The Pathological Truth Journal

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Posts Tagged ‘health insurance sucks’

For a few months before I found a permanent job I did a temp job in the marketing office of a retirement community.  The people who worked there were genuinely nice.  The facilities were wonderful.  They treated me as a member of the team even if it was only for a couple of months.  All in all a great experience.  Still, I was glad that it was only temporary.  The community offered comprehensive care (independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing).  The retiree was guaranteed this care and could not be turned away even if they ran out of money.  However, that meant that the marketing and sales department was constantly running the numbers.  How much money could they make or lose if a prospective resident is accepted.  Would they die before or after they ran out of money?  While I understand that it was that money that paid the salaries for all the staff, paid for the upkeep of (really nice) apartments and paid for all of the great amenities it still felt weird to talk about a person as if he or she was a basic threat assessment equation.

Why am I telling you this?  I recently lost my job.  That is not such an issue since I decided it was time to move anyway.  But when I lost my job I also lost my health insurance.  If you have lived more than 35 years then congratulations!  You probably have a pre-existing condition.  For Pete’s sake, some companies count sinusitis as a pre-existing condition.  I happen to have spondylolisthesis.  I was diagnosed when I was 15 and had two stabilizing surgeries.  Meaning, I’m not going to go to the Olympics anytime soon but I can walk, exercise and do pretty much whatever other people do.  Barring any accidents that would break all of my bones anyway I will be healthy for years to come.  But I still have spondylolisthesis.  It isn’t gone.  So, I put it down with the explanation on the application.  My rate doubled.  Screw me for being honest.

Unfortunately, this happened with my husband and it was fatal.  While he was working and insured through the church he had a heart attack.  He survived and he was actually doing pretty well at the time.  His heart was damaged and eventually he would need something more but the cardiologist was optimistic for at least 5-10 years with proper care he would be fine.  Then, the church voted to close.  We lost the insurance which would have cost us (outside of the group) about $1000/month.  The insurance that we might be able to afford either rejected him outright or inflated prices to a place we couldn’t afford.  Not only that but they wouldn’t even cover anything heart related anyway.  It was pre-existing and the most reasonable of the insurance agencies weren’t going to pay for any heart related issues for at least a year.

His cardiologist and family doctor did the best they could to load him up with the medication he would need.  But two years after not getting proper treatment he died.  My greatest regret is that my husband thought that I was worried that he didn’t make enough money.  What I worried about was making enough to insure him.  What I worried about was losing him.  I wish I would have been more clear about that.

In those two years my husband did work.  He wasn’t a lazy bum sitting around all day.  He had a side job that brought in money.  The pastors in the Phoenix area were also very generous and offered him everything they could to help his exposure.  People loved his intellect and outgoing nature.  He was so close to the point that he would have insurance again.  He didn’t sit around eating cheese fries either.  While he did gain weight after Christmas he was on track to losing it again.

Beyond his work and responsibilities to his own health my husband was generous.  He never made light of the problems the kids at church brought to him.  He never spoke down to anyone.  He was forgiving.  He hugged me every time I was scared no matter how he felt.  He was an excellent and often funny writer.  He paid the taxes on time.  He had a family, friends and people who loved him.  He wanted to care for all of them too.  He wasn’t perfect by any means but he wanted very much to be good.  All of his good qualities, any future benefit to others and the grief at his loss was not sufficient against the money that they would make off a monthly payment.  He would cost too much so it didn’t matter if he died.

I don’t know the answer to this.  I have no clue.  I’m not a financial analyst or a medical expert.  The only thing that I do know is that this isn’t right.