Dec 11, 2007

Applying for Healthcare, the Saga

I've been uninsured for about a month now. I don't plan on staying uninsured, so I've been doing some research into health plans (as many of you know from my previous posts). Basically, because I went to a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression, 90 percent of insurance companies out there will not accept me. (Hmm, should I be anxious and/or depressed about that?)

A few weeks ago I called a health insurance agent who I found on Yelp. People seemed to like him, so I thought seeking out help would be worth a shot... even though it would be biased help because he gets paid by the insurance companies to sell their programs. Well, after a few weeks of him calling me every other day to convince me to sign up, I finally did. I usually don't reward annoying salesman, but he's been very helpful and I need a bit of prodding to do anything. Health insurance is not something I want to fuck around with, so I've finally applied.

He told me that my best bet would be Pacific Care with a $1500 deductible and an HSA account. Oh boy, more accounts to try to organize and sort out. In any case, Pacific Care, he said, would likely be the only insurance company that would accept me due to my history of depression and anxiety. (The other major company he represents is Blue Cross, and he said they would not accept me).

So he talked me through all of the questions on the application and basically filled it out for me over the phone. It felt really awful to categorize my health history. Do I put depression or anxiety? My agent didn't think putting major depression was the best idea, but he couldn't officially encourage lying. I've been diagnosed with everything from ADD to major depression to generalized anxiety. What do I actually have? I have no freaking clue.

Anyway, we decided to put anxiety / depression and leave it at that. Later on I had to say what meds I've taken. So I took Xanax on and off for a month (in June 2005) and Lexapro for a month (in October 2007). That's all the medicine I've taken for mental illness in the past five years. But that means I'm obviously going to scam the health insurance system into spending zillions of dollars on me.

I guess I can understand why they don't like accepting people with mental illness. I know one girl who had anorexia and her health insurance company had to pay for the treatment. Then the government paid for her to be on disability so she didn't have to work while she recovered.

My other medical disorder, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) didn't neatly fit into any of the check boxes. There was a separate section for menstrual disorders and another for hormonal disorders. It's both. Then we had to figure out what to say about that ovarian cyst I had last spring that likely ruptured.

In the end, I was left wondering how awful my application looked. Will Pacific Care accept me? Shouldn't I be rewarded for being honest on my application?

Nah, I'll just be "rewarded" with higher rates. He told me the base rate for this plan is $105 a month. I'm curious to see what I'll get quoted.

Oh, I had to give my credit card number and everything BEFORE I'm approved. He said I have 10 days to reverse charges once I am approved, but I think I should be able to see where I'm approved first before everyone charges me. Well, I'm only applying for this one plan right now, so I guess it doesn't matter.

Also in health insurance news... the startup company I work at is getting health insurance... but I'm not eligible because I'm part time (contract). Oh well.


Post a Comment