I’m on vacation, but I really do miss ya.
Please enjoy this post from own big sista!
When Heather asked me if I’d write a guest post, my first thought was……. me? I am not a pro like these other mamas but decided what the heck – here it goes.
I’ve been a little tight with my money since I was a kid, my dad would give me 2 quarters to put in the offering plate at church and I’d tithe 50% and pocket the rest. I may even still have that first quarter tucked away some place : ) Unfortunately, some of the obstacles I’ve recently encountered regarding our ever changing economy won’t be fixed by saving my quarters.
My husband and I have both served in the Army Reserves, almost 50 years combined service……. Him MUCH longer than I. A few months ago I had to retired, for medical reasons, the military and I had served each other well over those many years. It provided much need direction in my life and money so I could finish college without going into debt. Over the course of our lives the military has given both my husband and I incredible opportunities and we are thankful for that. Recently we had to make a tough decision regarding my husband’s military career.
In 2005 my husband was deployed to Iraq, all total he was gone from home 15 months. This was, without a doubt, the most difficult time of our lives. Somehow, with God’s grace, we made it through. But, it was a very trying time for all of us. We have 3 teenage daughters (which is a whole financial crisis in itself – that’s a whole blog by itself) and we decided, as a family, that dad would retire before we would ever go through that again. A few months ago the time came for us to make good on that promise. Faced with ANOTHER deployment to Iraq, my husband requested retirement and to our great relief, his request was granted. This is a very exciting event for us, we are tired of him spending so much time away from home.
Even before the excitement abated, the financial realities began to set in. As the economy limps slowly along, we will now have a significant loss in extra income. As a Colonel, he makes really good money. He gets paid each month and several times a year when he’s gone for several weeks at a time on duty. We crunched the numbers and will survive, fewer dinners out and home projects (my husband has a bit of an obsession with STARTING projects around the house, but that is a whole other story!)
The big money issue will come in the way of health insurance cost. I know you maybe asking yourself what health insurance has to do with all of this. We get our health insurance through the military. Contrary to what you might think, it’s pretty good health insurance at a VERY reasonable rate, about $185/month for our family of five. We’ll now be forced to get health insurance through my husband’s employer which costs almost 3 times as much a month. (The deductibles and coverage are essentially the same) Wow, lower income and higher health care cost! I wouldn’t have thought my husband and I would be smack in the middle of the health care reform debate. I’m sure we’ll figure it out, maybe instead of a fewer dinners out maybe we’ll skip dinner once in awhile!
All of this really got me thinking about how the nation really is in a health care crisis and what our government is trying to do to fix it. I Googled “health care reform” so I could try to understand what’s going on. After a night of research, I may be more confused than I was before.
What I do understand, in my simple way, is that health care costs are way out of control. I won’t go political so don’t worry (As my husband proof read this he made me insert this comment – to Jenn’s blogisphere coven – you DON’T want Jenn to go political). But what I don’t understand is how we could have good health insurance through the military/government and pay 1/3 of the price that we will now have to pay through the private sector? Same type of coverage, able to see any doctors we want and pay 20% if they are out of network. My husband, who had a brilliant flash of the obvious – pointed out … the military insurance isn’t for profit like private sector insurance companies… all the military insurance has to do is break even. That really got me thinking, do we really need health care reform or just greed reform. Seems like greed has gotten our country into much of the situation we face today. I don’t have the answers, but it seems there needs to be a balance between making a buck and taking advantage of the system and the people it’s there to serve. Just because something’s legal doesn’t necessarily make it right.
Enough of my rambling, I’m very proud of my husband’s service to our country and yes I am a little (well maybe a LOT) freaked out about the money and the health insurance.
Bottom lin– we are not willing to pimp my hubby out to Uncle Sam to have extra cash and reasonable health insurance. I guess we should just count ourselves lucky that we both have jobs and health insurance. After all, aren’t we all learning that money doesn’t replace the time spent with loved ones? Maybe this recession really is a reality check for all of us.