When my husband was originally diagnosed with Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) the main concern was getting him healthy again. With the help of talented doctors who performed open heart surgery, that was accomplished. That was when we learned how big a nightmare dealing with insurance companies could really be.
Prior to his diagnosis, we’d never had any trouble getting health insurance. We were young and healthy. The insurance companies loved us. That changed as soon as word got out that my husband not only had HCM and needed surgery to treat it, but that doctors feel that in the future he’ll probably need to have a heart transplant as he gets older. Based on the way the health insurance companies reacted, it was like our family had the plaque.
First our current insurance company rejected us. There was no warning. We simply received a letter stating that they were canceling our policy.
Next we were rejected by 95% of the other health insurance companies we contacted. The fact that they refused to insure my husband was bad enough, but they also denied my children based on the fact that they shared my husband’s genes, which meant there was a chance they could someday be diagnosed with HCM.
A few insurance companies were willing to deal with us, but they were bottom feeder companies who charged outrageously high premiums for what basically added up to no real medical coverage at all, and each of these companies made it very clear that any tests or surgeries my husband’s heart needed would not be covered.
I’m excited that in 2014 the medical nightmare that my family has been dealing with for the past several years will finally come to an end.
For me, the best thing about the Affordable Care Act is that insurance companies can no longer deny anyone coverage based on pre-existing conditions. My husband will be entitled to the same insurance as everyone else. Best of all, the insurance company will not be able to charge us a higher premium. He will have the exact same insurance, at the same price, as those with perfectly healthy hearts. By law, the insurance company has to insure my husband’s and my children’s cardiovascular heath.
For the first time in several years, I’m finally starting to feel like I’m regaining control of my life. I’m still worried about my husband’s heart. If he needs surgery we’ll still have to pay a hefty deductible, and there will be other emergency care bills that will need to be handled, but the insurance will make these bills considerably smaller, turning them into something our family will eventually be able to pay.
The Affordable Care Act means I no longer have to face the prospect of spending endless hours on the phone with insurance companies, arguing with them and worrying about what will happen to my family if they get sick or hurt before I can find an affordable coverage plan. Instead of stressing over health insurance, I can relax and enjoy the sensation of being surrounded by the people I love.