ritaxis: (hat)
I am low-energy, distractable, lazy, diffident, tentative, and easily discouraged to begin with. I began 2016 thinking I would ride the energy and optimism from my lovely new knees to Get Things Done, Get In Shape, and Get A Job.

I was doing pretty good until February, when I got the cancer diagnosis.

seriously this is just a long organ recital and for my own records, so don't read it )
So anyway, 2016 was for me like many others mostly a loss. I haven't mentioned much about the big world because others have more, and more eloquent, things to say about tt. I'm still alive, of course, and I still have a house. Also I have a pile of writing I'm sort of working on for several days at a time before I collapse in on myself for a few days again.
ritaxis: (hat)
I'm probably overthinking this.

So I got a bill from Blue Shield for over two hundred dollars for my first month of 2016. Considering that my original fee had been a dollar a month, and last year's had been $22 a month, it seemed out of line. Granted, percentage-wise it was less of an increase (a bit more than 2000% the first year and a bit less than 1000% the second year)...and of course my income has not risen at all and my other costs keep increasing too.

So I called to straighten it out, and eventually, after a couple of days of bad connections, frightening error messages, and lots of apologetic confusion from the stalwart souls who staff the front lines at the Blue Shield and Covered California call centers, it emerged that I didn't belong on Covered California because I don't make enough money. I was supposed to go to Medi_Cal instead.

California residents will understand my mixed feelings when I got this news. Medi-Cal is free, the coverage is fine...but doctors generally don't take Medi-Cal patients. I mean they flat-out don't, or they say they do "but we're not taking new patients just now." Plus, there's the issue that if I make any money at all, I'll be kicked off again and have to go back to the exchange and find a plan I can afford that will cover what I need.

First things first: according to the website, my primary doctor takes Medi-Cal. So if that works out, I'll be fine.

But let's return to my eligibilty. This freaks me out no end, because: Covered California uses line 37 of the tax return to determine eligibility, and Medi-Cal uses gross income. And if I understood all those people correctly the lower limit for Covered California this year is $16K+something. I can't confirm or correct this number looking around online: it seems to be a secret that you only learn if you dip below it. Meanwhile, according to the letter I got from Medi-Cal, if my income goes above $13,354 a month, I'm no longer eligibile. That's almost the same number: it might be exactly the same number.

However, line 37 on the tax return is the adjusted gross income and it is lower than the entire gross income. Why this matters to me is that my Covered California income is therefore under $10K a year, while my Medi-Cal income is about $20 a month less than the cap. If I get a job or sell a story will I have to change medical coverage again? I was thinking that since my legs work again I could be a substitute teacher. Will I have to change medical coverage during the school year and again in the summer? If I sell one story, I'll be over the limit for Medi-Cal that month but under the limit for Covered California for the year. I'm afraid to ask about it, actually. I considered dropping olut of the system but my barebones prescriptions (5 medicines, the rest are OTC) are four hundred dollars a month without coverage. I've been working towards dropping more drugs, but I can't drop them all.

Can we say it together? SOCIALIZE THE GODDAMN MEDICINE. Save your grandma!

Which reminds me of the thing I think is going on with the right wing: they really, really, really hate their mothers. Everything else derives from that.

On another front, it has rained sixteen out of twenty days here, but we're still running lower than average in rainfall totals and we're still at 67% full in the reservoirs here. It's worse in some areas. 

September 2017

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