Thursday, February 26, 2009

Caregiving when health insurance companies complicate life

It is very ironic that on the day that President Barack Obama presses the concept of medical insurance for the uninsured, I find myself among the rolls of the uninsured.

Illinois has a program called "ICHIP" (Illinois Comprehensive Health Insurance Program) for those of us Illinois residents that are not insurable. The state of Illinois health insurance program is administered by BCBS Illinois. It is not cheap ($2000/quarter) and it covers very little.

In fact, the coverage did not even cover the cost of my wig when I lost all of my hair during chemotherapy for breast cancer.

I was deemed insurable because I suffered from a brief period of depression (during period when I was IMHO butchered by Carle Clinic orthopedic surgeon Chris Dangles, MD). Thereafter, I was diagnosed with cancer and I certainly would have difficulty obtaining health insurance.

Now, as I am traveling between NC and my home in IL to care for my very ill dad, I am being dumped by my health insurance company.

I sent a letter to the new Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Here is a copy. I will keep all of you informed whether the state of Illinois allows me to have health care coverage again!

Dear Governor Quinn:

I am having a big problem with ICHIP. The administration at ICHIP in Springfield knows that I devote my life to care for my very ill (Stage 4 cancer) and elderly father in NC. I routinely travel between NC and IL to care for my father during his acute periods of illness and his hospitalizations.

Very often, I do not receive my mail from IL when I am in NC caring for dad.

I did not receive any mail from ICHIP regarding my premium bill. Il know that it is due at the end of December. Dad was very ill in November and December 2008. He lost part of his left foot due to an undiagnosed infection.

I calculated the 31 day grace period for the premium from 12-31-08. I sent $2000 in money orders on 1-31-09 (a Saturday) for express mail to reach ICHIP on the following Monday.

Now the state of Illinois is saying that I do not have health insurance as of 12-29-08. And, according to the state of Illinois, I cannot receive health insurance from ICHIP again until 12-29-09!

ICHIP knows that I myself am a cancer patient and that I have been caring for my very sick and elderly dad.

Initially, the state of Illinois harassed me for the 2 years I have traveled from my home in Naperville IL to my dad's home in NC. Now the state of Illinois cancels my insurance? And they cancel because I miscalculated the due date as I am in NC caring for a terminally ill father that lost most of his left foot? And this is being done by the state of Illinois as President Obama (from Illinois) is talking about universal health care?

Please help me. I am a responsible ICHIP insured. It seems as though the state of Illinois has just been waiting for a way to cancel my insurance since I have to spend months at a time caring for dad in NC. This is a horrible insult to me.

Please help me.

cc. US Congresswoman Judy Biggert
President Barack Obama

Do we have a compassionate government?

Is caring for our elderly, ill parents disregarded by our society and particularly our "change" government?

Would I need to apply for a federal bail-out or purchase a home that I cannot afford?

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