With the many issues facing America today, smart Americans, if they can afford it, are well advised to obtain health and disability insurance to protect them in the event of a personal catastrophe. Anything less may result in a financial and health crisis, so if you have all those coverageâ€™s, paid in full through employment or even separate private policies, you should be covered and protected against almost any health emergency, Right?
WRONG! Sorry folks, but it does not work that way, even though you pay your premiums, even though the government has been taking money out of your check for your entire working life, it simply does not work the way many think it doesâ€¦
I do not like using personal experiences and myself as an example, however, there is where my personal knowledge lies and must illustrate the issues and problems the only way I can â€“ through personal familiarity and observation. In addition, the advice and opinion of not one, but several attorneyâ€™s I have conferred with whose opinions seem valid. The conclusions I have reached are alarming, disgusting, and insulting from the standpoint of how Corporate America and the government treat its citizens.
Last year, I was living in Emporia, Kansas, and had a decent job. Being careful and responsible, I had life insurance, Blue-Cross Blue-Shield Health Insurance, Cancer Insurance, and short/long term disability insurance through American Fidelity Assurance Company, headquartered in Oklahoma City, Ok. I was working long hours and noted that I was beginning to lose a lot of weight â€“ some 30 lbs in all. I became weak, and one morning I fell in the shower, not slipping on soap or anything, but simply because I was weak and dizzy and my legs gave out. The fall caused a fracture in a lower lumbar vertebra.
When I went to the Doctor, she stated that I probably had cancer, specifically multiple myloema, and I was referred to the Oncology center for diagnosis and treatment. In the meantime, American Fidelity Assurance Company was withholding benefits temporarily, stating that they had to check on pre-existing conditions. The pre-existing condition clause only was retroactive for one year â€“ and I had been in a small town for that entire year â€“ so there was no doubt that there were no legal pre-existing conditions that could or would affect my policy. My claim was valid, legal, yet they continued to withhold benefits.
I had to pay rent, almost lost my apartment, and could not pay my health insurance premiums. ($400.00+ per month under COBRA) As I finally received my disability benefits, I also lost my health insurance. From that moment forward, my Doctor only ordered an occasional blood test, placed me on high-dose narcotics, and attempted to make me comfortable as I awaited death. But, no cancer was found â€“ and no reason for the weight loss could be ascertained â€“ and they also quit the testing â€“ as I couldnâ€™t pay for my health care. No money â€“ no expensive diagnostic tests. Period.
I went down to 144 lbs (Iâ€™m 5â€™10 Â½â€ tall) and was so weak that on some occasions, had to crawl to get to the bathroom. My live-in girlfriend was seeing a psychologist and was attempting to accept, as I had, that I would soon die. Emotionally, after knowing each other for three years, I watched her mental condition deteriorate as well; she cried a lot, and the emotional baggage for her was simply too much to handle. I cast no blame â€“ she was only 22, the loveliest woman I have ever met in my life, but she simply couldnâ€™t cope watching me shrivel-up and die before her eyes. I was also losing my mental capacity, and had trouble forming cognizant thoughts, was confused, disorientated, and the depression was akin to a black cloud that enveloped me â€“ crushing my will to live and
essentially making me into a basket-case.
I left Emporia, and a life I cherished beyond comprehension, to return and die with my family in Pensacola. When I got here, I was 97% bed-ridden for two months. I still could not think properly, and all in my family knew I had little time left. Finding a Doctor to treat me in Pensacola was a nightmare; no health insurance and my disability income placed me beyond the qualifications required for Medicaid, so the quandary to receive medical care grew. I saw an attorney and was informed that it is SOP for disability insurance companies to withhold payment for as long as they can; if you donâ€™t have mainstream healthcare, it is very hard to prove that indeed, you are disabled. (In Wichita, I had an appt. with a Neurosurgeon for a probable lumbar fusion; however, he refused to see me because of my healthcare cancellation.) So, very much like Social Security, payment is withheld in the hopes that the policyholder either dies, or in the alternative, has no health insurance and cannot receive the diagnostics to prove their disability. That my friends, is the whores of Corporate America â€“ where money counts well above life, ethics, or anything else. It is a vile practice â€“ but from the inquiries I have made â€“ is simply procedure for almost all of the major disability companies.
Still, I didnâ€™t give up, pressed on for my Social Security so Medicare would pay for my diagnostics, thus ensuring the continuation of my disability payments. I have been turned-down twice for Social Security, am beginning another appeal, this time with an attorney. I have been informed that since the war began, it is even harder to be approved for Social Security, as the government is attempting to save every penny they can, and if you ever visit a Social Security Office, you will note some of the extremely ill people in wheelchairs or with oxygen tanks, desperate for coverage â€“ but denied nonetheless. Many thousands or hundreds of thousands are in worse condition than I am, yet they keep being denied coverage.
I now see a Doctor at a Community clinic, and for reasons that baffle him, and me, the condition that caused the great weight loss has disappeared â€“ and mental clarity and purpose has returned. I still cannot gain weight, and through this â€œcharityâ€ system of healthcare, the appointments are six weeks apart, and testing is done, one test at a time, every six weeks. When I began to post on Political forums, the demeanor of American Fidelity Assurance Company changed. I found that I had to fight for every check, and even worse than that, the insurance company themselves are making the Doctor that has declared me disabled (any doctor that even looks at my back comes to the same conclusion) miserable â€“ constantly challenging his diagnosis, and generally tying up his time with unnecessary paperwork. He is becoming tired of the fight â€“ as I am.
Just a couple of days ago, I was informed by American Fidelity Assurance Company that CorVel Corporation would be contacting me as their representative. They are ordering an independent medical evaluation to challenge the validity of my claim in an attempt to halt further disability payments. I was also informed that I have no say as to which Doctor will see me, that it is their choice. Please remember that I live in Pensacola, Fl., home of Pensacola Christian College, a huge campus that is home and trainers of the most right-wing Christian Neo-cons I am personally aware of in Florida. Because of my political beliefs, the lawsuit I filed in Federal Court, and in consideration that Pensacola is a sanctuary for the right-wing Republicans; I am hated in this area because of my firm stance and writings in regard the Bush administration. Furthermore, I am branded a â€œtraitorâ€ and a â€œdissidentâ€ in this locale, which I have to say, simply infuriates me! Living in the midst of the enemy is one thing â€“ but knowing that American Fidelity Assurance Company is attempting to stop my benefits, and that I will be forced to see a Doctor of their choosing from Pensacola simply tells me that Iâ€™m toast. I believe I have as good of a chance of being certified as disabled as Bush would have a chance of being re-elected if they held a vote tomorrow on the no good Edited for content, which is zero!
Further, I noted yesterday in a CNN article that the government is spending a billion dollars in reimbursements to Hospitals for the treatment of illegal aliens. When I read that article, I absolutely exploded. To add insult to injury, they also stated that hospitals cannot ask a person if they are in this country illegally, as it would violate their â€œrights.â€
What the f**k is that????? I am reduced to beggar status for healthcare, while the government subsidizes the treatment for people that are in our country illegally!
What does illegal mean? Iâ€™m sorry, but I must be an imbecile, because I cannot comprehend why an individual that is in this country illegally appears to have more rights than me, or anyone else in my situation. Are the lawmakers in this country out of their damn minds? Or, is the United States simply subsidizing big business by supporting and condoning the flow of illegal aliens in our workforce so Corporate America can enjoy low labor rates?
Of particular interest to me was the time it will take for my appeal to be heard in front of a Federal Law Judge â€“ anywhere between ten and fifteen months! I asked the attorney why, and he responded that there are approximately 7,500 appeals backed-up right now in this area. This is a very small â€œareaâ€ in consideration of the United States. Just how many appeals are backed-up nationwide? The number must be staggering, as the government seeks to save money on the backs of Americaâ€™s disabled. If anyone has information as to real numbers, a reply on this specific issue would be appreciated. Just how many countless millions of dollars is Social Security saving by dragging their feet â€“ how many people die during the appeal process, or simply become frustrated and give up?
What I have written is only the tip of the iceberg. This post is not a â€œfeel sorry for meâ€ post, as I have been in this battle for a while, rather a glimpse into how the government and Corporate America are steadily raping America, in more ways than the average American can comprehend. Except though personal experience I would have never known about any of the above issues â€“ and most in America donâ€™t have a clue as to how they will be treated when they expect to receive the benefits that are rightfully theirs.