I will begin a new job November 10th, it will be a little more money at a different hospital and I will FINALLY be able to use my CPC credential! Currently I am in school to earn RHIT and CCS credentials which will open the door to more money, working from home and other possibilities…right now I am just excited to finally have the opportunity to gain coding experience.
The pay increase means we will finally be able to afford health insurance! My husband and I have had no coverage for well over a year, we didn’t qualify on the exchange because our income at the time put us into the Medicaid bracket…Missouri did not expand Medicaid therefore we were left in the same uninsured boat. Our children, however, are Medicaid recipients. It makes me feel a sense of elation and pride knowing that in December the government/tax payers will no longer be providing for my children’s healthcare needs. I know most people hate paying for Health Insurance, but, when I see that deduction I will be smiling.
In other good news my husband was just hired as a server at a breakfast restaurant (chain) that is still in the process of opening. He has worked as a server before; in fact, he supported our family working as a server for 3 years! He really is almost a magician with customers and manages to make more money than most other servers I have encountered (I worked in the restaurant industry for around 10 years). My estimate is that he will probably make $23 – $25 thousand, which is not nearly what he has made in the past, but it is a very safe estimate to use for forecasting.
My small pay raise combined with my husband’s forecasted income means we will no longer qualify for food stamps. Right now I am estimating that January will be our last disbursement. It could be be further out, but I am placing my bet on January.
We have used food stamps and WIC for 100% of our food budget for over a year, we will still qualify for WIC (if everything runs according to plan we will surpass the WIC income ceiling sometime in 2016), but we will lose the $404.00 for food we currently receive. Losing this assistance will be a good thing, it means we are progressing, not remaining stagnant…yet, I feel anxiety.
I look at our children and wonder, “Will they have hungry tummies?” This thought is irrational, the numbers tell me everything will be fine… more than fine…I can’t help but think back to the time immediately before applying for assistance; opening the cupboards and refrigerator to find only small amounts of odds and ends; scraping together enough money to purchase an onion for another night of fried potatoes and beans. I know we won’t go back to those days, yet the fear persists.
The only thing I can think to do is work at stocking the pantry and the freezer over the next few months. This should help combat the anxiety by providing a REAL and SOLID security blanket.
Even with the anxiety, even though we are in the process of bankruptcy, even though our children are still receiving Medicaid and even as current food stamp recipients…I can already sense a small swelling of pride and a huge wave of hope. I feel it in my chest and I see it on my husband’s face.