Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friendly Feedback for President Obama

Dear President Obama,

Healthcare should be a basic human right, available for everyone.  I agree!  We may strongly disagree about the best ways to make health care available to everyone, but the premise is the same.  Please allow me to give some friendly feedback about one facet of your recent health care program:

One Saturday I got very, very sick.  Sicker than I had ever been in my entire life and experiencing more pain than I had ever imagined.  The specialists called it a freak accident.  No one my age, in my general health, with my medical history should have ever developed a blocked intestine like I did.  If I had lived a few hundred years ago, I may very well have died from it.  As it was, I spent a week and a half in and out of various hospitals, suffering multiple CT-scans and seeing multiple specialists in the process.  I have been in perfect health ever since the day I left the hospital (though I did have to follow a careful recovery plan).  I am grateful for the expert care I experienced.

Total bill for that expert care: somewhere around $60,000.  It was a small stress, but we knew that David's work provided him an excellent insurance plan.  We knew that because of that plan our payments would be extremely marginal.  At some point in the process, we also realized that beginning last January, I had also been placed back on my father's family insurance plan.  Part of President Obama's health care program included a bit increasing the age of dependency to 24.  The odd thing about the stipulation was that I would be returned to my father's insurance plan regardless of the fact that I was 1) married and no longer my father's dependent in life situation, despite my age and 2) insured as a non-dependent by my husband's plan.  Thus, at the time I was hospitalized I was double-insured.

For a while we hoped that meant that my father's insurance would pay everything that David's wouldn't, covering any of those lingering fees David and I would have otherwise had to cover ourselves.  That was all a naive dream, we have discovered.  What double-coverage means is that the two insurance companies stand pointing at the other, neither taking responsibility as the primary insurer.  In the end, no one has paid and the $60,000 debt is headed towards collections.  We have called the state insurance commissioner and tried to force David's company to take responsibility.  So far it has not helped, but we currently have David's employers working on it and they promise results by next week.  We're crossing our fingers.

SO, President Obama.  May I make one suggestion?  If you insist on the 24-year-old dependency stipulation, can you please provide exceptions?  Can I please NOT be insured by my father's company if I  am insured as a non-dependent elsewhere?  This would be the case, of course, whether I was insured by my OWN employment or by that of my husband's.  I no longer wish to be double-covered.

Thank you.  


Tiffanie Brown said...

Story of our life. I feel your pain. We've found that you finally just have to find someone (a real person!) within one of the insurance companies who will go to bat for you... Good luck.

Dave said...

Hey Tiffanie,

the good news is that as of today we got a call from MY insurance saying that they were on the case and that regardless of who ended up paying for it it would be payed by this Friday. They also offered to call every hospital we went to and tell them it wasn't our fault and not to send any bills to collections. That is a load off.

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