The Great American Clusterfuck, or Let’s Burn it all Down and Start Again


My child has had a shitty illness for this week. When his fever finally dropped to 99, I sent him back to school. He did not get better. I took him to the doctor. She prescribed him antibiotics, we went to fill the prescription, and that is when I learned that our health coverage was GONE. My insurance company had canceled both of our plans. Just like that. I argued with the smug, British fucker saying I’d had no idea, that they hadn’t notified me. He argued back saying they had, indeed, notified me by mail. He said they mailed me a letter April 6, and told me the address to which they mailed it.

It was the wrong address.

After I finished yelling at the smug British motherfucker and after I finished crying in the middle of the Kroger pharmacy, I went home, put my child to bed, and got on the phone.

I spoke to what felt like 87 people, both from my insurance company and from the Healthcare Marketplace. I sent my health insurance broker a nasty email, asking her “what the fuck happened.” I got no help other than the Marketplace going to escalate my complaint. (They also say that my son and I DO still have insurance so…?) I called back again the next day, asking if I was still available for a special enrollment (which I had been the night before!) and of course I was not eligible because I lost coverage due to “non-payment.”

Lo and behold, they were right. I DID lose coverage because of “non-payment.” I learned this after checking every single account I have, searching for the payments that were supposed to have been happening all along because I HAD SIGNED UP FOR AUTO-PAYMENTS TWICE. TWO TIMES. Our dental insurance is through a different company. Guess what? They are auto-deducting my payments AND KNOW WHERE I LIVE.

Several months ago, I took my child for his annual visit. No copay! Hooray! The system worked! And then I got a phone call a month later from his doctor’s office saying that he was not insured. But he clearly WAS insured. After a debacle, my broker assured me everything was right, and oh, did I know they had the WRONG ADDRESS?? No wonder I wasn’t getting the mail they were saying they were sending me.

So let’s backtrack. Twice, they had my wrong address. Once, they dropped my son with no warning. Once, they dropped both of us with no warning. Twice, I had signed up for auto-payments which never happened. Zero times did I have the same issue with my dental insurance.

No one wants to help me. I have the money. I want to give them the money to give me health insurance. And now that I’ve been dropped, I have no health insurance until…??? Do I have to pay a fucking tax penalty now because THEY fucked up?

The takeaway here is that OUR SYSTEM IS COMPLETELY FUCKED. This is not the fault of Obamacare, this is the fault of the cockblockers in office who don’t want to make healthcare accessible and affordable. There is absolutely no fucking reason I should have to go through all this to get my kid fucking amoxicillin for a goddamn ear infection. WHY CAN’T WE JUST GO TO THE FUCKING DOCTOR WHEN WE FUCKING NEED TO?

Many years ago, when I worked for a major retail corporation, I’d signed up for health insurance on a whim even though, like many 23 year olds, I felt I “didn’t need it.” A few months later I became pregnant and realized I’d never gotten my insurance card in the mail. I contacted corporate and was told that A FUCKING TEMP HAD BEEN WORKING THERE DURING OPEN ENROLLMENT AND HAD LOST MY PAPERWORK. They were happy to give me insurance then, but in the rush to complete my paperwork so I could make a doctor’s appointment because I was FUCKING PREGNANT, I missed something about short-term disability. So I didn’t get paid for my maternity leave and had to come back to work 12 hour days a mere 6 weeks after Ham Guy was born.

I worked for another big corporation after leaving the retail job. Open enrollment was happening just as I was hired on, so I was able to quickly and easily sign myself and my son up for medical and dental insurance. Easy peasy! Then years later, the premiums started going up. And going up. And going up. And it wasn’t so easy anymore because our annual raises were soon null and void because of the insurance premium increases.

And now, here I am. Stuck in limbo with no insurance for my son or for me, and there is absolutely NOTHING I can do about it. All because of some bullshit clerical error on SOMEONE’S part. And instead of the Marketplace and my insurance company treating me like a person with a problem, I am treated like a ping pong ball, with no one even trying to help me. Just send me bouncing back to someone else because they don’t feel like dealing with it.

This is fucked. And if you think that privatizing health insurance is a good idea, YOU’RE fucked. Who knows how this is going to play out, but I can pretty much guarantee that my son and I are going to be on the losing end. The worst part is that I know we aren’t the only ones, and I can only wonder how many thousands of people are losing right now because of a minor clerical error. Healthcare shouldn’t be this hard. We deserve to be able to see a doctor without worrying about how much it will cost, or if the insurance is going to cover what is needed, or if there is going to be a tax penalty because someone’s error has rendered you without insurance. I cannot wait until our country has caught up with the rest of the world and we can all go see a doctor without worry, or at least without hours of bullshit.

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