March 6, 2018

Dan Update

If you're just passing by and interested, the original post is here.

Progress on Dan's hand is slow but mostly steady. The sawed fingers are starting to look like fingers! Still no fingernail on the one and you can see where the table saw made it's mark, but he can move it pretty well. The other still has a fingernail, but there are hunks of flesh missing, so that between that and ends of the knuckle bone gone, it looks somewhat deformed. He can move that one too, but just a little. He says he has to fight an overwhelming mental image of the finger coming off again. No, that's not rational and he knows it, but it's one of the things he deals with and must force himself to move it. The fingers still hurt but he says it's tolerable and no longer takes anything for pain. They are extremely sensitive to pressure and cold. (You can read here how we're treating the injury to promote healing.)

When can he go back to work? Unknown. Most of you know he's a trucker, but specifically he currently hauls overseas shipping containers from an inland port to a manufacturer and back again. If it was just holding the steering wheel, no problem. He's starting to use the hand for things like driving our vehicles and drying dishes. It's the things that require strength in both hands that are the problem: opening and closing stiff heavy container doors, connecting and disconnecting brake lines to the trailer, cranking the trailer's "landing gear" up and down for loading and unloading the containers.

The good news is that his social security retirement will start about the middle of April. It won't be a huge sum, but it will pay the mortgage, utilities, phone, internet, and car insurance, and leave us a little over $300 each month for food, fuel, and everything else. Between that and the couple hundred dollars I make each month from my writing, it will be enough! It will be about the same as he was making with his current trucking job, except the earnings from writing won't be extra anymore.

In a sense we've been training financially for this all along. When he's between jobs we've had to go weeks or sometimes months with little to no income. Each time we've learned how to live more efficiently on what we have rather than what we buy. Each time I've discovered that my frustration and anxiety over having no income has become less and less. I've learned to look less at the things I want and more at what I can do with what I have. I've learned to trust more in Providence.

Assuming he can go back to work, his income from his current job is less than the cap social security places on job income. That means they won't deduct from his SS benefits for making too much money.

Of the medial bills, the first ER is completely paid off thanks to everyone's help through GoFundMe. What a blessing community is! Because we were able to pay in full, we got an additional discount. Of the second ER bill, we've contested it, because he didn't go there for emergency services. He went because he had an appointment with a hand specialist and that was where he was told to meet him. We have copies from the first ER doctor documenting all that, but whether the second hospital will acknowledge or adjust remains to be seen. We should have enough from your donations to pay that one off once they make a decision.

One thing we learned from this experience is that he doesn't qualify for Medicaid. In our state Medicaid is only available for low income adults over 65 or for children. The other forms of aid haven't been any more hopeful, and all the layers of bureaucracy make it difficult to talk to someone able and willing to make an authoritative decision.

Regarding our situation we've had something of a mixed bag of reactions. Many of you have been quick to offer prayer support and financial help if you are able. This is what community is all about and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of you. But also I've gotten a number of comments (deleted) and emails of which the gist is basically: "I'm sorry Dan got hurt and I hope he gets better, but this is what you get for not having health insurance."

Apparently there is a belief out there that because of the affordable care act, health insurance is truly affordable to everyone. That's what they told us, right? So the only reason someone doesn't have it is because they choose not to have it. Hence no sympathy. Except that what they told us was merely promotional rhetoric, i.e. a sales pitch spun to gain support for it. After all, this is what politicians do, right? How else can you explain all those broken campaign promises? Then the bill passed and reality set it. Unfortunately, nobody cares about that. Only a few sources have actually analyzed the subsequent data, but politicians ignore that information and the mainstream media censors it, instead telling us that "victims of Obamacare" is all a hoax. Then when folks like Dan and me have problems, it's our own fault. And there doesn't seem to be a shortage of people willing to tell us so.

Well, I'm not going to try to convince anybody of anything. The lines are already drawn and people choose what they want to believe. Personally, I think that putting our hope in politics is not a wise idea. Why? Because politics has nothing to do with helping people and solving problems, but everything with to do with power. The current political battle over health care (and everything else) is just a big King of the Hill game with no thought or care for who gets hurt. And it's always the little guy who gets hurt.

Unfortunately all too many folks are emotionally chained to their political beliefs, sometimes in complete defiance of logic. I say Stalin got it wrong. Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, politics is. 

The irony of all this is that if we did have insurance, we would still have to pay this out of pocket because the total costs would have been less than our deductible. But, we would have had to pay full price because we wouldn't have gotten the self-pay discounts. Would our critics have been willing to help us then? I wonder.

So that's where it stands at the moment. I won't do anymore of these long updates on Dan. Progress is steady but slow, so I'm sure a brief here and there comment will be enough to keep you up to date. Your prayers are still appreciated.

Dan Update © March 2018 by Leigh


Ed said...

I'm glad to hear that Dan is continuing to improve.

My parents always taught me there is a time and place for everything. Kicking someone when they are down due to a difference of opinion is not one of them.

Mama Pea said...

I'd say this is positively great news regarding Dan's recovery from serious injury and I'm so glad to hear it. Your explanation of this whole insured/non-insured issue is spot on. There will always be people on both sides of the coin. I've heard of too many instances where those who felt being insured was the only "right" way to go have not been compensated when medical difficulties were encountered. And that is a very scary reality. Nevertheless, even though we all have our own beliefs as to the shape our whole government (and insurance system) is in, no one should have the right to tell you whether your actions are "right" or "wrong."

tpals said...

I'm so very happy that Dan is still recovering. I tend to worry about things like secondary infections.

I've always been baffled by people who put their faith in politicians because I don't trust any of them. It's a sad reflection on people's character when they think a time of stress is when they should be placing blame.

Melody A. said...

I am glad to hear Dan is doing better and his hand is slowly healing. I understand about trucking, it is much harder than most people think because there is a misconception that truckers are just driving. Loading semi's and flat beds and getting all of it chained down is hard work. I am glad the funds helped you pay the medical bills. I agree that there were terrible loopholes in the Affordable Care Act, the one thing that was really good about it is that it made insurance companies let you buy insurance even if you had a pre-existing condition. The rest of it is less than great for most people especially if you are older. Take care from Iowa

Cr said...

I'll echo Ed up above - this is no time to air negative opinions. This is the time to provide whatever help you can or just be quiet. Glad to hear Dan's making progress and thank you for sharing this difficult time with us.

Michelle said...

Love this: "Unfortunately all too many folks are emotionally chained to their political beliefs, sometimes in complete defiance of logic. I say Stalin got it wrong. Religion isn't the opiate of the masses, politics is." SO TRUE!

Our whole system – nay, WORLD – is broken, that's for sure. No surprise there for the Bible student! We have always had insurance, self-paid for most of our married life. We have paid untold thousands in premiums and out of pocket expenses, but would never have been able to pay the tens (or hundreds!) of thousands for what insurance DID cover – the bulk of my labor and delivery, Brian's broken leg, Rick's head dive off a truck onto pavement, Rick's hernia surgery, Brian's emergency appendectomy, Rick's heart attack . . . and those are just the "biggies." Still, we have to trust in God because nothing else is guaranteed!

Gorges Smythe said...

Some people can be SO self-righteous when it's not THEM having the problem. I'm sorry you've had to deal with such morons. I'm 62 and disabled and my wife is 75. Both of us have numerous health problems, but neither of us have any sort of healthcare. Yes, we could but Medicare Plan B, but only if we give up eating 10 days out of the month.

I've prayed for you folks and put your GoFundMe on my blog and Facebook a couple times. I wish I could have helped financially, but I know you understand. I'll say a few more prayers for you. May God bless you.

Judy said...

What most people don't understand about health insurance premiums is sometimes it a choice between eating and keeping the lights on or having health insurance in the event you 'might' have a catastrophic medical event. Which is your most immediate need? I have always chosen eating and electricity over an unknown.

It's good to read Dan is making progress on the healing front and is beginning to be able to use the hand again. You two are still in my prayers. Just remember God doesn't give us anything we can't handle, so hang in there. Hugs!

Leigh said...

Thanks Ed. I think theoretically, at least, most folks would agree with you. The internet just makes it too easy to correct or criticize others either anonymously or from a "safe" distance.

Mama Pea, thanks! Yeah, I think most folks don't understand that there are no guarantees with insurance. They are free to deny whatever they wish. That was a frustration for me in the days before insurance became mandatory and so expensive. I suppose it's something one has to experience to understand.

tpals, thanks! Interestingly, the hand surgeon said there are rarely infections from this kind of injury, unlike say, a dog bite. As a society we seem to be terribly disconnected from real human relationships. People say over the internet what they'd likely never dream of saying face to face. But for so many, the majority of their human contact is through an electronic device.

Melody, I appreciate that. Yes, truck driving is not an easy job. Long hours, little home time, little time off, and no overtime. Dan says it's not a job, it's a lifestyle. Of the current health care laws, I agree that is probably the only good thing that came out of it. Assuming one can afford the premiums.

Michelle, sounds like you've had more than your share of medical problems! I'm glad you had insurance when you needed it. We've looked into self-pay insurance and the premiums are almost 100% of our monthly income! Insane!

Gorges, I can't tell you how much your prayers and help have meant. I hear you about having to choose between health care and eating. I've sometimes been tempted to ask people who think we're fools to be uninsured, "well, what would you recommend we give up to pay for it? Food?" I think some folks would!

Judy, thank you! I just wish we couldn't handle so much, LOL. Your comment about people understanding the reality of health insurance is very correct. Some folks absolutely cannot conceive of anybody having an income so low that they have to make those kinds of choices. I'm just thankful Dan and I can grow most of our own food, and able to do things like give up air conditioning to live within our means.

Stephanie said...

Very well said about the so called health care system. As for the long updates, I'm happy to hear about Dan's progress and continue to pray for him and his continued healing. We have had several run in with table saws and other types of equipment so I understand how Dan is doing. All his fears are normal. Continue to update as you wish not according to the naysayers after all this is YOUR blog and no one has to read it if they do not wish too.

I ran across 5 Acres & a dream book purely by accident. Read it while camping in TN several years ago and came home and read ALL your blog within a few weeks. Our "campground" in TN is property we are setting up for retirement and our goal is to homestead/live off the land as much as possible. Since your climate is so close to where we will be I am learning lots of valuable information about gardening in that area & the animals. We hope to "retire" from our current positions in 4-5 years and more there.

Michelle said...

I think the only way we've been able to afford it for the last 20+ years is to form a "small group plan" for us and Rick's one full-time clinic employee. Health insurance costs are second only to payroll in our very small business, and we operate it close to the bone, just like we do our home budget.

Sam I Am...... said...

I couldn't get your email address so if you could just send it to me at I would appreciate it. Hugs ~ Sam

M.K. said...

Thanks for the update, Leigh. I'm sorry for people's insensitive and ignorant comments. Folks who still have insurance through an employer, or who have enough income to buy their own insurance, often don't understand how the system is rigged against people like us. Medicaid is simply not offered to adults in working age. And Obamacare was designed for the middle class uninsured. We only barely make enough to qualify, and many many people are TOO POOR to qualify for Obamacare! That mystifies folks, but the simple truth is that ACA was not designed for poor people, for unemployed or underemployed adults. The State Medicaid expansion was supposed to do that, and many states opted not to do it ... and as you said, that ALL was motivated by politics. My brother once wisely said that political parties are designed to do ONE thing: get their candidate elected. That's it. It has nothing to do with the citizens' needs or desires. I'm weary of politics and went independent a few years back. Ugh.
We recently had an unexpected expense for our dog's emergency surgery, and now an unexpected big expense for some dental work for Adam that cannot be neglected -- he's missing a front tooth :( And a daughter's wedding coming up. I know what you mean about anxiety over money.

I'm so glad you got so much support, and these medical bills won't hound you. And I'm thankful Dan's hand is better and improving. If he continues to work it, move it, use it ... it will improve. I'm very thankful you'll have SS income soon. What a relief! May God continue to watch out after you both and guide you along.

kt said...

glad to hear things are looking up a little for you. It's "damned if you do" and "damned if you don't" with health insurance, isn't it? We really had to struggle after hub had a major stroke at age 58, my work insurance didn't cover much, we were a long time paying the medical bills off until finally he got on SS disability. But you do what you have to do and it all seems to work out in the end, one way or another. I wish you continued progress and good luck.
Love and prayers...

Mike Yukon said...

The cap on earnings while collecting SS has been done away with. You can earn as much as you want without penalty.
As for the moron comments, all you can do is brush them aside and delete them. I get my share and unfortunately, they arrive as "anonymous" so I can't respond to them personally. I don't want to block 'anons' because most are good comments.

Melodye said...

Leigh, glad to hear Dan's hand is healing and that you both are doing as well as you are. I know people along the entire spectrum of health care and even for those with excellent health care all is not always as presented. For those who were helped by the ACA, it was a Godsend. Politicians play games with no real care of the consequences. Please continue to post updates about Dan, as I like hearing about his progress. Continuing to pray for you both.

Leigh said...

Stephanie, thank you! It always pleases me to no end to know that my books and blog have encouraged someone. I'm sorry to hear you've had similar experience with table saws. I'll pass on to him that his fears aren't uncommon.

Michelle, sounds like you all came up with an excellent solution. Group plans are a much better option for sure.

Sam, done!

M.K. yes, you are so right about Obamacare and who it helps. Yet everybody has to pay the penalty, even if they can't afford the premiums! That is so idiotic! Brought to us by the same party who claims to champion to poor! Stop the planet, I want to get off!!! LOL I'm sorry to hear you've had more medical bills piled on top of the ones you already have!

kt, thank you! Sounds like you've had a rough time with your own medical needs and struggles. I sorry to hear that. It's true though, you do what you have to and pray for the best. Thank you for yours!

Mike, really? About the cap, I mean? We recently looked it up on the SS site and they listed a cap for 2018. Maybe it goes away at full retirement age? I know on our income tax forms they always have a place for the taxable part of SS and I've always wondered what that meant.

Melodye, thanks! It's just a shame that so few people actually get help from aca and that others have to struggle to pay a penalty for something they can't have. Personally, I think they ought to get rid of all insurance companies. They offer no guarantees but prices skyrocket because of them. They are for profit companies, which means they have investors to please so prices will always had forever go up. Having worked in the system, I know that the attitude of "insurance will pay for it" gives way to a lot of sloppiness and waste. Your prayers are appreciated!

Chris said...

Damn! As if you needed such unhelpful comments, at a time like this. The blanket rule is a comforting assumption for people to have, it tricks them into a sense of security. But the blanket rule, does not always apply to everyone. Which is why I'm glad you're contesting the second bill too.

My advice as a former legal secretary: put it in writing, and quote their own policies. By all means, state, Dr A, referred you to Dr B, but follow it up with a quote from their own policy statement, about their responsibility to provide you accurate medical information. Which includes instructions to specialists.

The reason I suggest this is, by giving them one issue to handle - did they bill you correctly, it makes their job of fobbing you off, very easy. They can take as long as they like, fobbing you off, in the billing department. But by quoting something from their own policy, of a possible breech - well, they'll want to get you off their books as quickly as possible. And they might just start following their policies, to recognise - yes, that was our oversight. Trust me, they won't, until you show them, where their own policy guidelines failed you.

I've dealt with a lot of bureaucracies, and the only thing they listen to is quotes from their own policy. Because it's something they can't argue against. By applying your issue, in context of their own standard - well, it's their job to uphold their own policies. No-one wants to put their job on the line, by not following it. I've always got 100% turnaround, when I've quoted where an institution has not upheld a policy, in context of my issue.

It takes a bit of effort to hunt around for their policies - they will have links to them on their websites. But it's a lot less effort, compared to the run around you'll get, with people who think your estimation on their performance is wrong. Show them where their own yard stick exists. They'll have to start using it, or risk a breech in their own policy.

Good luck with this issue being resolved. Oh yes, and one more suggestion. When Dan visualises the finger being cut-off, by moving it - suggest a new image, to replace the old one, instead. Something like a flower bud, suddenly blooming. It has the same, "opening up" sequence, as the injury to his finger, but not the same horror or negative associations. The mind will automatically resort to remembering the incident, but you can train it to change the association. Flowers promise productivity, fruit, nectar and beauty. New beginnings, if you will. His finger needs to bloom, and renew itself, after breaking.

Goatldi said...

Good to hear of Dan's progress. I am happy that you have found solutions to your needs so you can move on with life and eventually be able to look back on this and see how much of a blessing it has been in its way. I know that sounds crazy but for myself our situation with Geoffrey's health has given us more blessings then not.

As for people who are so sure they know everything what goes around comes home to roost. And when one is so indulgent in their way being the only way one day the awakening they suffer may get their attention in a painful way. How sad that they lack good manners and have no true compassion for others.

Leigh said...

Chris, excellent advice. We sent a written letter (because emails are too easy to "lose" and phone calls don't document anything) along with a copy of the first doctor's notes about the referral, but didn't think to take a look at the hospital's policies. Dan did ask for an itemized bill but when we received it it was all in code, mostly letter abbreviations that we could only make wild (and sometimes silly) guesses at. Assuming I can find their policies we have something else to use now. Good idea about the visualization as well. He has a photo of the skeleton of a healthy hand that he focuses on, but I like the idea of a flower opening when he's exercising it.

Goatldi, thanks! And I do know what you mean about the hidden blessings in a difficult thing. Even so, we're definitely looking forward to having this behind us.

Mike Yukon said...

If you are of “SS Retirement age”, the earning “cap” has been dropped, you can earn as much as you want.

Leigh said...

Thanks Mike!

Fiona said...

Ralph has his Military insurance....when he cut his hand deeply with the double bitted axe (butchering roosters) ge had to get,stitches. The hospital bill was $1175.00 for 15 stitches and some Vetwrap bandaging that was terribly done. That was insurance, an Amish friend got 25 stitches and paid 575.00 cash at same emergency room.
You two are doing awesome with your plan and life choices. I do think of you often and so appreciate your blog. God bless you both and as to the negative remarks, insurance is not the only way to deal with health issues. You and this blog community prove that people gelp each other when they need to.

Fiona said...

My auto correct has gone insane...please bear with my awful typos above

Sue in Oregon said...

Glad to hear that Dan is making progress. In my opinion what Dan describes about fear of his finger is a classic PTSD symptom and he may never completely get over that memory. As to the naysayers out there regarding insurance coverage my husband always had a way of responding to that......"I know what I want to know so don't confuse me with any facts". Take care and know that you both are still in the prayers of many!

m said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meanie said...

Hello Leigh,
Glad to hear that Dan is recovering-- continued prayers for this to continue!
Forced purchase of $$$$ insurance = slavery for us. In the 2015 tax year we got whacked with $1700 in fines because we didn't carry any insurance for part of the year...because my husband wasn't working and couldn't afford the $1000 a month premiums (w/ a very high deductible)!
Someone pointed out to me why this Socialism thing is so appealing to some people-- They want the free stuff, but, get to feel good about it because they are helping those that have less. I thought it was an interesting take on why people are willing to give up their rights and force others to do things against their will. Fact is, Socialism doesn't work, never has, never will-- there is a lot of proof of that ...about 100 million dead bodies. <Anyone who supports socialism is dispicable. Jordan B. Peterson has a number of very good YouTube videos regarding this subject-- enlightening to say the least.
Forced insurance. Taxes. I am sensing a further rant coming on so, I'll leave it there! It is just 8:30am on a Wednesday!
Leigh keep up the good work-- love the blog!

Leigh said...

Fiona, that's what insurance does, keep prices high. We have found that the discount for not having insurance is between 30-50%. But we have to consider that insurance companies are in business to make money. And if they need to show growth to their investors, then prices will only continue to rise. I wholeheartedly agree that there are better ways to meet people's health care needs.

Sue, LOL. Love your husband's response! I'm going to have to use that on myself. Thanks for the tidbit about PTSD. It truly was traumatic for him and he has quite a bit to overcome.

Meanie, well said! We've had exactly the same experience with the tax penalty. But when the monthly budget is only about $1600 a month, $1000 for insurance premiums is impossible and the penalty is the only affordable option.

Yes, it's very curious how people are willing to give up freedom for the sake of comfort and the illusion of security. Very puzzling.

Mark said...

I'm so glad that Dan is getting better and that you seem to be positioned to get by ok until he can get back to work. Answered prayer!

Despite all the low-cost-insurance-for-all rhetoric, the high cost of insurance will be the gate for my retirement. I have pretty good insurance at the day job but, as of now at least, the monthly cost skyrockets if I choose to keep the same insurance after I retire. As you might guess, I'm not a cheap medical guy. Primary CVID meds alone are currently about $800/wk, most of which is covered by insurance now. At the moment, if it weren't for insurance I'd have to do without and wait for the inevitable. Unless something - my CVID or cost of medical care - changes, no insurance is not an attractive option for me.

Makes for a difficult choice for me like so many others: Try to continue working past the time when my health really allows me to do so to keep the insurance, or retire when the doc says its time and... ?

I'm hoping we have a couple more years before we have to make the choice, and that we get to actually make a choice.
Either way, God was faithful to provide when we were young and had almost nothing and is faithful now when we are blessed with more but have health challenges. He will continue to provide for us in some way as he does for so many others, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves.

The Wykeham Observer said...

Actually, the posts have been very informative, especially descriptions of how the healing process has worked. I'm kind of nuts-and-bolts, and I like this kind of specific information. As to the critics, all they had to do is actually read the variety of posts you've done on a wide range of subjects, to know you are not a couple of shiftless losers. I agree with your paraphrase of Stalin's quote. The purpose of politics seems to be to ensure incumbency, nothing else.

Leigh said...

Mark, I know how difficult your physical and medical challenges have been and I pray there will be a good solution for you when you get to retirement. I especially pray you won't have to work longer than you should! That would likely only add to your stress. Thank you for your encouragements and prayers!

If we had been able to afford insurance we would have had it. And if that had been the case I think more options would have been available, such as re-constructive surgery on Dan's hand. Without it, our options were much more limited. I'm sure it isn't an attractive option to a surgeon to do tens of thousands of dollars worth of work and then get it paid in small sums over a long period of time.

Phil, thank you for saying so. I worry folks will get bored with these updates! Or that we might sound like we're on some sort of pity party. This injury, however, has really taken center stage in our lives for the time being. But it is the kind of reality that happens with this kind of lifestyle, and I'm sure our situation has given folks lots to think about.

Sandy Livesay said...

Thank you for the update on Dan. My husband and I are pleased to hear Dan is working his fingers even through the pain. You and Dan are strong, and in time you'll get through this. We will continue the prayers, and keep you and Dan close to our hearts.

Lori said...

Don't get me started on the so called Affordable Health Care Act! I agree with you 100%!! My husband didn't have insurance for over 10 years. We thought this would be a good thing. That he could finally get insurance. What a crock! They said no one would be denied insurance. Lie. He was denied. Twice. We finally had to break down and put him on my insurance. Now it's like neither of us EVEN has insurance because I had to drop to a lesser insurance to be able to afford the monthly payment to add him and that means huge deductible. (insert eye roll!!) I'm sorry anyone was rude to you over this. Some people are just plain rude!! Continued prayers!

Leigh said...

Sandy, thank you! I have to say that an experience like this makes you stronger or breaks you down. Thankfully we know the Source of strength.

Lori, I'm so sorry to hear you've had so much trouble with health insurance. I didn't realize they could still turn folks down. That pretty much blows the "one" good reason for obamacare. I know they can throw penalties at you for their own mistakes. As with other bureaucracy - no accountability. Thank you for your prayers. They are appreciated!

Ron Clobes said...

At least keep us informed of Dan's progress every other week or so whether here or at the GoFundMe page. Hopefully, there are many victories to report in the coming months. I have found this topic useful both in pointing out the hospital 'Gotchas' and how socialized medicine really isn't very useful.

You have proven that the best insurance is building community by sharing knowledge. Keep up the good work. and nevermind the busybodies.

Leigh said...

Thanks Ron. I just figured folks were getting tired of hearing about it! In someways it doesn't seem to have anything to do with homesteading, but on the other, this is life. As you said, maybe how we deal with it will help others.

One thing I've noticed in the insurance discussion is that it makes little to no acknowledgement of alternative medical disciplines. I know people want to wave them off with the "no scientific proof" wand, but in researching for Prepper's Livestock Handbook I discovered that there is actually a lot of good solid scientific research backing up the use of herbs, homeopathy, and essential oils. However, it's all been done by animal scientists, and there doesn't seem to be much crossover into human medicine from that field. The demand has been primarily from the organic meat and dairy producers, who are looking for alternate treatments in order to aintain their organic certification. So the proof is there for anyone willing to acknowledge it.

Of the battle over imposed health insurance, I find it extremely ironic that the group of people most quick to embrace multiculturalism and criticize mundane American society as being racist are the very ones who want to force us all into white western medicine!

Mike Yukon said...

March 7, 2018 My comment about SS and earning cap. “If you are of “SS Retirement age”, the earning “cap” has been dropped, you can earn as much as you want.”

The comment is correct but for clarity, you need to be at SS “full retirement age” which is 66 or for some 67 years old. Mine was 66 yo but I kept working for another year (because I felt like it) and there was no Cap for me then or if I were to continue working again.

I apologize if I caused you any concern.

Leigh said...

No problem Mike. The whole social security thing is new to us so the information is useful. It will be a few years before he reaches full benefit age, but in the meantime the cap won't affect us. His current job was something of a trial, because we weren't sure we could cut our income down to part-time wages. But we adjusted and his being home more has meant getting so much more done. The goal has been to have infrastructure in place by "retirement," so we would no longer need to worry about buying materials, equipment, and project supplies. Even with this set-back we'll hopefully remain on track with that plan.

Renee Nefe said...

I am so sorry you have had to deal with trolls regarding your situation. It is so sad that folks who don't know what they're talking about are giving you grief about this.
From the beginning when the "affordable" health care act was in the planning stages, every bit of it was questionable at best. I have several friends who work in health care or insurance who were trying to warn folks but of course the media spewed all the good stuff and made it all seem like the most wonderful thing ever. sigh
My one friend who sells insurance has 3 boys and 2 girls...he watched his premiums skyrocket because he now has to pay to cover maternity care for his 3 boys! How ridiculous is that?
Another friend is self employed and thankfully can afford insurance...but instead of using a primary care doctor, uses an urgent care center because after 2 visits per year she has met her deductible. She is always complaining about the sub-par care she gets, but it all she can afford.
I am so glad to hear that Dan's hand and mental health are both recovering so well from this. I pray that you are able to get the 2nd hospital to listen to you and reduce your bill.

Leigh said...

Thanks Renee. I dunno, the whole squabble over health insurance just seems to be a political weapon to be against the other side.

I had to read twice about your friend who is required to have maternity care for his three boys. That company has definitely found a way to have guaranteed income!

Beckyathome said...

I'm sorry people have given you hurtful comments. It has happened to us before, as well. We have adopted 8 special needs kids out of foster care, and they were not babies. They had, and have, significant problems due to the trauma, abuse and neglect they suffered as small children, and due to drug or alcohol abuse by their birth mothers. Most people are very loving, kind, caring, and think we are doing a good thing. However, there have been a few who make comments like, "well, now that ___is in trouble, I hope you know you deserve that for taking them in.." or "What did you expect when you took in kids like that" and other not-helpful and very, very hurtful comments. So, we've had to cut contact with a few people who just would not, or could not understand that our kids were not going to look, act, or behave like other people's kids, but were doing the best they could. But, the comments still hurt. So, I want to encourage you to just try to ignore those mean-spirited remarks and just keep forging forward, doing the best you can in this uncertain world.

Leigh said...

Becky, wow, what an amazing family you have! If only people could understand that our value and worth as humans has nothing to do with how superficially "perfect" we are or how materialistic we are. I agree it's better to move on from folks who are continually hurtful.

The biggest problem with health care is politics. And people who are addicted to politics. As we've all seen in the news, it has become a political battle ground that has nothing to do with helping people and meeting needs. Sadly, too many folks are willing to hurt others for the sake of their so-called resistance movement. Unfortunately Dan's and my recent experiences with the modern health care system are that it is just as heartless and inhumane as these people are. Not that I'm taking sides, but we've definitely not been won over.