The Conundrum of US Heath Care

A Band-Aid System

The US Health care system can be considered a series of band-aids.
The US Health care system can be considered a series of band-aids. | Source

The Insurance Enigma

In Dec 2012, I discovered, by a fluke, that a growth or “mass” had begun in my left ovary. Thus a peon began negotiating the broken US health care system. I have found, to my chagrin, that having “limited” health insurance is worse than none at all, as I will detail shortly.

Beginnings

In July 2012, I signed up for a medical research study which paid well in addition to giving several free gynecological tests. One of these exams included ultrasonic imaging of my uterus, ovaries, etc. The doctor prescribed an internal study medication to alleviate the dryness and sexual discomfort menopausal women experience. This worked as intended as advertised during the month-long study. In fact, I felt certain I had been prescribed the real medication rather than a placebo.

In December 2012, the same doctor called me back for a similar study. This time, he discovered a growth in my left ovary. I was shocked to find that it was 3cm in diameter. This walnut-sized “mass” had grown within a six month period from absolutely zilch.

He rejected me for the second study, but recommended prompt follow-up. Soon afterward, he kindly mailed me a thick envelope including ultrasound images from the first study and the initial ultrasounds for the second. Thus, the change of “the mass” was fully documented, time-stamped, etc. The mass could be benign or it could be the beginning of a cancer, so I decided to be as proactive as possible.

Now, I sought follow-up with my “normal” health care provider.

Follow-up

Sadly, my “normal health care provider” is a Colorado state run “discount medical program” rather than true comprehensive health insurance. (This is one of many piece-meal programs throughout the United States [of Broken Healthcare].)

The hospital backing my local piece-meal system rejected me because it chose to provide gynecological care only for pregnant women. “What irony!” I thought to myself, “that the hospital will happily bring new persons into the world, but will refuse care to them once they exist!”

My provider then referred me to a charity hospital. “Months are going by, but I cannot find appropriate care!” I think to myself, awake late at night.

An Attempt to Mitigate the Situation

At the temp agency I work for, a “limited” health care optional coverage is available. Beginning Jan 2013, I plunked down $20 weekly for it, hoping to defray costs and escalate my issue. The cap on this policy was a mere $2000, but it was all I had available and could afford.

I called a gynecologist associated with the plan and apprised him of my situation. His secretary told me not to even bother to come in, as the cap on my “limited” health insurance would be way to low for the problem at hand.

Back to Square One

Back to my primary care provider in the Colorado discount plan. She referred me promptly to a charity hospital much further away that could handle the situation.

At the charity hospital the doctor referred me for for yet another pelvic ultrasound to assess further growth of the mass. Its growth remains yet unknown.

I had arranged for a financial screening to occur later that day. At the screening, they told me that “insured” persons would not be considered for their program. As I am now “[under]insured”, I do not qualify for their program! My proactive steps to getting healthcare now stood in my way of receiving it!

Cancelling Coverage

I went home and promptly cancelled my “coverage” so that I can now get a letter of no coverage, which will permit me to have follow-up care on the already known issue. Clearly, no genuine insurance will cover me now with a “pre-existing” condition.

Thus, I conclude that NO health coverage is better than “a little bit” or “I am trying to self-insure” or “I did not desire to be a poor uninsured US citizen, really” or [please fill in this blank for me].

Please comment! I shall update when I get this letter of “no coverage” and thus can proceed….

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Comments 2 comments

David 3 years ago

I read your article regarding health care-and I agree health care is totally inefficient in this country. The hospitals over charge you on supplies and the insurance is a joke-with much red tape and the coverage is difficult to understand what is covered and what is not.


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Laura in Denver 3 years ago from Aurora Author

Thanks, I agree with everything you said. The insurance companies run amok, always try to exclude presumably covered items, etc. Then when you are "under-covered" as I am (along with say 55% of US citizens) you really hurt.

I think health episodes also are a leading cause of bankruptcy!

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