Friday, June 29, 2012

A good day for the uninsured - plus an update

I'm celebrating today because something that has been a huge factor most of my adult life is now no longer an issue.

When I was 21 I was kicked out of my parents health insurance and left to my own devices. The college I went to was a commuter college and too small to have a full service clinic. That meant if I was sick or hurt I had to go to an emergency room or pay cash at my doctor's office. If you have never been sick and uninsured you do not understand what a big deal that is. Uninsured patients are required to pay cash up front and in full at most doctor's offices. They are charged almost twice (and sometimes more) than the going rate for a person with insurance. The emergency room can't turn you away but then you will owe thousands instead of hundreds.

As a sophomore with a regular job and a good scholarship, I had a decent amount of money. It wasn't enough to pay for my ongoing medical expenses, but it was enough to purchase a private health insurance plan for around $350 a month. But when I went to purchase said plan, I discovered how really screwed I was. No one would issue me a policy that would pay for any of the care I needed. Because I had "pre-existing" conditions I could buy a policy but it would not cover my brain (migraines), my endocrine system (hypothyroid), or my reproductive system (endometriosis).

I spent many years only going to the doctor when I was deathly ill and frequently not taking my medicine for my thyroid because I couldn't afford the doctor visit to get the prescription. The medicine is cheap - getting a doctor to do the blood test and write the scrip is not.

Over the last 13 years I've had a couple of jobs that offered insurance. I use it when I have it and my health suffers when I don't. For the last four years my husband's job has been providing our health insurance. We had to sign up for the more restrictive HMO (does not have infertility coverage) because it was the only way to cover my pre-existing conditions. His job barely pays enough to cover day care and our commuting costs, but he's had to keep it for the insurance.

Now, FINALLY, I can buy my own insurance. It might even become affordable. There are a lot of people around here that really hate the new law, but I find it hard to believe any of them have ever had to risk their health because they couldn't go to a doctor. I know Americans hate the government telling them they have to do something. I get that they feel their personal freedom is being threatened. But I want to ask them this: You don't want to be forced to buy insurance or pay a fee, but if you chose not to pay into this system, would you really not go to the ER if you were having a heart attack, knowing you had no coverage and couldn't afford the bill? I doubt it. You would go to the ER, have your life saved, and then complain that the cost of healthcare is unaffordable.

At last, someone was willing to stick their neck out and change this awful system we have. To him, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.


On the baby front - I'm still pregnant. As of the last week the baby still had a heartbeat, although I'm nervous that she couldn't get a good measurement because of the position. That automatically translates in my head to 'the baby is not big enough and something is wrong with it'. I've lost my numbness. I never thought I'd make it to the 2nd trimester (12 days to go). I assumed I would miscarry and go on with my life. Now that I haven't (knock on wood) I am faced with my greatest fear: another heartbreaking choice to make and/or another 2nd trimester loss. I'm hanging in there so far.

The pain from my shoulder and neck is nearly gone. GOD BLESS my chiropractor. I can't believe she was able to fix it. That was literally the worst pain of my entire life. I'm still barely making it through each day (hence the lack of blog posts) because the nausea is still horrendous. I'm crossing everything that this will also get better in the next couple of weeks. The thought of dealing with this for another 6 months is completely overwhelming.

Unfortunately me being out of commission most of the time is taking a huge toll on the rest of the family. The arguing is nearly constant and M has had several huge emotional outburst in recent days. I think my mom is right and they are scared by how sick I am. Even though she won't admit it, I bet M is pretty mad that I'm being so selfish by having a baby right now, even if I had no way of knowing I would be so sick. I don't blame her, this was piss poor timing.

I have lots more to write because we are setting up a reunion with M and her bio-mom she was removed from. It's a big huge deal and I have lots to say about it, but the phenergen is making me to dopey to type anymore. Hopefully more updates after the big visit tomorrow. Wish us luck.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, and I'm so glad things are going (somewhat) better. I hope and trust you'll be able to post more "feeling better" and "things seem to be OK" news as you move into the second trimester and then the third, and ...