Being sick sucks.
The last three weeks have sent me into walking dead mode, foggy brain with a dab of phlegmy rabies drooling. Typically for me, this is a sign of that dreaded bronchitis. A simple visit to the emergency room or doctor would do the job and I will be back to normal in no time.
Except this time around, I have no insurance.
For the first time in my life, with the exception of Medicare Part A (bare minimum hospital insurance) I have landed into the world of the uninsured…or the under insured of you want to be technical.
It all started in November when I got a letter saying Medicaid (Sunshine Health) would no longer cover me because of Florida’s budget cuts. So I went to the “Obamacare” marketplace to see what I can find. I found a decent plan, with a low deductible and vision plan to boot for less than the price of a latte at Starbucks. Fair enough, right?
A month later, I got letters asking me for a million pieces of documentation from Social Security since I’m on SSDI. As big of a pain in the ass that was, I learned that I apparently have Medicare and had it for the last 2 years. Surprise to me.
Another month goes by and they wanted more documentation from me that was basically hinting that all I needed was my Medicare, so I was forced to cancel the plan or be prepared to pay $300 out of pocket to keep this awesome plan I found. The ladies on the phone from both the new insurance company and the marketplace were very kind and prompt. I thought my dilemma was over, aside from hunting down a place that accepts this part B nonsense (spoiler alert, not many.)
A month goes by and a lovely letter from Social Security lands in my mailbox, informing me that half my check would now be used for Medicare premiums, leaving me without a way to pay my bills (since at the time, I wasn’t getting hours at my water park gig.)
After 4 hours camped out at Social Security with the bestie and a lecture from the Social Security lady on how canceling my health insurance was bad, I managed to fix everything so I can afford to live independently with what little I have. Only downside was no access to medical help unless I am on my death bed, basically.
Sure enough another month goes by and I get sick.
Luckily for me, I was blessed with a tax return that not only got me into the minute clinic at my local CVS and meds, but a new pair of glasses, much needed.
The sad thing is that a tax return is supposed to be play money, something I was going to use to go home to PA for a few days. But I guess it’s back to trying to save money without a crisis happening. And knowing me, crisis is my middle name. (And to think y’all thought it was Marie.)
I return to work tomorrow after two weeks of mostly bed rest, but sad to say I am not 100% yet. I take my last Amoxicillin in the morning, and then I don’t know what. I have tons of over the counter meds stocked up just in case, but even that might not be enough to knock it out.
Honestly, it sucks being in the grey area of the insured, where you don’t work enough hours for company insurance, your assistance is cut off by the state, and paying for it out of Social Security risks you being homeless and broke. It’s even more annoying that because of your age, you don’t qualify for the Silver Care Plan or AARP for at least another 28 years, leaving you to fend for yourself, hoping you make it before something kills you.
I’m thankful for the health I have, even though it is far from perfect. But it is a shame in this country that health is a luxury. There are third world countries out there with socialized medicine and cheaper healthcare. And yet we as a developed nation can’t even get it right.
As I drop another NyQuil and sip some OJ, I pray the next few days brings healing and that I don’t regress. My body and my wallet can’t afford to be sick again.
Well, here goes nothing.