Going ALL natural Health care OR Insurance?VT - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 04-27-2007, 05:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I dont even know where to begin, but we lost our dr dynasaur here in VT. We do not qualify any longer for health coverage. My dh works in manhattan ny and its 3 part time jobs so it does not offer coverage. My son is having some seizure activity and he is a bit autistic......i am nervous because we lost our insurance. He was going to have EEGs and a CAT scan....but now we cant. Is there a way to treat him all natural without paying an ND or MD? is there a way to take our healthcare into our own hands? we do somewhat.....we use homeopathic and herbal remedies except for my asthma, as nothing has worked yet for that. But its so expensive to buy herbal and homeopathic. i make some of my own tinctures so thats a plus. but as far as autism and seizures go, what do i do? i cant have him tested. Are there any affordable health insurance companies out there in VT? The only reason id test is so that the school can help us....although he does not need any special needs classes. I just hate to have to prove his disability....he just has one but they wont accept it unless he is diagnosed. He was diagnosed with low end spectrum autism(aspergers) but not officially, just our doctors hunch and many counselors hunches. now he started having blackout kind of things too in the last few weeks, which we are thinking possible seizure activity. he has always had facial tics but now they are worsening, but he is not bothered by them. i just want to make sure that nothing bigger is going on, and that his brain is ok. help? any suggestions? thank you from a very worried mamma.

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#2 of 16 Old 04-27-2007, 10:33 PM
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Hi doulajewla,

Sorry to hear about your boy! I am unfortunately not sure at all regarding your question, as I am not from here myself, but I know that there are hospitals in California at least that treat patients for free if they do not have health insurance, so there must be something similar availbale here as well! Just do not know where to find out about it, did you try to ask at your local hospital or your doctor about this? They should have some info available on this!
Sorry that this is not much of help to you, maybe someone else knows more?

All the best for your boy and try to keep your spirit up!
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#3 of 16 Old 04-27-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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Call your State Representative to find out when Catamount Health will be available.

From my experience there are no affordable health insurance companies in VT, unless you just want catastrophic coverage. There are a couple of ways to get fairly good coverage for about $700 per month for a family, but you need to be a member of trade group or other organisation.

i agree that talking with your local doctor on options or payment plans might make it possible for you to make it through this issue.
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#4 of 16 Old 04-27-2007, 11:33 PM
 
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We don't have health insurance, either. Too expensive - we have to choose between that or the mortgage...

I would say, if you're really worried - go in for the tests. Follow your instincts. Try to set up a payment plan with the hospital. I think that after a certain amount of time, hospitals basically have to *eat* whatever they haven't been paid - maybe they are reimbursed by the state or fed. gov't? Not entirely sure.

But - your kiddo needs what he needs. If it were me, I'd just do it and figure out the money piece after, in this situation.

Molly, mama to my 3 sweet boys.
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#5 of 16 Old 04-28-2007, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you all Im conflicted about testing....but it might be an option for us.....i just worry because we went through a bad financial thing 3 years ago and we couldnt pay our bills...we had just bought a house that we could afford, but at the last minute, the people who were selling this house said we couldnt have the appliances. So we had to somehow come up with $5,000 for a fridge, washer dryer, and stove. we put it on credit and paid what we could but we had to decide, house or appliances? so we couldnt pay. DH was waiting for the lawyers to get ready to make a deal--and actually they did the other day, so now we are doing monthly payments that are lower. I just cant afford another $5,000 bill, and im trying to decide are these diagnoses going to help me in any way, are they necessary? why would i get him diagnosed? i guess i want to make sure its nothing more serious. i am going to think more on this and go with my instincts, thanks!

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#6 of 16 Old 04-29-2007, 02:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by box_of_rain View Post
I would say, if you're really worried - go in for the tests. Follow your instincts. Try to set up a payment plan with the hospital. I think that after a certain amount of time, hospitals basically have to *eat* whatever they haven't been paid - maybe they are reimbursed by the state or fed. gov't? Not entirely sure.
Setting up a payment plan in advance with a doctor or hospital is a good idea if you decide to go that route. Or looking into places that do sliding scale payment based on your income when you are uninsured. Does VT have a Medicaid program for children? All states do, but the income guidelines are different.

To answer the other poster's question, hospitals do lose a lot of money when people can't pay, but they are not reimbursed for it by anyone - state or federal govt, etc. They just have to charge more for the services to cover it, or various other complicated financial things.

Of course, it's different for private practicing physicians than for big hospitals just because they don't have the size aspect working in their favor (and insurance reimbursements are lower). Many doctors can't even get a tax write-off for uncollected accounts because they operate as a cash business. No cash revenue coming in - nothing to write off.

I do think there are options available to you if you decide to go the testing route. It's probably going to take some footwork on your part though.

You may check into the residency/training practices at some major hospitals. They have pediatric care clinics staffed by their physician residents that either offer free care or sliding scale care. And these are usually very good practices because of the teaching aspect. Not sure where in VT you are, but you could look into the University of Vermont's program or Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Info about the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine Clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center:
http://www.dhmc.org/webpage.cfm?site...&item_id=33971

Vermont Children's Hospital at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Hmm..I couldn't find too much info on Children's. Here's a link to a department phone listing. You could call one of the General Pediatrics Clinic locations, and just tell them your situation - that you are uninsured, you think your son may be having seizures, does the clinic have a sliding scale fee schedule, or do they know somewhere else you could go, etc.?
http://www.fahc.org/AboutFAHC/departmentlist.html#u

Most academic centers like Dartmouth or VCH will also have social workers on staff to help you out. Because it's possible that many of the services that you may receive if there is a diagnosis won't be through the doctor/hospital, but through the community.

What about your public school system? Many (most?) have early intervention programs where they can do free testing. Or have you already done this type of thing?

Good luck! I hope your DS is okay. I'd think the seizures would be pretty scary.
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#7 of 16 Old 04-29-2007, 09:48 AM
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Hi again,

Just did a bit of a search on the web, before you do any financing solutions I would really check the childrens funding programs first, you might get away without paying at all. Most hospitals and medical facilities will naturally not advertise free services, but they do exist! One I found is the Shriners Hospitals for children, they are all across the US and Canada one of them in Boston, they do free services for children who do not have health insurance, here is there web site:
http://www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals/..._for_Children/

Check also some University Hospitals, they do fundings as well, childrens hospitals in general have funds sometimes also church hospitals do them, check with your local church, maybe they can help you out! I would exhaust this route first before agreeing to a financial planing and ending up paying for the next 5 years on it. What do you do than when there is a real emergency coming up and you need that credit?
I know what you mean about the appliances,...we are still paying on them as well, sometimes I think we should have bought used ones, although our fridge is used.
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#8 of 16 Old 04-29-2007, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks SOOO much! I will do just that tomorrow. I will call Dartmouth, we are like 2 hours away (or maybe 3) but i dont care ill take him there to get tested. I will also ask the school. I think they could probably help too. I just dont want him to be "labeled" by the school and treated differently--but then again, he needs to be understood by his peers to explain for any awkward behavior he's been showing, and his friends do not understand and do not want to play with him. Its so sad---no one wants to play with him because when he's happy, he get over excited and runs around flailing his arms and hugging people. He tries to hard to be one of the guys...but i must admit he is awkward. I cried for him many times in the last year or so of realizing what may be going on. But anyway.....i am going to find out what is going on. our homeopath gave us a remedy that drastically reduced his facial tics! i am glad i went yesterday.

We should have bought used also--but we were coming from NY and tried to order it in NY to have it delivered by the day we were moving in.....and i didnt know of any used warehouses around here then...now i do though lol. And our appliances never came on time so we used a cooler and a micro for the first two weeks lol!

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#9 of 16 Old 04-30-2007, 10:16 AM
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Hi there again,

Hopefully the testing will go well and you can get it done for free! Might even be worth a trip down to Boston, if they can do it for free. If your little guy has obviouse signs of autism (if it is autism), the school probably knows already that he has a handicap and is probably treated differently. The children already do it as you explained in your post.
Probably when you have the tests done, you should talk to the school teachers and if necessary to the school board that they try to keep the childrens behaviour towards your son on a fair and understanding level, as well as their own. This way the children will all know how to behave towards your boy when he has one of his "tics" and do not feel akward about it and treat him that way. Most of the time kids are more understanding than adults, when explained in a well manner why someone behaves a certain way, the teachers job just should be to make sure that your boy will be integrated well in his class, so his friends will play with him.

I think it is more important that your son feels well in his surroundings than any old label they will put on him and if they can not cope they are not a decent school.
We had handicaped children in my class and all of us treated them pretty much the same way as the others and our teacher made sure of it! Keeping those class clowns under controll.

If the school can not cope, you might want to think about homeschooling him if you can,...the peace and happyness of a little childs soul is very important and comes first in my opinion. This way you will also feel better and will not have to cry yourself to sleep at night worrying about him.
Sorry if it seems that I am intruding into your life here a bit, but I just have to say it otherwise I would not feel right.
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#10 of 16 Old 04-30-2007, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did homeschool and want to again so very badly. i feel that it might be best for him---then i think he has problems socializing as it is...i dont want to take exposure from other kids away from him. I know theres alot we can do in that department though--he does tae kwon do for 3 years, that started when we were homeschooling. he made a few friends homeschooling---well really only one because he didnt really fit in with any of the other groups. neither did i to be blunt lol. I never got along with the local group here...a few people were very nice, but for the most part, they had no interest in us. I feel this may be an option---and this school is so very good and wonderful though. the teacher works hard with him and understands his problems and works with him....shes just great. he also wants me to homeschool now too. I just cant decide--what is best. i feel homeschooling would be best--then i couldnt work...which i am willing to give up. i dont work all the time, i am a birth and postpartum doula and dont get much work---but i think in order for me to really pay attention to homeschooling id need to not work during the week, which would have me only doing postpartum on weekends, which is absolutely fine with me. i will miss the births...but my son has to come first. i think im going to have a family meeting tonight with my husband and children.

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#11 of 16 Old 04-30-2007, 03:37 PM
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Hi doulajewla,

If your childs school is working well with your child, that is good and if the teachers manage to keep a good environment for your kid where your son can socialize with the other children, I do not necessarily think he needs to be out of the school. I just think if he is not happy and not treated equally on most levels by the others around him that would make a difference and worth of homeschooling him. But I also think that you should give his classmates and teachers a chance and see how it goes, let's say until the end of this school year. What do you think?
I naturally do not know how long he has had this handicap and how long he has been already in the school with it. Does he have some friends? Just one friend makes a hughe difference!

If you do decide to homeschool though, than a couple classes, like Takwondo or a drama class or music class, make big differences so he can sozialise with other kids. My boy is too small yet to go to school, but we attend music classes with KIndermusik and he loves them and made some nice friends.
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#12 of 16 Old 05-02-2007, 04:08 AM
 
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So sorry to hear about your situation. I'm surprised that VT would revoke your child's coverage. I agree with the PP that said to find out about Catamount Health. I believe it's going to be available this year (October or before, last I heard). It's worth checking into, though.

Also, most hospitals do offer some sort of assistance for lower income families, I would imagine that for your child with the symptoms he's showing, it would be even more lenient or free. Definitely worth the leg work.

Keep us posted on your results. I hate that health care has become such a difficult problem in our country. We've had some pretty terrible dilemmas on this ourselves the past few years. It just isn't right.

Hang in there, Mama!
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#13 of 16 Old 05-02-2007, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you

The hospitals are willing to work with us----they require HALF of the entire bill up front. that would mean me coming up with $1300. And i find out that all of the money my dh was supposed to be saving is not there, yet again. I dont know what he is spending money on. That savings we could have been using now. He really messed up this time....our son is in need and my husband decided to buy paints and brushes and canvasses.....its always a new hobby with him. First it was pipe smoking and he had to buy expensive stuff...then it was archery, then it was mountain biking.....then it was wine....i put an end to the wine and now its painting. i dont see an end in sight, and if this continues without saving he is not having his childrens best interest in mind....i have taken it upon myself to do all the money yet again---when i was working for the past couple of months i let him do the money----trusted that he would save...he said he would. and i go to do the money and theres nothing, when there should be a whole lot of something. i have a plan for what i am going to do about health insurance if it doesnt come through his job(he is checking today). im going to "ask dh to leave".....that way i wont be getting his salary....and ill get coverage for my kids. im doing what i have to do to make sure my kids are taken care of.

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#14 of 16 Old 05-02-2007, 04:12 PM
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Hi doulajewla,

I am sorry to hear about the money! I can understand where you are coming from, regarding male hobbies, money etc.... but that is another story. When it comes down to your kids health I totally agree with you, they are FIRST!
Maybe try to save some money each month on the side, a friend of mine does that due to similar problems with dh, this way she always has some emergency money put aside.

Did you try to get into contact with the Shriners Hospital? If your hospital wants half of the money up front, might be worth a drive down to Boston if necessary and if they do it for free?
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#15 of 16 Old 05-03-2007, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i called shriners and dartmouth and for our income they require half up front. i am working on the insurance.....somehow theres got to be a way.

Mamma to my four wonderful, amazing and unique children~~Wife to my true soulmate who sees things the way I do, together we are truly a team!
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#16 of 16 Old 05-07-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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I am a Naturopath, acupuncturist and midwife in Addison County and would like to invite people to take a look at my website. I have just started a Community Supported (flat fee) Health program that is intended to make natural family health affordable to everyone. Children under 18 are covered for free when their parents enroll in the program. I am very excited about the possibilities this brings to my community and hope to get some feedback about this new concept in health care.
http://www.drkatinamartin.com

In Health
Dr. Katina Martin
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