Since the beginning of this journey I have posted about our ongoing medical expenses. Before Medicare kicked in we accrued nearly $12,000 in UNcovered medical expenses - deductibles, co-payments, exempted expenses. And that didn't count non-medical expenses such as travel costs.
But here's an appalling reality: Before the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act, Babygirl was covered on my insurance only for as long as she remained a full-time student. Since it's unlikely that she'll go to college, that means her coverage would end nine months after she turns 18. THAT means she (we) would have to find some way to cover her medical care, which currently is exceeding $3000/month between prescriptions and doctor visits. Her last hospital stay was just over $12,000 for four days including the biopsy, anaesthesia, room and board, and medication, and our private insurance is so far saying that it was not medically necessary (um.....she was rejecting her new kidney, but hey!) so they don't plan to pay.
Babygirl will be unable to afford her medications after she graduates. We will not be able to afford to help her enough to prevent her from rejecting the kidney - remember, you only have to miss TWO DAYS worth of pills to start an irreversible rejection.
So here's how it would go: She'd miss pills. The kidney would die. She'd go back on dialysis at $170/day and Medicare would restart after three months ($15,500 for dialysis, more for the meds you need to survive dialysis). They'd put her on a transplant list, and she might get a new kidney, but Medicare only covers you for three years after transplant, and then the cycle would begin again.
She'd die, either as a consequence of dialysis, or lack of care, or rejection. And she'd die young.
I know she doesn't have a normal life expectancy. But I truly think that with decent health care she'll make it out of her twenties! To me, "dying young" is sometime after fifty. But without the Affordable Health Care Act, that will be out of the question.