One woman's path through doula training, childrearing, and a computer science Ph. D. program

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Going bare: The plight of the uninsured

I cannot afford to insure my son through my grad school plan.

The insurance premium for dependents on my graduate student health insurance plan (GSHIP) has increased from $860 to $1120 for a single quarter (3-month period).

My stipend as a teaching assistant or researcher is $5000 for a quarter, and the job comes with GSHIP coverage for myself.

Well-child visits fall under my insurance, and the annual-year (September to September) maximum is $750. I have blogged about this -- a single well-child visit the clinic that we used to go to runs around $800 as billed to the insurance.

And so, I have declined coverage for my dependent through the GSHIP. I told the insurance office I cannot afford it.

In actuality, my spouse's new company (he works for a start-up) will take off within a few months, and health insurance is part of the package. Until now, he has worked for a different start-up of six employees, and health insurance was not offered. We just have to hold out for a few months!

Without insurance at all, going to well-child visits seems risky. More than likely, everything will be fine. But what if the well-child check finds something wrong, like diabetes? Without his own insurance, there is a chance I can never get him insured again... and he is only 9 months old.

After shopping around, I found catastrophic insurance for $58/month instead -- over six times less than what the graduate school suggests I buy.

Now, I just have to build a bubble for my son to live in while we wait!

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