Friday, November 03, 2006

Foster Care and Health Coverage

Gawdessness comments "I can imagine that a lot of people who might otherwise be foster parents are turned off by the amount of hustling they would have to do. It also certainly would make foster kids stick out in a family when they couldn't go to the same doctors etc. "

Those of us who mix bios and foster kids have to deal with that all over America. In the US we have multiple health care systems. Kids in the foster care system, throughout the country, are in Medicaid. The systems varies somewhat from state to state, but nearly everyone has the same basic issue it is difficult to find providers who will take Medicaid, and it is usually not the same provider that the rest of your family uses.

My family physician has agreed to take all of my kids, even though he does not normally take Medicaid patients. My optomologist regularly takes Medicaid patients, but then most of them do. It is just a single exam, afterall.

But that is where it ends. If the foster kids need glasses we have to go to the optical clinic at the Health department (which is open for a couple of hours a couple of times a week) and get whatever glasses are there. Dentists are a major pain as nearly none of them take Medicaid at all. A few, not in Our Small Town of course, will put a Medicaid patient on a cancellation list. If they get a last minute cancelation you can drop everything and rush your kid over. Of course since I work outside of the home that is not possible for me. There is a pediatric dentist in the next town over who will see children on Medicaid once each. He will do an exam and any work that is needed, but only once, and only for pre-school children. He says he would like to do more, but if he had any other policy he would do nothing but Medicaid work.

Medicaid will pay for orothodontia in extreme cases. David got that. Though there are two orthodontists in Our Small Town, and even more in the the next town over, I had to drive him to one just outside of The City because that is the one who takes Medicaid.

The private agency I work for will help us out in these cases. They have agreed to pay my dentist, for instance. They also arranged transportation for David for some of his appointments. They have paid for various things that Medicaid does not cover. Carl got contacts when he wanted them and some kids have had orthodontia even when Medicaid doesn't think their teeth are bad enough.

These issues are not just my state...this is the US. We spend two to four times as much per capita as most other developed countries and yet 16-18% of us have no health care coverage at all, and many of the rest have coverage which is beyond inadequate.


  1. OH MY GOD.

    I am horrified and saddened that this failure to care for kids is country wide.

    It doesn't mean that I am going to stop belly aching about the things that are wrong here in the Great White North...but I am going to keep up the good fight to keep what we have and to try and make it better.

    It ain't perfect but DAMN I love me my socialized medicine!!!!!!!

  2. The other thing about Medicaid is that if you are traveling outside of your coverage, you are S.O.L.

    When we were traveling in October, Baby R got sick and needed antibiotics. We had to pay out of pocket. They were $50. We are very fortunate that we could afford to pay it. The social worker is trying to get a reimbursement for us. She isn't sure it is covered.


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