Word to the wise

Never get fat or develop any chronic health problems.  These conditions are especially to be avoided if the primary wage earner in your family is self-employed and/or if he purchases his health insurance outright.

Many years ago, a combination of health issues rendered me virtually uninsurable.  I went without insurance for about 18 months, but we decided that since I had more health issues than anyone else in the family at the time, it wasn’t wise for me to be completely uninsured.  So I applied and was denied over and over and over, but eventually an obscure company (Central Reserve Life) took me on, with a very high premium and a sky-high deductible.

Through the years, we have complained about the high premiums and poor coverage, and we have continued to make the monthly payments.  Every year, the rates go up – not only on my personal policy, but also on the Blue Cross family policy that covers Scott and the kids.  Their family policy generally costs about half what my personal one costs, and even though dealing with Blue Cross was a first class pain where the sun never shines, it sure was a blessing to have that coverage when the $34K ski accident occurred.

Last year (2010), my personal premium high-jumped to a truly exorbitant $719 per month.  This is the kind of money that causes one to choke when writing the check; and it’s especially rude, considering the fact that I am steadily (although slowly) losing weight, I am on fewer prescription meds than I have been in many years, and I am healthier than I’ve been in at least ten years.

In December, Scott started having me fill out applications for other health insurance companies.  These forms are tedious at best and disgusting at worst.  Have I ever had any of these zillions of conditions?  I’m not kidding; there are hundreds listed.  And if I ever have, I have to tell the date it started, the date it ended, and the name, address, and phone number of the doctor who treated it.  On a separate sheet, I have to enter the details of the diagnosis and treatment and also tell to what per cent I have recovered.  And this is literally for EVERYTHING beyond a head cold in the past ten years!

I did it by hand for the Mercy form (and was denied), so when the Aetna form was an online one, I was pleased.  It’s easier to fill out online forms than to hand write all that information.  I laboriously muddled through to the page 4 (out of 13), and when it asked for my height (“feet/inches”), I ignorantly attempted to enter 5/3 in that box.   Now, you must understand that I am very proud of those three inches.  There are actually only two-and-a-half of them, but in math you always round up, so I always say three.  But on this stupiotic form, no matter how I tried, the ONLY thing I could put in that box was 5, and I resented that.  I’m NOT five feet tall, and that fact is especially important on health insurance applications where underwriting will compare your weight to your height to decide if they’ll take you or not!  Sheesh!

So I ended up having to print out all thirteen pages and fill them out by hand.  Plus, I had to create a three-page supplement to answer all the questions they didn’t give me room to answer.  It took an hour and a half to do all that.  Scott sent it in and we’ll see how much Aetna likes me.

In the meantime, I was sorting through yesterday’s mail and found an item from my current insurance company, which, by the way, is HealthLink through WORLD insurance.  Central Reserve Life sold my policy to WORLD last year.  They didn’t even ask me before they did it.  So this letter from WORLD was to inform me that my new (and improved?) premium effective March 1, 2011 will be $879 per month!!!  There are words for increases like that, but we Christians don’t use those words.

So now I am debating whether or not to tell WORLD exactly what they can do with their $879.  We shall see if Aetna takes me, we shall call Blue Cross and see if they’d like to add me to the family policy for a number less than $879, and we shall check into ObamaCare, where, if I accrue enough denials, I may qualify to join a high risk health insurance pool.  However, even if I do, if it’s more than $879, we may well plunge back into the realm of the uninsured and just pray more fervently for my health to continue to improve.

End of rant for today!

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