When people are sick, they are in a vulnerable state, one of the most vulnerable states in which a person can be. You feel trapped within your body, and you just want, you just need help. As luck would have it, I broke my foot on 1/1/11 and lost my health insurance on 1/14/11. COBRA is offering me an affordable package that matches the plan offered to me at my previous employer. It's just $533.89 per month for medical, dental and vision. Just in case sarcasm does not carry well on my blog, I'll let you know it's currently oozing out of my finger tips. Since I'll surely be visiting my orthopedist a couple more times to ensure proper healing, I spent the majority of today flipping through pages of benefits jargon, underlining dates, noting terms I did not understand, chatting with health insurance reps. Quite the thrilling Friday afternoon. Vicki from Anthem Blue Cross and I really hit it off. After firing a few questions at me, she recommended a "popular plan for young people," which was accompanied by a whopping $5,000 deductible. Now, maybe they assume most young people don't understand deductibles, but I do. I may be in my twenties and still require a few rereads to soak it all in, but I'll never hit that deductible should my health remain as-is. Vicki and I understood each other, a far more reasonable plan was presented and we were friends. Scrutinizing the online brochure, I turned over all stones, ensuring no hidden costs, percentages or waiting periods. And there was just one thing that I'd forgotten to share with Vicki. A four letter word in the health insurance industry, if you will. PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. The ground shook. Immediately after I broached my lame foot, Vicki replied, "Oh..." while pausing for a few moments. I helped her out. "So this means I'm denied?" "Well, yes," she replied. Adding, "But we'll take you once your doctor clears you of your condition." My condition? I broke my fucking foot. I'm not dying. I'm not going to require (hopefully) extensive surgery or countless bottles of medication. I just need to see my orthopedist to ensure my foot heals properly. I need proper medical attention to avoid more health issues in the future. My future. My life. My body.
Sadly, c'est la vie. I called my orthopedist, inquiring about the fees for visits and x-rays sans insurance. Turns out, the rates are affordable. Plus, dear Josie offered to cut my x-ray costs in half. Noting my shock, she informed me that sometimes she does things like this to assist the uninsured.
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but curiosity is saving me a few hundred dollars each month.