My Health Insurance Quagmire…

Do I have health insurance? Or Don’t I?

(that long divot on the right side of the road….was me before I fell.)

I’ve been paying my premiums right along. I have a United Health Care insurance card with my name on it.

And yet…

There’s a wrench in the monkey somewhere.

Every month on the first I am canceled– “termed” in insurance speak–which somehow makes it sound innocuous. It’s not. For weeks at a time I would forget about the issue…I’ve got the card, I pay my bills, the broker set me up…but then I need to renew a prescription and I’d go through the whole fandango to get reinstated again, each time being reassured that this time it is really “fixed”.

But it was more or less a bureaucratic issue, until Tuesday at 1:15 ….

when I flew tail over teacup from my bicycle onto the pavement. A little sand, and there I was, splat.

Knew I needed to go to the doctor…my hand hurt like a son-of-a gun, but I wasn’t too hurt to remember the insurance issue. In fact from the side of the road I texted the woman who was helping me most recently.

I am lucky. My hand isn’t broken.

I am lucky. I could easily pay the  doctor bill on the spot.

I am lucky the bill wasn’t large. $120 for the office visit. $72 for X-rays. $35 for a wrist brace.

Many many people are not so lucky. Any time you get slightly off the “usual” track in the insurance world you can fall through a crack.  And the cracks are not little. I am still on Cobra from my ex-husband’s employer, the company has been sold a couple of times since he left. And no one wants to take responsibility.

When my sister Alicia died on July 24 last year, her sons lost their insurance coverage on July 31. If she had died on July 30 they would have lost their coverage the very next day. Fortunately the older two could get coverage under their father. Her youngest son’s father, however, died when he was six. It took several months to confirm his coverage.

It is so easy for people with insurance coverage to to be cavalier about this…sort of like when white people don’t understand white privilege. If you’ve got something you don’t understand how important it is.

I am really lucky.

I am well educated. I am persistent in dealing with the hoops in the system. I am affluent.

And still, at this moment I still

do not–apparently–have health insurance coverage.




About Karen Ray

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