Gut Rumbles

August 24, 2008

Yeah, I'm on of those

Originally published June 30, 2004

About a month ago, I lost the medical insurance I was supposed to be able to keep when I retired. I was surprised by the way the problem was presented to me, because my benefit provider RETURNED the check I sent them and said that my insurance was cancelled for non-payment. I was confused.

I called them and spent almost an hour on the phone, most of it doing the fucking Russian Roulette of "Press 1 to get the hell out of my busy life" to entering date of birth, address, phone number and Social Security number via touch-tone before I EVER got to talk to an actual human being. Then I received a brief and rude response: "We don't handle those kinds of problems here. You need to call Blah-blah-blah.

I called, got the same Russian Roulette routine and finally spoke to an actual human being who said (and I quote) "We don't handle those kinds of problems here. You need to call Blah-blah-blah," which was the same number that sent me to HIM. I blew up and demanded to speak with a supervisor. I was on hold for five solid minutes.

If the person I spoke to was a supervisor, they need to clean house in that place. The weasely bastard wouldn't answer a question, he couldn't give me ANY accurate information and he didn't appear to know diddly-squat about what he was doing. The best he could do was tell me to send a written appeal to Benefit Providers and wait for a response. I told him to go fuck himself.

I got on the computer and applied for a policy from Blue Cross. I was totally honest in filling out the application. I admitted to being a smoker and a victim of prostate cancer. They approved me, with the one codicil in the policy that any problems I have as a result of prostate cancer are NOT covered for 48 months. I signed the paperwork and sent it off.

Until it's approved and etched in stone, I am one of the 43 million Americans with no health insurance. I suppose that I should be crawling down the street with my open palm extended and weeping like a baby, crying for government to save me, but I'm not doing that. I'm dealing with Blue Cross instead.

The policy I'm buying isn't as good as what I had, but it costs 1/3 the money. All I really want is insurance against something catastrophic, something that might put me in the hospital and eat up all my money. I can handle nickle and dime doctor bills. I'm not worried about prostate cancer, because I believe that I am cured, and I also know that after almost three years with a zero PSA, I have a 90% chance of living another ten years. I'll take my chances with those odds.

The insurance doesn't cost that much. Why is health care insurance such an artificial "crisis" in this country?

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