Sunday, November 11, 2012

Sunday Confessional: The Costly Heart

Yes, Yes, I know that there are a pile of new interviews waiting to be posted and that I still need to bog about my visit to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but this confessional was inspired by a piece of mail.

Every month or so I receive a Medicare Summary Notice, detailing all of the expenses my health costs them through the claims processed from one date to another (usually 2 months behind the date of receiving this letter). 

This newest summary, for claims processed early August through mid-September, is seven pages long, most of the them printed double-sided. Among the claims listed is my liver biopsy, which took place July 27th. Keep in mind that I was an outpatient.
When added up, with all of the tests, fluids and medicines, anesthesia, techs, machines, man power, and recovery room, the grand total of this one day at UCLA came to: $23,591.23 

Now, do I have $23,591.23 just lying around in old mayonnaise jars buried in my front lawn? Of course not. I have two insurances: a federal insurance and a state insurance. 
Is it perfect? Far from it.
Is it controlling? Indubitably.
Is there room to improve them? Without a doubt.
Despite its flaws, am I still grateful for these insurances and will I continue to remain medical bill debt free so long as they are in effect? You Betcha.

One day I hope to have a less demeaning, stigmatized, controlling insurance - one that permits me to earn an income that matches the cost of living; one that does not dictate how long I can explore the world; one that allows me to save my hard-earned pennies; an insurance that actually permits me to enjoy the life they help preserve. 

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