Child Health Care Plus

Yesterday I posted on Facebook:

putting together paperwork for the kids to get on Child Health Care Plus, NY State health insurance — forms are so lengthy, so complicated! It’s confusing for the two of us, both with advanced degrees. How do people do this?

A few friends suggested I blog  about the experience. I would kind of first like to see if we got approved, before I offer any summary of my experience. It’s not unthinkable that I messed up something. But until I hear if all of the paperwork’s in, let me  tell you: The application is 17 pages long!

There were opportunities on the application to provide more than was asked for. For example, if your child has no Social Security number, you have to provide proof of residency. Or maybe you needed to provide proof of New York State residency any way. Being the overachiever that I am, my instinct was to throw everything at them for fear of not providing enough. I provided a utility bill as proof.

I did call the number on the application to get clarification on another question. No one answered the call after 25 minutes on hold and a promise of  “a customer service representative will be with you in a moment.” I tried another number and got to ask my question.

Could I walk the application in somewhere to get it in by the 20th of the month (today)? (The 20th is the cut off date to provide coverage on the 1st.) No, it turns out, I had to overnight the application to Albany. I dreaded going to the post office less than a week before Christmas, but I used the automated machine. It was fast and easy.

child_health_plusThere are agencies and communities centers listed on the application where one could turn for help. But, rugged and proud individualist that I am, I thought I should be able to handle the paperwork on my own. Besides, I have a Master’s degree, how hard could it be? Hard.

The good news is that the cost, if all goes well, will be about $45 per child per month. This is wonderful and much more affordable than the $1,700 or so that COBRA would cost to cover the family. We would only need this Child Health Care Plus coverage for a couple of months until my small business gets off the ground and one of Chris’s  unions, Screen Actor’s Guild, kicks in for the family.

My husband Chris is on disability because of his Parkinson’s Disease and he is covered with Medicare, so that just leaves me. I have no health insurance for a couple of months.

On Tuesday, one of my creative writing middle school students got close to say, “Look! I have Pink Eye.”

“Hey,” I felt like saying, “Stay away from me if you are sick. But just for a couple of months.” Now, I’m wondering if my eye’s looking a little red. Yes, so it begins, two months of hypochondria until I get back on a family health insurance plan. Let’s hope I got the kids on their plan.

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