The Curse Of The Pre-Existing Condition

28 Apr

Northside Hospital wasted no time at all in sending their bill. It was, of course, not itemized. It was also for more than the initial estimate.

Yes, I know that “estimate” means it could be more or it could be less. Considering I was only in there for two full days I’m surprised that it turned out to be over $32,000.

Ken is going to be contacting them for an itemized bill and negotiating it down further. He’ll also be negotiating a payment plan, I’m sure because there is NO WAY we can afford to pay that kind of money all at once.

Our income is further limited because right now there’s no way I can work. I can’t pour oils from one bottle into another. I’m not steady enough. I don’t trust myself to reliably fill even 10 ml bottles. I can’t even lift hydrosol bottles because they are far too heavy. Right now I can’t even really stand upright for very long. The pain meds, especially the muscle relaxer, makes me sleepy. So I’m doing duty as two of the seven dwarfs: Sleepy and Dopey. I also don’t have the mental capability of taking orders because I can’t focus for very long. It’s unbelievable how long it takes me to do one of these posts so you can imagine what I’d be like on the phone with a customer.

Not only did the surgeon’s fee have to come out of pocket, but so do the hospital fees. I’m one of the fortunate few.  Many women who are uninsured never have this kind of opportunity and are forced to live their lives feeling the way I felt just a few short weeks ago. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who continue to live without the benefit of reconstructive surgery. I may complain about the expense, but I want to acknowledge here that I know how very fortunate I am.

It is for women in this position that I support an overhaul of the insurance and medical system. When we are in the financial position to do it, we will be starting a foundation that will help to pay the medical costs of women who have gone through things similar to what I have had to endure. NO woman should have to be put in a position where she has to choose between being whole and keeping a roof over her head.

Unfortunately, insurance companies keep putting people in just that position. Cosmetic surgery snafus that cause these tragic circumstances lead insurance companies to deny claims because any new claim filed in conjunction with those complications are considered a preexisting condition. Even if you go into cosmetic surgery like I did with a clean bill of health, insurance companies will find ANY excuse at all, including old medical test results that were a little iffy to either deny the claim OR yank your coverage.

Once you’ve been denied coverage, good luck getting anything remotely resembling decent medical insurance after that. These unscrupulous practices are ruining people’s lives. All in the name of the AllMighty Profit.

In my particular instance, the insurance company dug up a urine test that had a high number of epithallial cells. These are the cells that line internal organs and are sloughed off as a regular biological process. In higher levels they CAN also indicate a pre-cancerous condition.

I do not have cancer nor was I told about this result by my doctor because there was nothing to worry about. When I told the insurance company all of this, they just reiterated their stance and continued to deny me coverage.

This sort of practice has GOT to stop.


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