Monday, September 22, 2014

The First of Autumn

This is the opening page of the latest art/collage journal I've been using.  You've already seen several collages from inside, but I hadn't done the first page until recently.

Sometimes, like right now, life feels like a freakin' seesaw.  Life gives and then it takes away and then gives  again with a fair amount of regularity. I got a letter recently from food stamps (actually CalFresh now) letting me know my $44 monthly allotment was being cut down to $16 beginning in October.  It had nothing to do with me, but for the past year I'd had the benefit of a state program that artificially kept the monthly benefit higher for most, if not all, recipients in California.  So I called right away, just to pitch my case that despite the state's cockamamie formula that says my "net" income is quite a bit higher than it is, the fact that my true after-rent "net" is actually $300 lower than the state says means I barely have enough money to feed myself each month.  Hold that thought.

My back's been bothering me a lot lately.  I need more chiropractic than I've been able to afford. Medicare pays for it, but MediCal, my Part B insurer, does not.  So essentially I have no insurance for chiropractic, or anyway, this is what I'd been led to believe.  The place I've been going to in Fortuna does not have a low-income/no insurance rate, so I try not to go in for an adjustment unless I can barely move.

There was another chiropractor in Fortuna that I planned to see, who does have a low-income rate for folks like me who fall through the cracks.  I call them this morning to make an appointment...but they've moved to Eureka!

Well, I already have a chiropractor in Eureka...and she just told me she thinks Medicare WILL pay for 80% of the visit, says she has other patients in a similar situation as me. Thankfully I'll get in to see her tomorrow. And I think I'll try going back to my Fortuna chiropractor somewhere down the road and just give 'em my Medicare card.

Back to CalFresh...so I called them again this morning to see if out-of-pocket medical expenses (i.e. chiropractic) counted as an allowance against the state's unreal "net" income of mine.  No, medical expenses don't count.  But I now qualify for a different utility-allowance program and my monthly allotment has gone back up to $53 a month beginning in October, with an additional $20 already applied to my benefit card this month.  Like I said, it's a seesaw.

This gizmo you're looking at is my new Bookseat, which I bought at Amazon.  I know several of you also have problems with your hands and neck, holding books.  I rest this thing on a throw pillow and rest that in my lap for completely hands-free reading at a level that works for my neck.  The Bookseat was developed and is made in Australia, available from a number of resellers via Amazon.  Price ranges from $30 to $35.  I can't speak highly enough of it.  Plus, it weighs nothing by itself; it's filled with poly pellets.

My day's already gotten a lot better since beginning this post.  Have a good week.  xo

P.S.  I realized after writing this that I totally misunderstood the Medicare/MediCal thing.  When MediCal says they don't pay for chiropractic, what they mean is, they won't pay the 20 percent coinsurance.  How I interpreted it, is that they won't allow payment for any part of chiropractic.  Big error on my part.  Medicare pays for 80 percent, period.  I'll pay the $8 copayment.  That I can easily do.  I'm just glad I've only had a couple of adjustments, at $50 each, since getting on Medicare early this year.  The real issue is that most chiropractors charge $65 ($50 if you pay in cash) to an uninsured patient for a service they're only getting $32 for from Medicare.  And this doesn't apply to just chiropractors, of course.  The uninsured people of the world are underwriting the medical/insurance industry.

4 comments:

Jan said...

Ay-yi-yi!!!

Maggi said...

Sounds like something of a nightmare system.

john said...

I am so glad that you got everything figured out on the chiropractic and medicare system. Not fun to think one thing or be told one thing and then it changes back and forth. Finally all is well....great!

Love the book pillow! Never heard of such a thing. I know someone who needs this....it will make a great gift. Thanks.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

What a seesaaw!