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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ella's six month appointment

Ella has not had any insurance since she was a month old. Brian's work doesn't offer insurance for family members, just for employees, and I couldn't afford to put her on my COBRA coverage which was just about to end anyway. Tennessee has a special program for kids called CoverKids, which Tessa is on. It goes by your income, and for children ages one to 18, the income range is $21,000 to $55,000 a year. With me not working, we fit into that.

However, for babies under a year old, the income requirement is $40,000 to $55,000. When I was signing Ella up for it, I looked at Brian's pay stub and recording his take home pay and not his gross income. This put us right under the $40,000 mark, and they told us we didn't make enough money. However, we made too much money to put her on TennCare, our state's version of Medicaid. The good thing is I realized my mistake after Brian got a raise, and she now qualifies. She should have insurance in the next month or so.

So, I paid out of pocket for her two month and four month check ups. I didn't do shots, because the check ups were $175 alone. If we had done the shots, it would have been over $300 each time. I wanted to do the shots on a delayed schedule anyway, so waiting to get the shots was fine with me. I knew we didn't need another $175 bill right now, and I knew I needed to start her shots now, so I decided to take her to the health department. I really didn't want to do this, because we aren't needy, and I truly feel their services should be reserved for the needy. But, I put that aside and went, because I didn't think she should wait for her check up.

She weighed 16 pounds, 6 ounces and was 24 inches long. This is the 75th percentile for weight and a little less than 50th percentile for heighth. They said she was strong for her age, and they expect her to crawl really soon. She also got three shots. She didn't cry for the first one, but she screamed about the other two. I felt so bad. I was also afraid she would be really fussy afterward, but she was still my happy, smiley baby.

When the nurse was examining her private parts, she said, "You can tell your momma takes care of your little girl bits."

It makes me wonder if some people don't. My aunt said they probably see the worst of the worst in there, and I'm sure they do. They acted surprised she was so well cared for. As much as I am glad the health department was there for us (we did have to pay but only $29 compared to the $300 it would have been at the doctor's office), I am glad Ella will have insurance soon, so I can take her to the pediatrician for the next check up.

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