March 17, 2023

Health Insurance The Scary Sex Dream?


Two nights ago, I had a nightmare:  My husband’s company decided to switch from a PPO to an HMO and I could no longer see my doctor at Memorial Sloan Kettering.  I hopped on an elevator that went up to a swank, uppity City Club.  I schmoozed with a group of young, Abercrombie-looking, frat-boyish, health insurance VP’s.  Then I offered one of them a blow job in exchange for getting my PPO insurance back.  I knew that the blow job would kill my husband, but I also knew that me dying of cancer would kill him too.  The frat boy looked at me and laughed.

My dream raises the question of What would you do for health insurance?  Cheat, lie, steal?  Over the next few weeks I want to investigate the questions and perspectives on what we have to do to cover the cost of our care.  I have plenty of my own tenacious examples – none involving oral sex.  I’ve also gathered health insurance stories from other patients in my book, and from the news.  But first, I’d love to hear from you.

To what extent have you gone to receive COBRA, insurance, or pay down medical debt?  Have you thought about marrying for health insurance?  Suffered through a job you hated?  Spent down or stashed away your savings to qualify for Medicaid?  Spent enough time on the phone with agencies to call it a second full-time job?  Let me know!

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  1. Cathy Bueti Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 6:26 AM

    Great post Kairol! I am sure there are so many who can relate! I certainly can. Although I haven’t done anything drastic for insurance I know the stress of having good insurance and I also go to Sloan, so I know I want to have the “right” one for them which for a couple of years now I have not! And I have spent alot of my small saving trying to pay off my “lets make sure you are still healthy” tests which amount to a small fortune! Recently my insurance changed back to the one I previously had that Sloan participates with and the relief was enormous! The whole insurance thing makes my blood boil! And I know I am in a much better place than so many out there. It is just something that nobody should have to even think about while going through an illness.

  2. Jetty Says:
    March 18th, 2009 at 11:27 AM

    I am currently in a job I hate for the insurance and I plan every move in my life on insurance, can I continue school? Can I relocate? It all boils down to insurance. Before I started this job I would spend every dime I got to keep my medicaid coverage, even if I got a check for rent, they would attack my account and demand to know where the money came from, I ended up having to open a second bank account in order to survive. Nothing quite as drastic as your frat boy dream, but there is still a lot of time left in my insurance burdened life, you never know.

  3. Cancer Identity Theft - What Would You Do? | 1800blogger Says:
    March 22nd, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    [...] In an earlier post this week, I asked the question What would you do for health insurance? Lie, cheat, steal? Last weekend, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about Mariana de la Torre, a 28-year-old cervical cancer patient. With no money, and as an illegal immigrant with no access to government benefits, she used a stolen identity to procure medical treatment. The identity was that of a woman serving a sentence in a Texas prison. Mariana used the woman’s name and social security number to obtain Medicaid benefits and other aid. [...]

  4. Robin Says:
    March 24th, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    I went to law school. I realize that sounds a little odd, but it’s what I had to do. I had a general life plan, like most 21 year olds do as they are about graduate from college. Mine involved joining Americorp, maybe peacecorp, then deciding if I wanted to do grad school… in a few years. When I was diagnosed with cancer in February of my senior year, plans changed. I was about to lose my health insurance on my 22nd birthday, which was in June. The only way to keep my insurance was to stay in school. And so suddenly, all I could do was go straight to grad school; it was all we could afford. I spent my first year of law school in and out of the hospital, and getting treatment, being re diagnosed with cancer, and a handful of surgeries, all while trying to keep my grades up b/c failing out of school wasn’t an option, neither was putting school on hold. Insurance companies require that you are a full time active student… not on medical leave.

    Its been 4 years; I ended up doing a joint degree program, keeping me in school, and insured, just a little longer. I can say with all honesty, going straight into school was not the right choice for me. I wasn’t ready, and didn’t know what I wanted, and as a result, I’ve made a lot of poor choices for me and my future. And now, now I’m about to graduate; about to lose my insurance, and with little hope of finding a decent insurance provider, who will provide me with insurance at a rate that is actually affordable.

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