In my last WtF is Wrong With Me post, I pronounced that I’m going to go to the doctor until I finally get a diagnosis for what the fuck is wrong with me. Unfortunately, now I must tell you why that won't be happening for a few months.
At least I'm not a hypocrite this time. Far from it. If I could go to the doctor tomorrow I would, but I can’t. Why? Our fucked up health care system, that’s why. Or my husband’s company’s inhumane health insurance policy, depending on whether you like to blame societal structure for inequities or the specific people who engage in them.
You see, my husband and I graduated from law school in 2007 and quickly became lawyers. After a year of practice I realized it wasn’t for me, and it especially wasn’t a match for my health issues, but my husband continued to practice until last year. He made good enough money that even though we’d previously decided not to have children because of my health problems, we went for it because we figured we could always hire a nanny if my health took a turn. (Ha!)
Last year I got pregnant and everything was going well (except for how I felt during my pregnancy—I’ll never do that again). That is, until my husband lost his job three weeks before I was due to give birth. Fun times, let me tell you. Well, we immediately signed up for Medicaid and thankfully that covered my daughter’s birth. The legal job market is really tough—I’ve had friends who’ve looked for a job for over a year, no exaggeration—and my husband never really liked practicing anyway, so he decided to do a computer coding boot camp where they teach you how to code in a few months. It worked and couple months later he started his new career as a computer programmer.
We are so happy he has a job after nearly six months of being unemployed, although he’s currently making about half of what he was making before. I shouldn't complain since he’s still making more money than the average worker, but we both have entirely too much student loan debt so our money situation is tight. Every time I feel ill, I'm terrified I'll be incapacitated and won't be able to take care of our daughter because we have no plan B.
Anyway, this is long way of explaining that when my husband started his new job a month ago, he was informed that his benefits don’t actually kick in for three months. That means we’re cut off from Medicaid since we no longer qualify, and thus we have no health insurance for three months. I looked into getting some sort of private insurance stopgap through the ACA exchange, but it would cost us a minimum of $600/month and there’d be a $11,000 deductible that we’d have to exhaust before any coverage would kick in. The worst investment of all time. Well, unless one of us has some sort of devastating accident during these three uninsured months that bankrupts us. I’ve had no less than three dreams in which it’s happened. I’m terrified of this, but we just don’t have $1800 to put toward three months of catastrophic coverage. Especially after coming out of six months of unemployment.
So right now I’ve got a sore throat. I'm having a huge lupus flareup. I’m pretty sure I have a bad case of bacterial vaginosis that needs treating, and my daughter’s going to have to wait an extra month to get her six month shots, all because my husband’s company has the inhumane policy of saying, umm, yeah, no health insurance for you for some random amount of time. I’ve spoken to some friends and while this was never a thing that law firms did, apparently this isn’t that uncommon among private companies. Seriously? WTF? Why would you do that to your workers? (Anyone know why companies do this beyond just saving a few bucks? Tell me in the comments.)
So don’t mind me over here applying yet another coating of itch cream and praying that none of us get so sick that we're bankrupted before my husband's health insurance kicks in. I do promise that eventually I'll find out what the fuck is wrong with me. It just won't be for a couple of months.
Start reading my WtF series in which I share about my own struggles with Chronic Illness HERE. Or jump to the next installment, Being Disabled Sucks (An Obvious Truth I Apparently Need to Defend)