Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Diabetic Pre-existence

I usually try to keep the family blog away from politics or culture or other things that might estrange our friends, but sometimes politics and culture walk up and slap our family in the face.
As some of you may recall, I lost my job couple months ago. At that time, I also lost my family's health insurance. It didn't take me too terribly long to find another job with benefits.
Well, I went to my endocrinologist a couple weeks ago for a check-up regarding my type I diabetes, a condition I've had since childhood. I submitted all my new insurance information and paid my $35 co-pay. Yesterday, I got a letter from FMH CoreSource (my benefits company) stating that my health care plan contains a pre-existing conditions clause, and if I don't provide proof that my gap in coverage was less than 63 days, my claim will be denied.
Fortunately, I don't think my gap in coverage was more than 63 days. What really kills me is that CoreSource and Lifetime Benefits (my old insurance) are BOTH subsidiaries of Aetna. So even though I've been funneling quite a few bucks to them out of my paycheck over the last 3 years, they try to deny coverage at the first opportunity.
I asked the gal at CoreSource when the new laws would go into effect that made this kind of thing illegal. She said, "Oh, we won't have to worry about that for a couple more years."
Now, I know that a majority of our friends would place themselves in the reddish region of the political spectrum, and some of them have even done some marching and holding signs as they express themselves. To them, I would say this:
Before you start picketing in support of some of these guys that are promising to repeal the health care reform bill, please just ask those guys which part of the bill is the part that needs to go. I certainly don't understand everything in that legislation, but I know that it's designed to make it more difficult for insurance companies to screw over a middle-class, diabetic dad who is trying to stay alive with his pre-existing conditions while he supports a family of five (By the way, even though I'm still with Aetna, my deductible started over, so I got to pay almost $200 for a 3-month supply of insulin and testing supplies).
If the Republicans want to get into power and make their own improvements, great. Tort reform? Fantastic. Go for it. Interstate insurance commerce? Fabulous. But don't take a giant step backwards just so you can say you were the only ones who made a difference. That's stupid.
That's all.


Anonymous said...

My father's insurance also tried to drop him from their plan after our kidney transplant because they claimed he knew his kidneys were going to stop working. And then they tried to stop covering me because I forgot to get a referral to the surgeon taking my kidney away. I feel your pain, Jon.
(It's Dayna, just cause my username always shows up weird when I comment on things.)

Anonymous said...

I appreciate you sharing your experience. Something needs to be done about our current system and sadly many people don't see that until they find themselves in a situation like yours. After working as an insurance coordinator for the U of U Hospital I will never look at health insurance the same way again.