Last May I got sick. Like for real sick; for the first time in my life. I had what was apparently a massive blood clot that was impeding the functioning of both of my lungs. The official term is a ‘bi-cameral (sp?) pulmonary embolism’. In reality it meant that if I walked 50 feet I would pass out, have what looked like a seizure and start throwing up all over myself in the emergency room while my wife is screaming. I still owe that security guard a firm handshake and a bottle of his drink of choice. I liken it to getting hit by lightning. It came out of nowhere and laid me completely low in the span of 2 hours. There was no discernible warning and a root cause was never determined.
Last October I was tapped by my company to help work on healthcare.gov. You might have heard of it. The initial launch didn’t go so well. But it made a pretty strong comeback here recently. It even managed to make some of the major news outlets.
Today I logged into my insurance company’s website to get some information, and I started looking at the claims filed for me in the past year year out of morbid curiosity. This would cover the time I was actually in the hospital, the 6 months of follow ups, and the maintenance for a condition I’d known about for a while but didn’t start addressing until I got sick (sleep apnea).
In the past 365 days, my insurance has been billed $47,752.13.
In the past 365 days, I have owed $768.09 for those billings.
My insurance has covered 98.4% of my medical bills in the past year.
The lessons I’ve learned today:
- If I didn’t have health insurance I would be bankrupt.
- I’ve never felt more contempt for people fighting insurance and healthcare reform in the United States
- If you don’t have health insurance, I am truly fearful for you on multiple levels
- I’ve never been more proud to have contributed professionally to something than the work I did during the last quarter of 2013 with the people working on healthcare.gov