Question 10: How do you pay the medical bills for 8 (soon to be 10) special needs children?
Our insurance is like most in that it has a max family out of pocket dollar amount. In other words, once you have paid a certain amount in medical bills, everything is free after that. Since we brought our first two children home in 2000 we have met the max out of pocket by March every year. So adding more special needs kiddos has not added to our medical bills. We just budget our max out of pocket every year and so it is expected and not a shock to the system.
For perscriptions, we have found a great mail order pharmacy that does not charge us any copays. They just take what our insurance pays. This helps with medications that are regular and expected. We still have to go to a regular pharmacy for unexpected illnesses and that can get pricey if everyone gets strep throat at once!
For things not covered by insurance, like our handicap accessible van, ramps, toilet chairs, bath chairs, elevator, lifts, specialized swings, bikes and seats, we buy most of our stuff used. Families who get medicaid (we don't) get all these things paid for usually so they are willing to sell them for way cheap if not give them away once their kiddos no longer need it. For example, Clarissa needed a toilet/shower chair and our insurance would not cover it. New they are $3,000. I bought hers used for $125 and it had only been used for 6 months and was like new. www.ksl.com, www.ebay.com and www.craigslist.com are all great places to find used equipment for special needs kiddos.
Keep the questions coming! They are fun to answer and give me something to blog about while we wait and wait and wait and wait and wait. ;)