Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lets see how affordable college REALLY is.

Let me preface this saying, on that website I'm on.. well. I see this a lot. I've knocked down a couple 'anons' with my math.. and frankly, it takes me about 5 seconds to do the math. (It takes a lot longer to type it out than think it)

This is a bare bones budget sample, and although I get its clogged, messy and hard to follow.. its real.

more posting this for my benefit than yours, just so I can come back to this once I find a reader friendly way of explaining this via the internet.

Kentucky, COMMUNITY college for instate residents costs on average 3800$ per semester, not including sign up fees, book fees, deposits, or basic living. Kentucky has a lower cost of living.

Maximum federal student loan for each fiscal year (for a freshman) is 9500$
Maximum pell grant is 5500$
Lets pretend that Susie gets the max based on her minimum wage job and EFC with 1 child

9500+5500 pell grant 15k.

$15000-  7600 tution (fall and spring semester)= 7400
7600- 1000$ (books) 6600

6600- deposits, fees (id cards, application fees, etc) 200$ 6400
transportation costs (lets assume susie lives in a rural area, which is common here in KY..) 
Gas 250$ a month, car insurance 70$ per month (on her beater car) repairs 40$ a month (oil changes, tire funds, etc) so 360$ a month assuming she owns her car outright
so 6400- 360= 6040
Uniforms, school supplies, etc 500$ = 5540
So that leaves susie with a debt of 9500$ to uncle sam, with 5540 left over, at an interest rate of 6.8% which tacks on 3,618$ during the average 10 year repayment term (interest starts while you are in school and lets assume susie is in school for 4 years for a BA)
So, lets assume Susie some how magically finds a way to work a full 40 hours while going to school full time and raising one child alone.
Working 40 hours a week at minimum wage (7.25 federal) minus federal and local tax would net susie 580$ gross pay or 494.79 bi weekly after taxes, before health insurance premiums (which at mcdonalds start for families t 20$ a week)

So, susie makes 989.58 take home pay, before insurance each month.
With gross income accounted for and a rent at 700$ (since all housing assistnace is CLOSED) plus utilities at about 200$ a month (combined) susie would qualify for 181$ in food stamps, but no medicaid (since she is offered it via employment)
So, 989.58-900 rent and utilities 89.58 
89.58-150$ for extra food (yeah yeah say its enough stamps all you want.. its not)=-60.41

So lets take that 60.41 susie is short each month for basics, not including daycare (since daycare assistance is closed too) and times that by 12.
So the 5540 left over each year from student loans- 724.92=4815.08

Now lets average in day care costs, lets say at 100$ a week, to be on the cheap side
4815.08-5200= -384.92

Just for the shit of you saying well susie could get daycare assistance (you cant, the waitlist is a mile long since they provide it free to the welfare recips they force to 'volunteer') well, lets say she pays 25$ a week.
So 4815.08-1200=3615.08

Now diapers (if susies kiddo is younger) lets say 75$ a month.

Lets not forget if little susies child needs clothes and other necessities, not to mention copays and deductibles.
What about toiletries, HBA, laundry fees, etc?
Well lets say thats about 1000$ a year. 
Now lets say susie is some how isolated from the inflation bubble and this goes on in this exact formula for the 4 years she is in school.
Susie will have :

Loan Balance:$38,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance:$38,000.00
Loan Interest Rate:6.80%
Loan Fees:0.00%
Loan Term:10 years
Minimum Payment:$0.00
Enrollment Status:Graduating Soon
Degree Program:Bachelor's Degree
Total Years in College:4 years
Average Debt per Year:$9,500.00

Monthly Loan Payment:$437.31
Number of Payments:120

Cumulative Payments:$52,476.39
Total Interest Paid:$14,476.39
So, 14k in interest.
Not including if susie ends up in the ER on her bare insurance.. or her car blows up (or gets wrecked).. or she needs a laptop, or internet, or her car gets broken into.. 

Its BARELY affordable. If you are not working your damn ass off, you CANNOT make it. The fun part here, is who is going to watch susies kid while she is in school AND at work full time?

Oh.. and you dont want to get me started on a post graduation employment salary, regular bills, plus a student loan payment.
That will make your eyes suck back even further.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Oh Public Misinformation.. How I Loathe Thee

Let me preface this by saying, I have a virus. A flu like virus that makes me cranky and mean and miserable.

Anyhoo, this 'mom website' is more of a pit of entertainment than anything. I've mentioned them at least once before and well, usually I put in my two cents and go about my day.
This morning, with a bad headache and in between dry heaves, I came across another idiotic, misinformed post about Social Security.

I'm sure you already know that I would correct this misinformation, but mix that with the sickies.. and BAM.
You get this:

Okay. So maybe I was a little mean.. but apparently at least a few others agreed.
Max SSI benefit is 700$ a month or so. Thats FEDERAL. State supplements dont go above 30$ or so.

A MARRIED couple BOTH receiving SSI cant get more than 1038$ I believe. Still well below poverty level for two people, much less two with kids too.

Now if you do not know the difference between SSI and SSDI, you can read my post HERE.

After reading a few more uninformed posts... I had to say:

I blurred out the user name for privacy. Don't really care for cat spats or anything else.
(Cat spats? Damn it I'm picking up southern terms...sigh)

Its true.

Why is this misinformation so prevalent?
Why do people INSIST that most people on disability, be it SSI or SSDI are abusing the system?
Do they not realize how hard it is to get disability and how HORRIBLE poverty is?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Oh Haslam...


Well, I come and go from here as my time and health allows. I've had some issues since surgery and don't usually have the ability to sit upright at a keyboard for a long enough period of time.

I heard about a week ago that Tennessee Gov Bill Haslam said no Medicaid expansion under the so called "Obamacare" law.


Its paid in full for the next 3 years by federal funds. Then each year AFTER that Tennessee pays an increasingly small percentage towards the care. By 2020 it will be about 10%.

So... you deny BASIC healthcare to 1 million or so people in the third poorest state IN THE COUNTRY because you are seeking political advancement and to make a point?

That money will be there whether or not you like it dear Gov.

The only thing you are doing is dooming many to death.

Now dearest Gov wants to use the Medicaid money to strike a deal for 'private' health care to those eligible.

Because thats worked SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO well for TennCare already.


Wake up and smell the dying dearest Governor.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

SSI Snippet

I spend an unfortunate amount of my time on a website that I shall not name, geared towards moms.

Frequent topics are about welfare, food stamps, welfare reform, health care and of course child rearing.

Anything public assistance related is usually a hot button topic all while beating a dead horse.

Todays lovely topic is about SSI being welfare and how people need to 'get over it' because 'anxiety' isn't disabling for 20 years.
Well, I can tell you from experience that anxiety alone will NOT get you social security. That might be what they are telling you (and that person doesn't have to tell you squat about why they get social security) but they are probably leaving about 3-20 other more 'severe' diagnoses, provided usually by social security employed doctors.

My personal report was not pretty. Probably true, but not pretty. Time and lots of therapy will tell me if its accurate.

Now as a reminder, I do NOT get SSI.

Anywho... my response.

SSI is the nations biggest welfare suck.
And no you cant 'just get over it'.
With the state of health care as it is, the inaccessibility of mental health treatment to those WITH insurance, much less those without (not to mention QUALITY health care) thats just not realistic.

I want to know how people with terminal illnesses and life long issues get denied and dragged through courts for years until they die (usually before getting benefits) but people with 'anxiety' and 'autism' (that clearly DO NOT) get approved and never have issues.

As a recipient of SSDI (aka SS taxes taken out of my check when I worked IS my check now) I find SSI to be vital, but ill run, just like most other social assistance.

Baby steps. Fixing healthcare is first. Creating quality accessibility is second.
Removing people from rolls after treating them sufficently and managing ALL of their needs, thus enabling them to go into or return to the workforce is third.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Surgery.. surgery

I had surgery again yesterday (in and out!) so I wont be writing too much for the next week or so, I'm pretty loopy from pain killers.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

TennCare and SXC FAIL AGAIN!

So I have had TennCare as secondary insurance since September 2012. I became entitled to Medicare and basically I get under a certain amount in social security, so I get TennCare, which pays my 100$ monthly medicare premium and basically tells doctors 'We won't pay you, Medicare already paid you more than we would have, but you cannot bill her for that 20% since she has secondary insurance."
Really, Medicare is an improvement. Seriously.

Anyhoo last Saturday (the 26th of January 2013) I got this beauty. I figured it was some crap telling me about 'changes to TennCare drug coverage program, as administered by SXC Health Solutions', garbage they send me on a regular basis telling me how they don't cover xxx anymore. (I do NOT get prescriptions through TennCare anymore, so I usually disregard these.)
Since it was handwritten, I opened it.

As you can see by the post mark, it was sent out by SXC (TennCare) on January 16, 2013.
(More after the jump)

As you can see on the letter, it is dated August 13, 2012.
Great.. right? Okay, so I was a bit confused until I read the letter. 
(Jump with me now!)

Well, I have until September 22, 2012 to appeal my denial on a prescription I asked to be covered. Great, considering you didn't mail it until January 16, 2013.
By the way, I put little arrows for your reading pleasure. I realize its a bit small, but blogger wont let me blow them up anymore :(
Oh.. and the drug I appealed on August 13, 2012? A twin set Epi-Pen.
Epinephrine..  you know for life threatening allergies?
While filing this appeal, I did ask them what drugs they considered to be emergency drugs they would cover.
Epi-Pen is NOT one of them. There are no generics. They wouldn't have covered them anyways since I had reached my limit.

Upon questioning them further (I remember this conversation.. it agitated me) I asked if I had an allergic reaction today, used my Epi Pen (that I didn't have) and had to go to the hospital for treatment, was discharged the next day and needed a new one and had a script from the doctor, would they fill it?
They said if I had reached my 2 brand name limit.. NO!

That's a peach ain't it? Epi-Pen is ONLY for life threatening emergencies. That's what its made for. So how the hell is this not an EMERGENCY DRUG?!
(One more photo after the jump!)

Look.. they repeated themselves!

Well thanks TennCare!

By the way, TennCare is supposed to decide and respond within 90 days of an appeal.. and send this letter out immediately after pharmacy denial.

Look at that, someone broke their own rules! AGAIN.

Can anyone say FAIL?

By the way.. there are about 9 more pages, most in Spanish that I have omitted.

Have a problem like this too? Comment!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out of My Mind

As much as I hate the way this song portrays people with mental health issues.. sometimes it actually describes how I feel.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Dental Care

I haven't been around much for a variety of reasons.

TennCare is trying to cause bullshit with Medicare.. and I'm in the middle. 

Also, my wisdom teeth are coming in and are infected and incredibly painful.

I spent Tuesday from 5 am to 5 pm at a walk in dental clinic where I was not seen due to their xray machine not working.  I spent Wednesday from 7-10 trying to get in (their power went out during my appointment) and between 12-2 at my lapband doctor. Then 2-5 back at the dentist, where I was told they are impacted and I need to see an oral surgeon.

Cost? Any where from 400$-1000$ per tooth, not including anesthesia or follow up care.

Neither TennCare, nor Medicare provide ANY dental, vision or hearing benefits. Period.

So.. I'm fucked.

I'm out of ideas unfortunately.

Also, my lapband is now again 100% empty and I still cant eat more than water most times, and half the time not even that. The doctor is convinced its not my band causing these problems.. I disagree. So I'm now scheduled for gall bladder testing at the ass crack of dawn on Wednesday, which I'm sure will be normal.

I'll update when I'm not ready to die from pain.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Marijuana in Tennesse

Marijuana is a plant. A good one at that.
Its the only 'drug' I've found that alleviates ALL of my symptoms. Period.
Do I smoke it? No, for two main reasons:
1. Its impossible to find, I don't know anyone here and I suck at making new friends (hello depersonalization) so that leaves me high and dry.
2. Its illegal here in Tennessee.

I used to think anyone that smoked was a dirty hippie, belonged in jail and deserved to have their lives ruined by a criminal record.

My life changed in August 2010.  

I can't say much more on that, except that if you agree, contact your local legislators, and TELL THEM!
I do, every week or so.

Tennessee ALMOST passed legal medical cannabis, but withdrew the bill in Mid 2012.
Shame on you Tennessee.