Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A first

Yesterday was an unusual day for me. I was hungry All. Day. Long.

That hasn't happened since I began the paleo plan. In fact, I would say I'm rarely hungry, and when I am the hunger is appropriate: I haven't eaten in several hours.

Meals over the weekend were fine, but I ate fewer eggs than I usually do. Eggs fill me UP, and I need to put them back on the breakfast menu. I ended up skipping breakfast both Sunday and yesterday, and while I don't necessarily subscribe to the breakfast-is-the-most-important-meal philosophy, I have learned that I'm less hungry and more energetic when I eat it.

My husband and I drove to a nearby town to meet with an insurance agent and buy a short-term health plan for me. Aetna, which had been providing my coverage, is pulling out of the individual policy market here in WV (and in several other states, as well). I'd thought the last day was September 30, but it turns out it's Sunday. This coming Sunday. So we had to scramble a bit to get it taken care of.

It turns out to be a tiny bit better coverage with a significant reduction in the monthly premium. And it will tide me over until the health insurance exchanges go into effect January 1, 2014. You can begin the application process for those on October 1, and I will be first in line.

If ONLY the United States had the political will to pass a Medicare-for-all, single-payer plan. As long as insurance companies have lobbyists, though, that's not going to happen.


Insurance is the biggest gambling game around. You throw money in the pot every month, but the only way you win is if you get sick (health), have an accident (auto) or die (life). I'm not a big health-care consumer at all. I've paid thousands of dollars to Aetna since we lost my husband's employer-based coverage when he retired. I can count on my fingers the number of times I've seen a doctor since then.

And my policy didn't even cover office visits.

I take a Lasix a couple times a week for intermittent swelling of my ankles. Generic Lasix is one of the cheapest drugs on the market, so I don't even use my prescription benefit to buy it – it's on the $4 formulary at Tiny Kroger Pharmacy.

So six more months and health coverage should improve, premiums should go down (or, in my case, I think it will stay about the same as it is for the new short-term policy) and millions of U.S. citizens will still be without health insurance. If you live in a state in which your governor has decided not to expand Medicaid, well, I'm sorry you elected him or her. This map shows who is still on the fence.

It wouldn't hurt to make a phone call. Or 10. The more citizens who participate (Medicaid expansion will provide subsidies to lower income people), the lower ALL our premiums will be. And, theoretically, we'll be able to nip health problems in the bud, instead of waiting until it's so bad we have to visit an emergency room.

Or die.


Lynne Postlethwaite Larsen said...

I love your educated passion...you keep it up girl!

gingerzingi said...

I've been paying for my medical insurance for 31 years (I've only sometimes had an employer-provided plan and even then it wasn't FREE), and only one year I've ever reached my deductible, and that's because my husband had knee surgery and we had a family deductible on that particular plan. In other words, I've paid IN and IN and IN, and very little has come out. And, I'd be okay with that - concept of pooled risk - if I knew that my insurance company wouldn't try to cheat me out of benefit if/when I ever need it, and if I didn't have to "start over" anytime I have a new plan.

On the other hand, I'm extremely thankful that I'm so healthy. Knock on wood.