Yes, This is a Thing that Happens

Where the Hell is the Key to This Thing

Just last year, after fighting for an associate’s degree and then fighting the job market, I landed a job with insurance. It was the first time I had insurance in 16 years. My various illnesses then became so bad that I could no longer work. I lost the job and the insurance that came with it.

I tried to collect the private disability insurance that I had paid for every week, but because I had signed the policy in December of 2013, before the new healthcare laws went into effect, the pre-existing clause was still legal. After months of going back and forth with the insurance company. Running around getting medical records, sending them papers from my former employer, after signing a piece of paper that gave them access to any and all medical records that have ever been collected on me, they told me they came to the conclusion that I was indeed disabled, but they wouldn’t pay because of a technicality. Essentially, they made me run around and wait five months to tell me something that they should have said in five seconds.

After my disability was denied, I tried to apply for insurance through the exchange, but because I qualified for Medicaid, they would not let me buy a policy. Apparently, if a person qualifies for Medicaid, they have to apply for and then be denied it before they can buy an insurance policy on the exchange. It can take up to six months to get a decision from Medicaid. Also, and here’s the really fun part, in my case the Medicaid decision is attached to my Social Security Disability claim, which could take a year and a half before it’s settled. I am suicidal and physically ill, and I can’t get insurance, for up to a year and a half. It doesn’t matter that I’m willing to pay for a private policy. It doesn’t matter that my conditions can not wait for a year and a half.

I looked for something I could do in the meantime, but there was nothing. There is no coverage available for people stuck between Medicaid and the exchange. This is the system that is supposed to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens? This is what we came up with? And people wonder why I feel hopeless all the time.


3 thoughts on “Yes, This is a Thing that Happens

  1. mandy

    This is a horrible thing afflicting so many people in this society. It’s terrible. What can a person do besides just go to the ER? They can’t turn you away there can they? Are there public health departments anymore? When I was younger I used those because I never had medical ins. I’m so sorry you are in this place–limbo. Is there a hot line you can call–even a suicide hotline where they may have a list of resources that could help? I’m going to keep my fingers crossed! ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. poorsickandshunned Post author

      ERs and almost all psychiatric care facilities only treat a person when they are actively suicidal. Like, “I have the knife to my throat,” suicidal. In cases like mine, where there is chronic mental illness and nothing has successfully treated it, there are very few options.

      Unfortunately, back in the 50s through the 70s, there was a huge to-do about the quality of psychiatric hospitals, and instead of improving the quality of the care people were receiving and the conditions in the hospitals, they just shut them all down. So, that leaves the vast majority of people with mental illness two options: Hospital stays that last around 72 hours, and are for emergencies only, or people are sent to jail when their mental illness causes them to break the law in some way.

      That really is it. You know the facilities portrayed in the movies Girl Interrupted, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Crazy People? Those places don’t really exist anymore. There are places for the criminally insane, but there are few places people can go for real, long term care. And, the places that do offer that care have long waiting lists, and 90% of them won’t accept patients without health insurance.

      I’ve contacted as many places I can think of, but there really seems to be nothing I can do until I have health insurance.

      The best part about all this is after years of treatment resistance, it’s been decided that I am a very good candidate for ECT, but the procedure is considered elective and is not done on an emergency basis. I could get it done if I had around $2000 per session when it usually takes 8 sessions to be successful. The thing that really ticks me off about this is my doctors and I all agree that this is what I need. This is a medical procedure that is not only warranted in my case, but could actually save my life. Yet it’s considered “elective.”

      Sorry for the rant. Hahaha. I could go on and on about this…


      1. mandy

        Please don’t be sorry ! It’s obvious you know what you’re talking about. You haven’t sat idly waiting to “feel better”! I know all those facilities we had in the “old” days are gone, and the issue with lack of care for those with mental problems is growing. Please don’t give up–keep at your doctors. They may be the only hope you have and may come up with something!

        Liked by 1 person

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