I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE YOU.
I. HATE. YOU.
YOU ARE HATEFUL TO ME.
HATE YOU I SHALL.
Oh, that felt good.
I usually never say the H word.
The only time I say ever say the H word is when referring to head lice or olives or Phil Collins.
God, I hate Phil Collins.
But, I gotta tell you that man-oh-man, you medical insurance companies sure can suck sometimes.
And yes, I know, the whole screwed-up system of healthcare coverage and delivery sucks, and in some respect you all are just helpless cogs in the big, fat, mess of a healthcare machine. But right now, I’m focusing my red, hot blog-o-beam in your direction. Because you suck. And I h…ha...h……
I don’t like you right now.
Okay. I’m done.
Now I’ll attempt to be more polite. Or at least poetic.
Here’s the thing:
We’re not poor folk here at Chateau Halushki. We have a roof over our heads and a car in the drive and the kids don’t need to repair the worn-out soles of their Payless shoes with cuttings from spare tires. However, we ain’t rich, neither. A dinner out once a month is a real treat. We have to splurge to buy the good parmesan cheese. We purchase most of our shoes at Payless. Off season. Mostly during the BOGO sales.
I don’t even bother to clip coupons because generic is so much cheaper, if that gives you any idea.
Anyway…without going into too much detail about my husband’s job (Which he loves! Hello Mr. Boss!) and pulling a dooce for him, let’s just say that circumstance arranged itself in such a way as to place the burden - or rather challenge, let’s be positive here - place the challenge of finding and maintaining health insurance squarely in my lap.
Now. I don’t know whether you’ve ever had to pay for your own health insurance, but let me tell you, the experience is eye-opening. Not to mention wallet-draining. And as if that’s not enough, go ahead and try to add on your two - no wait! - THREE kids.
Try to find private health insurance in Pennsylvania when - as happened with me about a year and a half ago - you've just found out a few days after your husband accepted a new job offer that you’re eight weeks pregnant!
The fact is that if you are pregnant and without health insurance - or between health insurance - in the state of Pennsylvania, and you then try to purchase private insurance, you are basically uninsurable. No matter that you’ve had continuous coverage for the past 39 years, 2 months, and 15 days. No matter that you’re going to be paying-in to the insurance for the next 8 months until you have this baby.
Just another too-freaking-bad day in paradise.
Now, if you are being covered under an employer's insurance plan as opposed to buying private health insurance, well that's a different story. But that wasn’t my story. My story involved having to continue my old insurance through COBRA - an acronym which stands for Cheap? Oh BAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA! Really…Asswipe - and opening a vein each month while being financially reduced to living on more rice than I’d care to remember.
So then, after 8 months of rice and eyeing-up the spare tires for their fashion potential (just in case), I finally had the baby extracted through a “bikini cut” that - let’s be honest again: will never, ever see any bikini slung that low across my pubic bone - and after I delivered a sweet, perfect baby (and between Percocets), the fleeting thought crossed my mind that the little bugger was, indeed, worth every COBRA payment and so much more and all was right with the world and I had a new baby and in another month, new and much cheaper health insurance, and it would be nothing but steak and lobster from here on out.
Imagine for a moment, Dear Medical Insurance Company, that you are me, happily spending a few days in the hospital and then trundling home with your sweet baby and a bottle of Percocet, just waiting for the happy times of plenty to abound while hallucinating tiny steaks dancing with lobsters.
Except a week later, you get a phone call. One of those phone calls where even the ring is portentous. You're puttering around the kitchen, grabbing counters as you go because it feels as if your uterus is going to slide out of your bikini cut, and the phone rings - a ring that echoes cold and deep through every corner of the house, down through the very foundation...the call of destiny. Out of the blue, it’s the pediatrician on the phone. Just like that, the pediatrician calling you in the middle of the day. Hmm. Just a month ago, you were begging the pediatrician to call because you had a silly-willy bat flying around in your house and were potentially all dying of rabies, but you still had to wait on hold to talk to the message service and then wait even longer for a callback from a nurse, all while the rabies virus was potentially making a beeline - or a bat line - for your brain. And now...Presto! Like Houdini from the grave. A pediatrician calls....
Hello, Ms. Pediatrician! What brings you to dial my seven digits on this fine and glorious afternoon?
What’s that? Something about the baby's newborn screening results?
Uhm-hmm…okay…spell that please? And you say it’s a rare metabolic disease - oh, disorder - a disorder that only 1 in 60,000 people inherit?
That fateful day.
It seems so long ago now.
I knew nothing about biotinidase or rare metabolic disorders. I was kicking myself for never really studying just what the X’s and Y’s meant and which two kids were carriers and which kid was affected and which kid got off scot free with nary a recessive gene mutation. I had no clue what a biotin capsule cost over the pharmacy counter versus acquiring said B-vitamin in some seedy, back alley stable from a shifty groom dealing out scoops of white powder from a bucket of Hoof Guard.
But you knew, Dear Medical Insurance Company.
You knew what it all meant.
Rare. Metabolic. Disorder.
What that meant was kiss the dancing steaks good-bye.
What that meant was “Yeeeeaaaaaahhhhh, sure….we’ll give your kid health coverage. Here, lady. Here’s a nice, warm policy hot off the press. All the coverage your bundle of joy could ever need for just $108 a month.
Did we say $108 a month?
Nooooooooooooo no no no no no no no no…
No…what we actually meant was $108 for the first six months. Then, we’re going to raise the insurance. We’re going to raise the insurance because your kid is an infant, and infants are such a pain in the ass what with their immunization schedule and well-baby visits and tell you what: even if you promise to pay all the immunizations yourself and pay a higher co-pay; even if you send scads of convincing letters from geneticists and other guys with a bunch of M.D.'s and Ph.D.'s after their names all saying that your kid’s specific rare metabolic deficiency is essentially benign and completely, 100% treatable with one $7.00 bottle of biotin per month; even if you promise, cross-your-heart, to never allow your kids to chase squirrels anymore or wrestle with coyotes…
We just don‘t care.
We don’t care, because you have an infant with a Rare Metabolic Disorder and we’re going to raise his monthly premium to $349. That’s just him.
That raises your total monthly premium to $855.
Just because we can.
And whaddaya gonna do about it, huh?
Oh…oh what? Threaten to leave?
Mme. Halushki is going to take her $855 a month a leave!
Quick! Tell the CEO he has to buy a Hyundai!
I don’t like you, Medical Insurance Company.
I know you are around when times get tough and the hospitals swoop in with numbers that look like a zero machine gone haywire.
I understand that overweight men who smoke unfiltered Camels while rubbing themselves in lard are risky business when it comes to potential payouts.
But a healthy pregnant woman?
Even an old broad who eventually had to have a C-section? She’s uninsurable?
And a healthy infant whose little metabolic thingy turned out to be not much of a thingy after all, even though he had to make one visit to Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia to see the head metabolics honcho who hails from Turkey and has a last name that sounds as if you’re saying the word “Jell-O” ten times fast, except backwards and with a mouthful of Jell-O?
I have to pay $345 a month (not that I even can, mind you) for a child whose postential worst symptom - if any - from the partial biotinidase deficiency might be an occasional rash or a passing bald spot?
Good gravy, people have more severe reactions from listening to Phil Collins.
I bet their premium doesn’t jump 300% every time some DJ plays Another Day In Paradise.
And now you got me talking about Phil Collins.
Well, you really do win.
Anyway…I’m just writing to tell you how much I…I loathe you.
You are being utterly ridiculous with this premium increase.
You, Dear Medical Insurance Company, are a low-down, dirty, rotten steak stealer.
And I’m just writing to let you know.
Have a Happy New Year.