they pay to kiss your feet

since there's no one else around, we let our hair grow long and forget all we used to know. then our skin gets thicker from living out in the snow.

Friday, October 30, 2009

close to home.

maybe you are one of the lucky ones. you've never heard of a pre-existing condition. you have affordable health insurance provided by your employer or by your spouse's employer. you're not worried that one of you could lose your job and, immediately, your benefits. you never get sick. you don't remember your doctor's first name. you've never needed an x-ray, to see a specialist or to be on expensive medication.

well, i'm not one of you.

the day i lost my job, i lost my benefits. and because of a pre-existing condition, i had to elect immediate COBRA coverage. this is because, if i, or anyone with a pre-existing condition, ever has a lapse in health insurance, they are blacklisted from most plans. so then, for the rest of their life, they either can't be covered or they have to pay upwards of $800 a month to sustain coverage.

COBRA was costing me close to $350 a month. but then, the government offered to subsidize it for awhile. so, until january 1, i can continue the health insurance plan i had while i was working at VML for about $110 a month. not bad.

but when the calendar strikes 2010, it goes back up. and that's more than my car payment. and i have no choice but to pay it. and then, in about 8 more months, i lose COBRA all-together. and god-forbid i still don't have a full-time, benefits-paying job, i will be forced to buy individual coverage for a huge premium because i need it to cover:
1. physical therapy
2. certain medications

okay. so see? see why all this talk about healthcare issues is important? becuase if you thought it was only affecting "other people" you were wrong. and i'm not even close to the worst case.

there are people who are dying because they were afraid to go to the doctor to get something as simple as, "i've been feeling tired a lot lately" checked out. and then it was too late. and they are dead. because they can't get health insurance for reasons as stupid as pre-existing conditions.

i know that nothing the government does will make things perfect. but at the very least, pay attention to what's happening. talk to people around you about how it is affecting them. your neighbors. the cashier at the grocery store. your nanny.

just educate yourself.


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