Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Are You a High Roller?

A friend of my parents recently quit her job.  The circumstances aren’t important, what is important is the conversation that followed.  My mother asked her if she was going to take the COBRA option which allows you to pay out-of-pocket for your health insurance.  In most cases you can do that for 18 months unless you have extenuating circumstances.  She replied that she had just gone to her doctors for routine physicals, had her dentist visit, and is feeling fine.

Let me explain the idea behind insurance because it’s a bit odd.  When you purchase a health insurance policy you are betting that you will indeed have some type of illness or accident and the insurance company is betting that you’ll be happy and healthy and they’ll simply collect their premiums.

The truth is that no one ever thinks they are going to get sick.  I took my cats to the vet today for an annual exam and vaccinations and in walks the vet wearing a wig.  She’s obviously going through cancer treatment…did she plan on this?  Could she have foreseen that she would be diagnosed with a health challenge this great?  If you look at the bankruptcy courts in our country a high percentage of people filing for bankruptcy are doing so because of medical bills.

I realize that not everyone has the funds to pay for their own insurance, but then it’s important to find other means of coverage.  Until healthcare reform is finalized if you have a lapse in coverage of one day between insurance policies any new provider can deny you for having a pre-existing condition.  All it takes is a 24 hour lapse in coverage and you could be in hot water.

There are the types of conversation you should be having with your legislators as they discuss and argue about healthcare reform.  It only takes one cell to go haywire, one text while driving, or a myriad of other mishaps to set you in the poor house.  Think ahead, plan ahead, and take every precaution possible…you’ll thank me.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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