I received a comment on Facebook requesting I address post-diagnosis health insurance coverage. I sat with it for bit, thinking I wasn’t qualified to take it on as a blog post. Then I thought again: Yes. What about health coverage for post-diagnosis of cancer?
Before I was diagnosed, COBRA health “coverage” would’ve cost me over $1,200. a month for “pre-existing” conditions and COBRA wouldn’t have covered anything those areas of my body e.g. I had scoliosis surgery as a teen; never had back issues. COBRA excluded all back and neck coverage. I also had a radio frequency ablation for a fast heartbeat. It’s an outpatient procedure. I left with three band aids. COBRA excluded heart coverage. To pay $1,200. a month and not have coverage for my back, neck or heart, for their health “coverage” was a joke.
We’ll all have to wait to see how the Affordable Health Care Act (AHCA) plays out in 2014. Something has to budge to improve our health care system in the U.S. The good news is that as of 2013 it’s illegal in U.S.A. to exclude coverage based on a pre-existing condition. The question remaining is what that coverage will cost. I spoke with someone at Medi-Cal, and they said there is nothing in writing as far as implementation of the AHCA, so no one knows how it will look. I’ve heard some doctors in favor, and others think it’s a bad move. All I know is that there are way too many people working for employers and are not covered by insurance. Health care is a human right. To live in America and lack health care is absurd.
For those who are in the cancer process without insurance, call your Social Security office, call Medicare, call American Cancer Society. Ask your doctors and nurses where you can find the hospital/clinic social worker, and if they know of organizations that can help you. If you think seeing a psychologist would help you through cancer and all it brings, ask if there are doctoral student interns, or try a support group. Even with insurance, cancer costs can skyrocket above $100,000. It’s not that doctors provide unnecessary treatment, either. It’s that no one knows what causes cancer, and are often working in the dark. Cancer is as individual as the people who have it.
Anyone with ideas for post-diagnosis folks, please leave a comment.