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    THIS WAS IN PUBLIC DOMAIN BUT THE NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED

    THIS WAS IN PUBLIC DOMAIN BUT THE NAME HAS BEEN CHANGED
    Subj: Re: ARTICLE IN CHRISTOPHER REEVE NEWSLETTER


    Dear Paul,

    I am responding to your request via email because it allows both of us to correspond at a time when it is convenient. If this form of communication does not meet your needs, then I'd be Happy to speak with you and/or your dad by phone.

    As the article stated, Robert was injured in an automobile accident. Michigan has a catastrophic care insurance requirement which means that all aspects of his medical care and rehabilitation are covered by this insurance. It pays for such things as counseling for family members, mileage for driving to the drug store to pick up medications, "blue chucks" which are used to catch spills when his cath is changed or in the early stages of his bowel program, and he is in the process of getting a 36,000.00 van (his second since the accident). In short, if he has a bill as a result of this accident, the catastrophic care fund pays for it.

    Shortly after the accident, we learned that in spite of the catastrophic care law, the insurance company wanted to hold down costs as much as they could get away with. In the first two years after the accident, I filed six complaints with the Michigan State Insurance Commission on matters not involving Personal Care Attendants. That got the company's attention to the point that they do not "mess" with Robert's benefits now.

    With that prelude out of the way, let's talk about my company. For the first year after the injury, family and friends cared for Robert, and were paid at a rate of $6.00 per hour as "independent contractors." This was fine with us as he was our son, and we would have gladly have done it for nothing.

    As soon as he was able, Robert wanted to be on his own as any 23 year old would. This meant that he needed to find attendants other than family. As you well know, $6.00 per hour does not allow you to hire the cream of the crop. We could have gone to a local agency which would have provided attendants around the clock, but you never would know who was coming, and you might have 6 different people during a week.

    I learned that the insurance company was paying these categories $12.00 per hour to provide the service. I asked them to raise the "independent contractor" rate to $8.00 for Robert's attendance and was quickly and consistently refused. "We pay companies $12.00 per hour because they have expenses." I figured that I could become a company with minimum expenses & pass the savings along to the attendants. The result is that one of Robert's two main attendants earned over $40,000.00 last year. I pay $8.00 an hour for the first 4o hours, and $14.00 for overtime. I am able to pay for two weeks of vacation as well as $500.00 per year for "medical insurance." Whenever the boys eat in a restaurant, go to a movie, go to a hockey game, or stay in a motel, I pay all the attendant's expenses. I have provided beepers and a cell phone for them as well. If the attendant has to take Robert some place in his car because the van is being repaired. I pay $.31 per mile for mileage. It will be hard for him to leave for another job, and that is exactly what I intended to happen.

    How? I went to a local company that provided attendant care & asked questions about billing, records, lawyers, and accountants. I then went to the lawyer that company used & ran my idea past him. Fortunately, his positive opinion was free! I then contacted the accountant the company used and had him set me up with all of the forms, etc. that I would need. I have since helped one other Michigan automobile accident victim set up his company as well.

    Paul, you can see that the key factor here is the Michigan Catastrophic Care law. I hope that your state has something like it that you can rightfully take advantage of. Please let me know if there is any more information that might be helpful.

    Admiring and respecting your courage, I am,
    Sincerely yours,
    Robert

    PN
    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
    --General George Patton

    Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
    ––Paul Nussbaum
    usc87.blogspot.com

    #2
    The insurance company pays up to $250,000; any expenses over that come from the state's catastrophic care fund, and funnels through the insurance company. It's amazing what they will pay for, and what they quibble about. My insurance company pays me $10 per hour to act as an aide for my daughter.
    ____________________________
    "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
    ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"


    "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
    ~Philo of Alexandria

    Comment


      #3
      Vicky, how does that work? I think our ins says something about only providing care if he needs a home nurse. Does that mean I can go to the state and get paid for being his caregiver? Can you also have other employment or does that have to be your only "job"? Is there a limit on how many hours a day or week? Sorry for all the questions, but I need all the help I can get! This SCI is an expensive business as if everyone here didn't already know that.

      Comment


        #4
        Martha~

        I'd be happy to explain this all, but I don't know if Texas has anything similar. Michigan has a Catastrophic Injury/Care law which applies to people injured in car accidents only. So, my car insurance acts as a secondary insurance, and covers everything Brianna might need as it applies to her injury, and that is not covered by our health insurance. There is no cap on this, and it includes providing adequate, accessible housing, transportation, care, medical supplies, etc. It would be interesting to see what other states have such laws; and it would be wonderful to start something in the states that don't! I believe that a portion of the money paid out for car insurance goes into this fund. If you still want some information, I would be happy to answer any questions.

        Vicky
        ____________________________
        "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
        ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"


        "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
        ~Philo of Alexandria

        Comment


          #5
          Michigan is one of the first states to have passed a no-fault car insurance plan, and this is how it works there. Every state is different. I voted against the no-fault plan in my state because it would not have provided half of what the Michigan plan did.

          Some states will allow family members to be paid as attendants under their state attendant care plans, but generally these are restricted to only those people who are Medicaid eligible. In our area, they will pay for some attendant care, and will pay a family member, but also expect family members to provide at least 8 hours daily of "free" care. Other states will only let you hire from a nursing agency. Also, the agency, not you or your family members, determines how many hours daily you "need".

          Your local ILC is a good resource to find out about the rules in your area.

          (KLD)
          The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

          Comment


            #6
            Vicky, KLD, thanks. I didn't realize it was tied to auto insurance for auto accidents. Must have not read it carefully. So, it wouldn't help us even if Texas has such a thing though I hope they have it for others of course. Actually since the politicians here are in the pockets of the insurance companies, I would be VERY surprised if such exists in Texas. Insurance in this state is a joke and an expensive one.

            Comment


              #7
              Amazing how much state law impacts our lives, isn't it?
              Kath

              Comment


                #8
                This law was, really, a Godsend for us; we didn't have to worry about finances in regards to Brianna's injury, care, or rehabilitation. On the other hand, it wasn't smooth sailing, either. For instance, while the insurance company is responsible for making the necessary changes to our home to make it accessible for Brianna...here it is, four years this March, and THEY ARE NOT FINISHED REMODELING THE HOUSE. It's very frustrating. I know it's at no monetary cost to us, but there was a price to pay. So many people, including the insurance reps themselves, treated us as if we had won the lottery ("You people are looking a gift horse in the mouth!") Yippee. I'd give it all back in a heartbeat. Let someone else win this lottery. The price for the ticket is WAY too high, in my opinion. In fact, no one should EVER win this lottery. I wouldn't wish an SCI on ANYONE. So, Michigan's law did provide some peace of mind, but nothing is ever free...
                ____________________________
                "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
                ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"


                "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
                ~Philo of Alexandria

                Comment


                  #9
                  The article appeared in the Spring 2000 issue of the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Newsletter. The title of the article is "Stephen Barnard: Rebuilding His Life."

                  Their website address is: www.paralysis.org

                  PN
                  The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
                  --General George Patton

                  Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
                  ––Paul Nussbaum
                  usc87.blogspot.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    From the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation newsletter dated Spring 2000


                    STEPHEN BARNARD: REBUILDING HIS LIFE

                    He had been riding in the backseat of the car for only five minutes when it skidded on a gravel shoulder, flipped across the median, and landed upside down. Stephen Barnard found himself on his back on the inside of the roof with his arm over his eyes.

                    "I tried to move my arm off my face so I could see, but I couldn't. That's when I knew I was in trouble," recalls Barnard, now 30 years old, about that July night in 1992 that left him a quadriplegic.

                    "I was just happy I was still alive," he says, adding that the driver of the car, who had been drinking, was not as lucky.

                    But is has been a long road back for Barnard, who has had to adjust to life paralyzed from his chest down with only limited use of his arms. Thanks to the love and support of his family and friends, the companionship of his Labrador retriever Maggie, and an ingenious home-care arrangement, he has gradually resumed many of the activities he enjoys. He is living in his own place now in Big Rapids, Michigan, and hopes to finish college.

                    Once again he attends NASCAR races and Detroit Redwings and Grand Rapids Griffins hockey games. He fishes if someone casts his line, and he has taken up hunting. He designed a special pneumatic rifle, powered by a hydraulic air tank that he controls with a joystick. Maggie retrieves his quarry.

                    None of these things seemed possible after the accident. Barnard was supposed to have been a senior at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, majoring in automotive and heavy equipment management. He wanted to run the service department of a car dealership. Instead, he was in a wheelchair, back in his parents' house in Jenison, Michigan, unable to care for himself.

                    For months, his mother Mary Ellen and his father, also named Stephen, nursed their son, helping him to regain his strength and determination. Within a year, he wanted to return to Big Rapids, but arranging the round-the-clock aides he would need was a challenge.

                    Because Barnard was injured in a car accident, he was eligible for lifetime medical coverage under Michigan's catastrophic care provision, part of the state's automobile insurance benefits. However, the six-dollar-an-hour reimbursement rate for home attendants was so low that the Barnards had trouble attracting and retaining honest, reliable workers.

                    Finally, the elder Stephen Barnard formed his own home-care agency, which qualified for a corporate rate that more than doubles reimbursements paid to independent caregivers. With only one client and few expenses, Barnard could pass almost all the reimbursement directly to the aides, two dedicated young men who alternate living with his son, even attending classes with him.


                    They're Steve's guardian angels and best friends," says the father. "It's like a couple of college kids living together, except that one of them does all the work."

                    Edward Guldner, who cared for Stephen for three years, adds, "Steve was a good friend who needed a hand. He made it fun to take care of him because he didn't like to be tied up in the house."

                    Over the years, the Barnards have become dedicated CRPF supporters, raising some $16,000 through letter-writing campaigns, corporate donations, and, most recently, a chili lunch.

                    When the elder Barnard retired from his position as an elementary school principal, he asked that, in lieu of gifts, his colleagues donate money to the former American Paralysis Association, now known as the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation. The younger Stephen designed a tie for the Reeve Collection, which is sold exclusively at J.C. Penney stores. A percentage of the revenue from each tie sale goes to CRPF.

                    "CRPF has given us a way to actually do something to help Steve besides just patting him on the head and trying to make him more comfortable," says the elder Barnard. "CRPF has given us hope."
                    The test of success is not what you do when you are on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom
                    --General George Patton

                    Complex problems need to be solved collectively.
                    ––Paul Nussbaum
                    usc87.blogspot.com

                    Comment


                      #11
                      i wish oklahoma had that ins program

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Jackie: I think this is the post.

                        Vicky
                        ____________________________
                        "God warns us not to love any earthly thing above Himself, and yet He sets in a mother's heart such a fierce passion for her babes that I do not comprehend how He can test us so."
                        ~Geraldine Brooks, "Year of Wonders"


                        "Be kind...for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."
                        ~Philo of Alexandria

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thanks PN! This is exactly what I need.

                          Comment

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