Monday, March 22, 2010

Celebrate and Give Thanks

Celebrate and Give Thanks

On December 30, 2009, my little boys landed on the planet with pre-existing conditions.  They have been in the hospital the last eighty-two days and racked up a combined sub-total of two million dollars in hospital bills—lemme say that again—a sub-total of two million dollars.  And that’s just for the first forty-five days.  They’ll come home in a week or so—lemme say that again, too—a week or so. 

But we’re not out of the woods yet.  And won’t be, even after the boys get discharged.  There will be monthly assessments and physical therapy appointments.  It is expected that the boys won’t sit up until they are about seven months old, crawl at a year, and maybe not even speak until the age of three.  For the next two years we will have to get monthly shots for RSV (a respiratory virus) from November to April.  We will be tracked closely for the next two years, and intermittently for the two years after that.

That’s a lot of doctors’ bills.           

Luckily, we’re covered.  Matt has excellent health insurance through his work.  Of course, we are still getting calls from healthcare providers because Aetna isn’t paying its negotiated share and we still get loads of bills everyday and I’m still confused by all the fine print.  And up until today, I still worried.  Worried that we would suddenly get dropped.  Worried that Matt might get laid off and we wouldn’t be able to afford the $3000 monthly COBRA coverage.  Worried that Matt might become chained to his job just because of the health benefits.  Worried that the benefits package could disappear. 

But tonight, on the eve of tomorrow’s historic event, I am relieved.  Now I know that for the rest of their lives, no one will deny my little boys healthcare coverage just because God brought them into the world a little early.  Now I know that no matter what happens with Matt’s job or our fickle insurance company, we will not go bankrupt just because we choose to keep our family healthy.  It’s a huge relief.

However, I’m not just relieved, I’m flooded with gratitude.  For years Matt and I have been the uber-healthy ones, paying into a system month after month, year after year and never drawing on it.  We were the ones that the insurance companies cherry-pick and love to cover: the young folks who never need to see a doctor. 

Of course the twins changed all that.  Now we will never pay into the system what we get out of it.  And the only reason their security—their health—will even be possible will be because of you.  All of you.  Every person in our family, every person reading this blog, heck—every person in this country.  Our twins can be covered no matter what because now their risk can be balanced by your health.  Oh, I am grateful.  So grateful.  Thank you.  All of you.

My sons are alive because of the wonderful healthcare they received.  They will continue to be able to get care and coverage because of the new legislation that will pass.  And while we, the Kovacs, might never pay enough into the system with hard dollars, there are other ways we can repay our debt.  My sons have their entire lives in front of them.  You can be sure that we will raise them so they know that they owe you.  Maybe they will be scientists who discover cures.  Maybe they will be doctors who help heal the sick.  Maybe they will be judges who will fight for justice.  Maybe they will be artists who inspire others.  Maybe they will be loving husbands and fathers who will raise scientists, doctors, judges, or artists. 

Whatever vocation they will follow, know that they will do it with compassion and empathy.  They will know that we are stronger as a whole than we are as individuals.  They will teach others that the strong always help the weak.  They will be generous in spirit and always, always, grateful. 

It’s a good day.  A good day indeed.  And thanks again, everybody.

© 2010 Janine Kovac 


  1. Wow! What a post! It reminded me of Micah 6:7-9: And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

    And you seem to be doing just that!

    What an awesome post. A week? They will both be home in a week?

  2. Gives "Million Dollar Baby" a whole new meaning, right?! (look at me with the movie references!)

  3. I am rejuvenated and refreshed and deeply heartened by your thoughts on life and its continuation. I thank you very much for sharing your experiences in such a clear and beautifully written manner. Love you. Stay well and continue the "good work". Aunt Lulu

  4. Janine, I had NO idea. To have all this ripped away from us (because health care is a "responsibility" not a right) is incomprehensible. Thanks for re-posting.