- Posted September 29, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obamacare: Your story
Insured in the Nick of Time - My Cancer Story
Please know that I have no political interest in arguing the issue of "Obamacare". I do however, have a personal interest in what will become of our health insurance puzzle.
When I had my last full-time job - which was "downsized" in 2010 - I had employer provided group health insurance. You know, from the good old days of "Do you want medical insurance?" ..Ok, you got it - no questions asked.
After I got back from a trip in 2009, I felt like crap so I went to see my doctor. After that cleared up and a chest X-ray, I was told I have COPD. That is now my "pre-existing condition".
When I got let go in 2010, the United Healthcare plan went to COBRA, which I maintained for a year unemployed. A year later, I got a new contract job. The contracting company provides no benefits (few do, and that's fine).
When COBRA was about to expire, I tried to get personal health insurance from United. Since I was already covered under their group plan, I thought they might be the best place - just convert my coverage to an individual plan. How hard could that be? But no, I was denied due to my pre-existing condition. Even otherwise, the cost of one example plan was over $800 a month with a $7000 - $10000 deductible. It would also have had a "rider" to exclude care related to my condition. This is how the big business of the health insurance industry works.
So, I happily went about work and life with no insurance. Over the course of 2012, my COPD was finally starting to bother me a little. By that Fall, it was getting a lot worse.
In December, given all the discussion over "Obamacare", I curiously went online to healthcare.gov. There I saw a link to "Pre-existing Condition" Insurance Plan (PCIP). I found that if you have been denied coverage and without insurance, here you go. Simple application, just send them a copy of a denial letter and the 1st month's payment.
Beginning Jan 1, 2013, I now have health insurance - $346 a month, $2000 deductible. The plan administrator? United Healthcare.
The previous paragraph finds irony in that United's logo was on my 1st PCIP insurance card, but also in that as much as many may decry Obama and his administration, the Health Care Act may very well have saved my life.
On January 30 I was told that I have cancer. This year I have undergone many adventures, including 4 months of chemo therapy, and finally surgery last month, from which I am now recovering and which removed the cancer. The PCIP insurance has been accepted by all my doctors, cancer care facilities, hospitals, and has covered all my care, treatments and surgery as well as prescription drugs.
Few of us know all the details of the Health Care Act, and accept (as I do) that implementing such a thing is indeed a problem. Perhaps some parts of the law do need to be dropped or fixed, but all the general noise to "repeal, abolish, defund" (mostly political in nature) does nothing positive to address the real problem. Do we want to stop and return to the "good old days" where insurance companies can decide to let you suffer or die because of a "pre-existing condition", or unless you yourself have a lot of money?
There are indeed issues with the law, and a lot of confusion. But as I've experienced first hand, there is good here. Not just good intent, but actual changes that have saved my life.
I wonder, how many other folks are there such as myself?
If you might like to read my entire story, feel free here: http://roosl.com/My%20cancer%20story.pdf