Faith Defined – The assurance of things hoped for and the certainty of things unseen.

In a continued effort to remain completely candid and vulnerable with you I am going to share what my family is dealing with as it relates to our Health Insurance concerns. These things are being shared in such detail in order to inform you so you are better equipped to pray with us, so you know what one real live, living, breathing family is dealing with who happen to be caught up in the US healthcare maze, and you may possibly have ideas that would be valuable for us.

COBRA Extension Denied
You are already aware, due to a loophole, we have been dropped from our current AETNA policy. We are covered until Friday, June 30, 2017. We have an advocacy group and a few friends exploring the possibility of a reversal of this decision for us.

Window of Need
Medicare will be available for us on May 1, 2018. With this being the case we will need a bridge of coverage between July 2017 – May 2018 (10 months).

The Exchange
We were recently informed Vanderbilt does not accept a single policy offered through the exchange. This happens to be where all my doctors are.

Private Options
Vanderbilt offered us three options that could provide a solution, however, it doesn’t appear to be very promising.

Cigna LocalPlus Bronze
Yesterday, I called and was unable to speak to a human being. Application for this policy must be done online. We will do so today.

Farm Bureau
Spoke with a human and received policy description.

$750 Monthly Premium
$2,000 Deductible
20% CoPay after meeting Deductible

The fact is, every two weeks I receive chemotherapy and the fee for this treatment is $19,500. This would cost Tracey and me $3,900 per treatment and on disability income even I know these numbers don’t add up.

TN AETNA Bronze Deductible
AETNA will not allow us to review this policy until I experience a qualifying life altering event. A qualifying life altering event, according to them, is losing your Insurance policy. Interesting, AETNA is causing this life altering event by choosing to not extend COBRA. We will be able to apply and assess these policies on June 1, 30 days prior to said life altering event.

Self Insure
A Vanderbilt Financial Counselor shared I could pay for the treatments / services Vanderbilt offers out of pocket and they will take 60% off their billing rate. As a patient, I would pay 40% of the amount they bill insurance.

$19,500 Treatment (.40) = $7,800 every two weeks

Obviously, this is not an option.

This happens to be an issue the Murtha family is dealing with. Each of you have a burden, something you are carrying and for the most part you are probably carrying your burdens alone. Susan Ashton had a song a few years ago, I believe it was written by Wayne Kirkpatrick, called Suffering in Silence.

My family and I have chosen to live out loud. We have chosen to share the good, the bad, and the ugly. We have chosen to trust God and the body of Christ with our predicament.

The fact is, I have never been more alive. Never have I understood what it means to surrender, to say yes to Jesus, and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I feel a boldness and joy I have never experienced and we are seeing fruit from our efforts, from this way of living.

Allow me to encourage you to pray for the ability to live in this way. You will never be more alive. There is no better way to live. Simply slow down enough to hear God’s still small voice and do what he asks you to do…join me on the adventure.

The Apostle Paul said, “To live is Christ and to die is gain.” I believe this with everything in me.

If God wants me here, and if he has continued work for me to do, on this earth, then he will provide a way. If it’s time for me to pass from this life to the next, then I am ready.

As my friend Clark Millspaugh said over 5 years ago, “Either way…I’m golden.” Clark is now in heaven with Jesus and I am certain, when it is my time, he will be one of the first to meet me on the other side.

Thank you.

Kelle Mills – Thank you for your great idea to reach out to Congressman French Hill.
Kristen Marie Grimm – Thank you for introducing me to the TN Justice Center.
Renee Rizzo – Thank you for your willingness to reach out to Congressman Marsha Blackburn for me.

Thanks to the rest of you for your prayers and continued encouragement.

To God be the glory!