As I've previously mentioned, I went to a Christian college. I was dating a nice Christian boy by the third month of my freshman year. I was friends with a married junior/senior (when I was freshman/sophomore) girl named Lisa, and I remember her advice: "If you're NOT going to Wait, put off getting married until it's practical. If you ARE going to Wait, get married early."
My parents approved of this advice. I got married halfway through my junior year of college. I turned 20 in time for the wedding.
Here was our first practical problem: we were both full-time students at a Christian college. We could get excellent health care through the Student Health Center for practically nothing---but they wouldn't prescribe birth control: it was a Christian college, and if you prescribe for SOME students, where do you draw the line? It's a slippery slope. So even married students couldn't get birth control. But we didn't have full-time jobs, nor were we still under our parents' care, so we didn't have any other options for health insurance.
I went to Planned Parenthood, because we'd heard they charged based on how much money we made. I worked part-time in the library and my husband worked part-time for the department he was majoring in, and so I paid something small, something like $40, which we could just barely afford, for the exam that checked me for breast cancer and Internal Feminine Cancers, and then I paid $5/month for birth control pills to keep me from getting pregnant before we'd finished our education.
Fast-forward to late 2001. My husband and I had two children ages infant and nearly 3 years, and my husband lost his job: his company's main client was in the World Trade Center. With the lost job, of course, went our health insurance. I got a full-time job, but my earning power was low: I made $8/hour. At that income level, our family qualified for free government health insurance for the children, so we took it. Because I was working for $8/hour, Paul and I didn't qualify.
If we'd had another baby during this time, I and the baby would have been covered completely by the government. This was not a desirable state of life for us, despite the benefits, but my OB/GYN wouldn't prescribe the Pill without an office visit, and an office visit was significantly more than we could afford. So I went to Planned Parenthood.
Again, they decided our payment based on our income. They checked me for breast cancer and various Internal Female Cancers, and I paid $10/month for birth control pills. It would have been cheaper if I'd gotten pregnant and let the government pay for our lives, but that wasn't the way we wanted to play it.
Paul is a contractor for a company that does government work, so if there is a government shut-down, Paul is out of a job. Because he's a contractor, he's not eligible for reimbursement when the bickering is over.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...