Many in American society are angry with the healthcare system. Medical bills could get even more expensive, and some fear being turned down for insurance.
My name is Kristin, and I have a pre-existing condition.
Maybe even more, now that I really think about it!
From what I can tell from the list of possible pre-existing conditions sited in the Republican Health Care Plan, that just squeaked on through the House, I might as well go out in the backyard later today and start digging my own grave. Stick a fork in me, I’m done. Last week, I was healthy as an ox, according to the insurance company assessments. Not so much this week. Previously, under Obamacare, all insurers were required to charge everyone the same premium across the board, and a whole bunch of Americans didn’t like this idea. Well lucky them, because that provision is about to get flushed away, probably along with my own ability to acquire decent and affordable health insurance.
When we think pre-existing conditions, we tend to think of the “duh” conditions, like a massive heart attack, chronic diabetes, and stroke. I have heard plenty of people argue that these “pre-existers” should pay more, they didn’t take care of themselves, and those the consequences. No one is keen on paying for the actions of others. Well good. I don’t have any of that jazz on my chart. I exercise four times a week, eat a healthy diet, stay away from drugs and cigarettes. I should have zero problem passing through the “pre-existing condition gates of health insurance.”
Except for one thing.
I’m a woman. Further than that, I’m a mom. My mind and body have been through multiple birth-battles, and that is now going to cost me…perhaps a whole lot actually. Kids … really, they are the gift that keeps on giving aren’t they? Maternity coverage may not be an essential benefit any longer. Can you imagine having to return to the dark ages and pay out of pocket for a cesarean section? Fun, fun fun! What is that going to cost, per birth? In 2008, the cost for an uncomplicated c-section was roughly fifteen grand, but most sections tend to be on the dicey side. Considering I had three c-sections, all with complications of some nature, that would have set my little family back by about $60,000-$80,000. I just threw up in my mouth, a little bit, just processing that number. Bye college. Let’s not even contemplate the hypothetical costs regarding our preemie identical twins, and their ritzy stay in the local NICU. Ok, just for “sh**s and giggles”, we’ll ponder the cost, and do some simple math. The average cost of one day stay in the NICU is about $3,000 dollars. One of my twins spent her first 20 days there. Well, hey! That would be another $60,000. Never have I been more relieved to have the baby making days behind me. Kids might, literally, be costing a fortune under the new health care act. Everyone better double up on contraception… oh, wait. That’s not covered either, is it?
Now just because we have closed the- baby- making- factory, doesn’t mean that we won’t find ourselves up a very pricey creek under this new Health Care Policy. Looking at the list of pre-existing conditions, that may not be covered under the new plan, doesn’t have me feeling as if I will be getting a clean bill of heath anytime soon. Let’s take a gander at the conditions that might be putting me on the “undesirable candidate for insurance” list.
Anxiety. When I was about thirteen weeks pregnant, with my second daughter, I ran smack into a giant, scary, painful wall of clinical anxiety and OCD. Of course, I didn’t know what was happening considering I had never experienced such a mental illness, and was positive that I was losing my mind. So I spent twenty weeks sitting in the shower sobbing, or laying in my bed, wide awake all night long, with my heart racing, and pounding out of my chest. It was bad. Really, really bad. In fact, it is such a scary time in my personal life, that I rarely talk about it and never, EVER in detail. Years later, I can’t even go back there to the dark corners of my mind. Thankfully I did get help, went to counseling, popped the Zoloft, fought tooth and nail, and came out on top. So it has been written, I suffer from anxiety. I made the list.
Depression. Who the hell can live with the above, for months and months, and not find themselves drowning in a black pool of depression? Everyone walks by you, smiling and rubbing your belly, and here you are suffering in your own racing, incoherent mind. I was diagnosed with pregnancy induced clinical depression. I was probably really close to the edge there for some time. I didn’t jump, and even though I survived it, and fought like hell to beat it, it still might make me uninsurable.
Menstrual Irregularities. Got ’em. Be jealous. I have birthed four children, and am approaching middle age. My body hates me. Sometimes it poops out or goes totally rogue and does strange things, which land my in the doctor’s office. My guess is that these trips aren’t going to be free, if I end up on “the list.”
High Cholesterol. When I was twelve years, all of eighty pounds, and a hard core athlete, my cholesterol test came back at a shockingly high 248 points. How? Well my grandparents had high cholesterol, my parents (who don’t eat red meat or much dairy) have high cholesterol, and yes I have the lovely genetic predisposition to it as well. Currently it is just above average….like two points above…but technically, that might make me list-worthy, as someone with “technically” high cholesterol. This kind of makes me want to say screw it all, and order a giant platter of bacon.
Diabetes. Now, I am not sure how this will play into my health assessment, as I don’t have the condition now, but I did have it in pregnancy, so technically, it is in my history. Thanks twins. As if it wasn’t punishment enough to be hugely pregnant with twins, starving all day long, and unable to eat anything more than a handful of almonds, and a few slices of avocados, in order to keep my sugars at bay.
So I am probably over-reacting, (note that whole anxiety thing in the above paragraphs,) but I am still going to go out back and work on digging that grave. I am nothing, if not a planner.