is dire is not a reason for intervention.
Was the classification of "voluntary termination" false? Did they in fact eliminate your job and just say that to avoid other repercussions? Find a bunch of different reasons that all these companies violated the rules and press on that. When you returned, did the company refuse to offer you a comparable position under the family leave medical act? Your story is sad, you can generate empathy, but you need amunition for the commissioner to go in and slap someone. Comb the rules, try to find others who have protested. Maybe even see if some lawyer will do a preliminary meeting with you for free to discuss your "wrongful termination" or "denial of benefits."
I think the very fact that she is in this situation is what SHOULD cause the government to take action. As we all know, for type 1 diabetics, going without insulin means an immediate death. This isn't about not being able to get some sort of preventative care or a medication to treat something like high blood pressure. This is about being able to access the basic necessities to keep yourself ALIVE (as she points out, the amount of time she could live before slipping into a coma is pretty short).
There are several absurdities here - First, if she doesn't have access to insulin and test strips, she will likely end up in the ER or ICU where they will have to treat her by law (the hospital will pass those high costs onto the rest of us). Second, if she fails to properly treat herself, she WILL end up with complications (blindness, amputation, etc). If she gets end-stage renal disease, she will automatically become eligible for Medicare. If she becomes disabled, Medicaid will kick in. So, she will only get "government" health insurance once she is extremely sick and costly to take care of.
Thank you so much for your responses. I do plan on cc: the local news station, JDRF advocates, the governor, the senator. I didn't think of cc: the newspaper, but I can do that too. They've run stories on me a couple of times for my writing, so if they recognize my name, they might use that opportunity to help me out. :)
I'm trying to apply for assistance for test strips so I can possibly go without insurance and just pay for my scrips on my own (with aid). I, too, find it sickening that I have to be in renal failure or amputated in order to receive help. I'm asking to keep the control that I've achieved so I can avoid blindness (which is already on its way), amputations, kidney failure.
My husband said we should go to Mexico once a year to pick up supplies. haha. I can't believe the system is so twisted like this. I figured I'd have to pay a higher monthly rate than normal, but I didn't think it would this far out of hand. This is unbelievable. I'm dumbfounded by it. For a system that's supposed to work FOR you (that's what they say, right?) it seems to be doing everything it can to work against me.
Thanks again for your help. Please keep the ideas coming. I haven't sent this letter yet (want to make sure it's crisp and clear before I send it on its way). Give me more ammo. :)