health benefits

When "Benefits" aren't enough


Hey guys,

Anyone out there have one of those pesky "pre-existing conditions" that our benefits prefer not to cover? Well, I did, and it was time to fulfill a prescription (for a measly, oh, $150!) so it came time to find some alternatives!

Anyway, my doctor turned me on to a "patient assistance" program. Basically, I searched online for the website of the company that manufactures the medication I needed and then sent them an email explaining my financial situation. I received a reply the next day complete with information on patient assistance programs and an application to be completed by my doctor and myself. A completed application, attached tax forms and a month of waiting later and I am happy to say I received a little medical card from the company giving me my prescription for FREE! Booyah!

Some Notes About Your AmeriCorps Health Benefits


AmeriCorps VISTAs are covered for our health benefits (not insurance!) by Seven Corners ( (866) 699-4186 or

Unnecessary (?) adventures - Part II


I thought I’d share the final results of my adventures in case anyone was interested.  It helps to know what happened first before reading this Part II, so click here to get caught up before continuing. Ready?  Okay…

Comment from danielle martin on January 5, 2007 - 9:59am

Hi Laura,

#1 - I hope your feeling better.

#2 - I didn't want you to feel like no one was reading your medical adventures but I don't have much advice for you except, yes, your life would have been much easier if you had "been prepared" and found a doctor when you first got to CA and not wait until you got sick. I found a primary care doctor that does hours at a drop in-clinic, as well as regular appt's so I've never had a problem. This is pretty much true for any job/health "benefts".

When I asked around Project HQ the only advice would have been to show up at the ER and declare you have no insurance - depending on the state, you sometimes get better coverage that way than if you tell them about Seven Corners. Isn't Mike Denegal (former VISTA Leader) still around to ask advice?

Other than all your medical drama, how's life at work? I'd love to hear about what y'all are working on at Pangea....


Unnecessary (?) adventures


Being almost four months into my second VISTA term, I've never had any trouble utilizing our health benefits...until now.  I'm not an overly-ill person or anything, but I've used our benefits a number of times.  During my trip back to Indiana for the holiday, I managed to pick up a simple head cold (which also happened last time I went home, so I'm trying to determine the correlation).  Head colds are no biggie at all, but FLYING with one is no picnic.  As a result, I've developed a quite painful ear infection.  All I need is a prescription for the infection. 

Comment from Carl Seifert on January 4, 2007 - 1:21pm

Laura your ordeal sounds terrible. I'm sorry. You have definitely encouraged me to check out clinics before I get sick. Thank you for that.

I really hope things work out and you start to get better soon. Have Corey make you some Matza Ball soup...i hear its jewish penicilin.

Carl Seifert
Computer C.O.R.E.
Alexandria, VA

Comment from Laura Hanley on January 5, 2007 - 1:33pm

Thanks, Carl!  I put up Part II yesterday in case you're wondering how things (hopefully) ended.  I'm glad I encouraged you to find a place before you'll need it as well!

 Hope things are going well for you with your VISTA term and your New Year is off to a great start!

In service,


VISTA Health Benefits - Seven Corners


Seven Corners LogoIf you have any questions about the Americorps VISTA health BENEFITS (not insurance), check out the Seven Corner's website at or call 1-866-699-4186. 

Again, your questions will probably be very specific and better answered by those folks than me!

vista life stuff...


i really hope we all keep up with our blogs, because i want to be able to keep up with all of you! ok, now for some "vista life" type stuff i've been thinking about / looking into:


*** food stamps ***

according to stuff online, i don't think i am eligible for food stamps since i have too much savings (too much being more than the limit of $2,000). savings in an ira must be included toward this limit, even though according to wikipedia "a debtor in bankruptcy can exempt his or her IRA from the bankruptcy estate" and this seems like it should be a similar situation.

Comment from Richard T. Anderson on September 13, 2006 - 8:04am

Wow, "how much unnecessary stuff must one have/buy before it is wrong?," that's a deep philosophical question. I'm not sure how to answer that. Who decides what is unnecessary? Are things that are unnecessary for one necessary for another? Or is there a hard and fast rule?

Technically all one 'needs' is shelter, food, and water. But I believe everyone's lives should be richer than merely having those needs met. Though I don't believe anyone deserves to live in mansions, have five cars, and gold plated socks. But I have a lot of unnecessary souvenirs that I'd be quite upset if someone decided that I wasn't allowed to keep them.

It's an interesting debate.

I'd also like to say that I agree that there are a lot of strange things about our "health benefits" plan. Preventative care is so much smarter and saves much more money in the long run. Like so many businesses these days, the people that decided on this are not looking beyond the short term. Short sightedness has a strangle hold on our society just as much as material possessions do.

But I got the impression that we shouldn't complain too much. At least not til the end of our service. ;D



Comment from Corey Funderburk on September 16, 2006 - 7:56pm

Hey Cheryl,

I was thinking about your question about the moralism of food stamps and in case you wanted them, these are my thoughts: I think you should do it, because....

1-  you are on a budget and could be making a lot more money for the work that you are doing, so there is no reason you should feel bad about it.

2- By you receiving food stamps, others who need them are not hindered from getting them, so you are not taking anyone's means of eating away. You are merely costing the gov't a little more money which brings me to #3...

3- The gov't is taxing us on our stipend (and our education award at the end, pshaw!) so just consider it taxing them back :)