Healthcare, everyone needs it but why is it hard to keep it?
When I was younger, with no health concerns besides regular check ups and dentist visits, I could have cared less about healthcare, especially being under my parents plan.
Once I knew I had Asthma at the age of 21, then healthcare became a concern for me. As I was job-hopping over the years and not properly educated on healthcare, so I never obtained healthcare coverage. That led to a lot of emergency room treatments, which are costly. I was still in disbelief that I had asthma, because my attacks are not acute. Thank God. However, when I started getting a bit older the attacks became more bothersome and having to resort to yearly ER visits for breathing treatments was not fun. Waiting for 12 hours just for a breathing treatment was nerve racking, which added to the stressful situation.
Now that I am even older, and found out I have a few other health issues, none needing immediate attention as much as Asthma, but still require many follow up visits with the Dr. I obtained a permanent position while employed with a company, and I opted for their healthcare plan for eight years. While my employer had open enrollment every year to review new healthcare plans, I would briefly glance over changes with still not enough knowledge to make a proper decision, thankfully I made my decision based on the most expensive healthcare plan must be the best and stuck with it. I had minimal co pays and no referrals needed for specialty treatment. I assumed, being uneducated about the health care plans, that’s how most plans were. After leaving that company, and losing insurance, fortunately I have learned a lot more about the importance of healthcare insurance and the necessity for it.
Cobra, first of all is ridiculous. Not to knock President Obama, but the healthcare plan he has for paying a percentage of Cobra’s cost is great, that is if you are eligible for it. Seems like there are a lot of great plans out there now with the new administration, but again eligibility becomes a factor and that just kicks you out. Including foreclosures and the new programs for that, do not get me started on the new plans that are out there to help homeowners avoid foreclosure! That is a whole other blog. Perhaps coming soon to a web page near you. Back to Cobra, if you have a good healthcare plan, and you don’t need to see many Dr’s then you can do without, or chose to obtain continued coverage through them for a ridiculous price, not to include co pays and cost of medication.
Now, for all those who did not opt for Cobra this is disturbing. I thought of this healthcare scenario one day.
A woman, who had a job for several years and health insurance, developed breast cancer while working there. Eventually and thankfully her cancer went into remission as she continued to utilize her healthcare benefits through her employer and she became well. Then, the economy being hit so hard, her employer has to lay her off. She is a single mom, and has only $1100.00 income from unemployment coming in. She has a child to support, a home, and other necessities like a car and food. There is no money left for Cobra, or to pay to see a Dr. with out healthcare insurance. So she believes she will remain well enough until she finds more employment. The bills are still mounting up and she is desperately seeking work. She is stressed and due to the stress her immune system takes a break and the cancer comes back. Soon after she finds a new job, her new job offers healthcare insurance. She needs to see a doctor, the lump is getting bigger, but now she has to wait her 90-day probation period to even be eligible healthcare insurance. Are you following me?
So, the 91st day comes and she is now eligible and quickly makes an appointment with her previous Dr that was treating her for the cancer, which has all her health records, thank goodness for her, that Dr. is in her network. She goes to see him, and he says to her that she needs to undergo treatment. The cancer has come back. The billing for the appointment is sent to the Insurance Company, and they deny it due to being a pre-existing condition. Also, denied because she did not maintain any type of healthcare insurance while she was out of work. The treatment she has to undergo again will not be covered under her new health insurance plan until a year later. She patiently works her way through a few more months with the employer. She is still under stress and concerned for her health, her child, and her finances. Then with in 3 months of her pre-existing condition, breast cancer, she is now able to have the treatment covered under her healthcare insurance, it is too late, and she dies.
You think you have just read a fictitious story, well I do not know anyone personally who has encountered this. However, I can almost guarantee you that this has happened to some one whether it happened to a woman with breast cancer or a man with prostate cancer, it has happened. I thought of this story and how terrible it is that someone else in a condition similar to mine, with no healthcare insurance and no work could experience something much worse medically and how the result would be an awful unnecessary ending just because of not having enough money coming in for health insurance, stress, the economy, and pre existing conditions. I declare if the pre-existing is life threatening or needs pharmaceutical treatment on a consistent basis, it should be covered. No if’s, and’s, or but’s. PERIOD!
If you have any similar stories, please feel free to share; in my eyes this should not be about politics, it is about helping to save all those lives out there that are unnecessarily dying because of politics. Think of all the children who lose a parent, think about all the families who have no homes now because of foreclosure due to trying to pay for some type of healthcare to save a loved one’s life. Think about how truly unnecessary these deaths are and how easily treatment can help save lives with out all the pre existing conditions, regulations, and highly inflated costs of medical care in this country. If you haven’t watch the movie “SICKO” I would recommend it, even if you are not a Michael Moore fan, it seems something is wrong with our healthcare system, as if you have not noticed by now. For all the younger crowds who have read this blog, take heed! Get involved in your healthcare, keep healthcare, pay attention to what is going on with your plan and make well-educated decisions. It is your life and it counts!