My insurance company has been notified that I no longer have Medicare part B, and they sent out a letter about two weeks ago that I would no longer be eligible for the Medicare Advantage plan that I have been on for about six years now. My insurance (read: prescriptions) will end at midnight on March 31st. I have about 1.5 months worth of Abilify and about 3 weeks worth of Seroquel left. I am not going to be able to fill the Seroquel in April, and the Abilify is going to run out in mid-May, give or take. The two prescriptions combined cost about $1900.00 per month. That’s more than I get per month on disability which, if you have read the previous few posts, has been denied due to a resounding medical improvement. With all due respect to the Social Security Administration, when someone who has been on and relied upon disability to pay rent, pay for groceries, utilities and what not for about 9 years, this type of situation is going to cause a medical slide back down the hill. I do not think they recognize the severity of the situation. Since I received that letter notifying me that my benefits were to be discontinued, I have grown depressed, extremely anxious, panicky, sleepless (which really helps people with Bipolar….not), and a whole host of other symptoms that had become manageable. Now, I am back to crying at the drop of a hat, my Klonopin usage is back up to the prescribed dosage (I had managed to drop it to half), and I do not know what I am going to do when the Abilify runs out. I am going to be an untreated mentally ill person again, and that scares the living hell out of me.
I remember what it was like to be untreated. My moods were all over the place, I have been told that I could be quite the bitch, I abused drugs and alcohol in a vain attempt to regulate my moods on my own, and it just wasn’t a pretty sight. I am afraid that I am going to get suicidal again, not just of the ideation variety, but of the type that attempts it. I already have 7+ attempts under my belt, and the last one was nearly successful. I have been assured that my benefits will continue throughout the appeal process, and that data has been entered to resume my benefits. However, I have also been told that sometimes that data just kicks out of the system, and I won’t know that until April 3rd when the next check is to be deposited. This is going to be two weeks of extreme anxiety: will I get my check, will Medicare be reinstated as the liaison between the SSA office here and the Benefits Determination Services has assured me? I do not want to see what is going to happen.
Everyone keeps telling me that the Affordable Care Act is supposed to be in place to take care of these problems, but I have looked at the supposedly “affordable” insurance programs available, and unless you want a huge out of pocket expense, you won’t get a premium below about $250.00 per month. If you don’t mind having an out of pocket expense of around $6000.00, your monthly premium is going to be in the $350.00 per month range. Add $350.00 to the roughly $2100.00 worth of prescriptions I take monthly, and it is just not feasible.
Even the thought of trying to secure a job that has benefits gives me a panic attack. What if I have a depressive episode, and I cannot function at home or in the workplace? I’ll just lose another job, I guess. I have never been able to keep a job longer than two years because something always goes wrong; I make a stupid mistake, or the job is beneath my qualification level and I get bored and then I get depressed. Then I get fired for not being able to complete tasks on time, or finish them at all. I have a hard time following instructions (ADD) spoken or written. I have a huge problem with micro-management; just piss off and let me work, it will get done if you aren’t in my face every half-hour.
I am getting nervous to the point of actually being afraid for myself. How am I supposed to live? These are not entitlements. Disability benefits are paid out of taxes that I paid into while I was working for about 17 years. I earned these benefits. I also was doing some more reading on what types of conditions are eligible for benefits: if I was a drug addict or alcoholic, I would qualify for disability benefits. I am sorry, but drug addiction and alcoholism may not be conscious choices, but they are choices none the less. Having a few mental health issues is not really a choice. It just sort of happens to people especially those with mental health problems in their families.
My parents (my mom, really, because my Father is too narcissistic to think about much other than how he plans to retire with a few million under his belt) can only help so much and for so long, and I really don’t want their help. As it stands, my mom helps me more than I would like, but it is a necessary evil. I appreciate everything they have done, and I am extremely grateful to have parents that are living at my age, as well as, having the means to help to a point. It is a very fine line. My life was built on a house of cards, and the SSA pulled one of the foundation cards out so the whole thing fell. I am seriously beginning to freak out.