Being denied insurance
Ebb and flow
I rubbed the envelope edges between my fingers. My heart was clenching, and it was pulling my entire esophagus down with it. It felt hard to take a breath. Just breath I told myself. It’ll be fine. It’s just a letter.
But the letter felt empty. It felt like a one-pager. And I knew what a one-pager meant. No policy terms. No packet of what benefits meant and what the lawyers spelled out. No 5-page document would require you to initial 7 times on each and every page. No insurance.
And no insurance meant I had no backup. I would financially ruin my husband and any kids we planned on having. I couldn’t do this. I had seen it with my mom – I remember coming home to missed mortgage payments, growing credit card debt and the gift cards from anonymous friends that paid for our groceries. Everyone told me that I wouldn’t need it. That long-term care insurance was a waste. You could just save that exact same amount of money each month on my own, invest it and I’d be fine. Was that true? Or was it what they tell themselves to avoid thinking about it? Was it to avoid the hassle of a long-term care application? After having gone through it I knew what the application felt. It had left me slightly wounded. All of a sudden you’re supposed to lay out all your cards on the table for total strangers to size up…to determine whether your worth taking a chance on? And I don’t know about you, but who doesn’t love spending Wednesday evenings talking to insurance agents and dead fathers?
“Are both of your parents alive?”
Shit…they’re going to find out. “Um…no…my dad is…um…dea….um…my dad passed away.”
“Oh I’m sorry to hear that. What age was that?”
Oh shit…now they’re really going to find out.
“And what was the cause of death.”
“Oh wow so young.”
It went like…you know…the typical Wednesday night conversation. The type of conversation that afterwards brings you right into the depths of your grief, your fear, and your eternal dread of this disease and all the things it has taken and continues to threaten to take from you. Your husband finds you lying in fetal position on the couch and asks what’s wrong. Which part? The fact that I lost my dad when I was a teenager and never got to tell him or show him the person I became. The fact that I had to tell a total stranger that my dad is dead? The fact my “eligibility” is being judged like some sort of weird genetic and health contest that I’m clearly failing? The fact that I could have this disease too? The fact that I have to wait for this stupid application and acceptance before I can get tested? The fact that I can’t just have babies right now like all my other friends?
I ripe open the paper and the words pop out at me before I can even read them. “We’re sorry…”. My heart plummets to the ground and heavy tears start filling my eyes. I’m 32 years old, how is this possible? How can they reject me? I’m healthy.