Thursday, August 03, 2006

Help the Quiet Kitty…

I’ve heard it over the years, but this particular situation has brought the issue home for me. Authors, unless they’re covered by spouses or through SDJs (stupid day jobs), generally have little or no health insurance. Why? Because most authors, unless they’re Dan Brown or Nora Roberts types, don’t make enough money to pay astronomical premiums for individual policies—and none of the writer groups I belong to (Authors Guild, RWA, and NINC) has been able to get or keep group insurance policies even WITH astronomical premiums.

The reason for this is that most authors who need health insurance fall into a pool of undesirable insureds: middle-aged, female, with greater than average medical problems. Therefore, companies drop the groups like hot potatoes whenever the contracts come up for renewal, everywhere except in one or two states whose laws make it difficult or impossible to cancel group health policies.

Come on. Imagine a single mom, two teenage kids, who has suddenly become disabled. It’s taken her six months to get approved for social security disability, which in her state makes her total earnings about $100 per month too high for her to qualify for SSI benefits or Medicaid. Medicare doesn’t kick in until two years after she’s been on social security. But she has to have expensive treatment, on an ongoing basis, or she DIES. One piece of durable medical equipment she must have costs $5,500, although we’ve been able to locate one supplier who will give her a substantial discount.

This author is being inundated with bills and hounded by collection agencies, but still she can greet you with a smile, offer wisecracks when others might be dissolving into depression or hysteria or both. She still cares enough to offer her time and skill to help other authors. Most important, this amazing woman has stories in her head that she wants and needs to write.
I want to help her cope, make it possible for her to function without the daily intrusion of collectors, the constant worry that the treatments that keep her going will be terminated once those bills get too high. And I want you to help, as little or as much as you can afford. Visit http://www.savethequietkitty.com/ for more information, and to learn how to contribute via Paypal or your personal check.

6 comments:

Lyn Cash said...

thanks, Ann, but link doesn't work for me - not sure if it's me or what...email me off list if you like - milkbone undies @ excite.com - no spaces.

Lyn Cash said...

p.s. - congrats on the Plume award.

Ann Jacobs said...

That's because for some silly reason, I keep thinking of the site by the wrong name! I corrected the blog entry (thanks for pointing out the problem). It's www.savethequietkitty.com instead of what I'd originally written.

Ann Jacobs said...

Oh, thanks! It was a tremendous thrill to be sitting there at the luncheon at the Atlanta Aquarium, watching Beluga whales frolic in a huge window, and hear them call my name! I was so shocked, I didn't even think of doing anything but murmuring "Thanks" and taking my gorgeous pendant and certificate back to the table. Fortunately I'd gotten my senses halfway back when later in the program I won a door prize... and took that opportunity to thank Joey Hill (my critique partner), my wonderful editor, SueEllen Gower, and Ellora's Cave, for their parts in making FOREVER ENSLAVED as good as it is.

Melany said...

Congrats on the Plume. And thanks for sharing this. I think it's such a neat thing.

Lany

Cheyenne McCray said...

Hi, Ann,

I think it's wonderful what you've posted. I'm fortunate because we're covered under my dh's insurance.

Congrats on the Plume award!