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Stigma: Judged For Being a Consumer

I am not paranoid. Tend toward hyperbole, yes, especially when telling family stories. Psychotic, not for years. But, when:
**talking with an insurance company about claims and they won’t give me access to when I submitted the last ones; or
**speaking to my mail order medication company about why they say they need authorization on a medication (that I’ve been taking since 2000) but that I can’t order the script more than two days before it’s due, and, therefore, I’d run out if I didn’t keep a few in reserve; or
**knowing that every claim I send in will be refused at least once, even if I fill it out while on the phone with that company’s rep

I know that I sound like I have paranoia.

I speak down, and slowly, to whichever rep is on the other end if the line. I bring up scenarios (documented) of when someone said the same thing and the result was the opposite of what’s promised. I add “sent on (date)” to my scrips, order forms, and the envelope before I mail it all out – and keep a photocopy.

It all gets me so frustrated. I’m trying to keep track of the paperwork. And I feel like I’m being judged because I’m calling the behavioral health claim center, or because the pharmaceutical rep has a list of all of the medications I’ve ordered this month. I feel like being frustrated and asking questions and comparing current answers to past ones results in me being judged, rather than just a consumer.

Why can’t it be the same phone conversation as when I am buying any other product? A little less judgement on both sides? Ugh. Ordering a refill of Lamictal just isn’t the same as ordering a sweater.


Superhero Shout-Out: Health Insurance

Today’s Superhero Shout-Out goes on to health insurance. When I moved home to my parents, after my second mental ward hospitalization, and was finishing my college degree remotely, and transitioned from one job two another, etc etc, there were nights every single week – for years – where I could not fall asleep because the thought of what would happen if I lost my health insurance absolutely terrified me. I could be denied care for bipolar disorder if I lost insurance and the new company denied me for a pre-existing.

This may not sound exciting in a presidential debate. But it’s scary as hell. It is Hell. Without health insurance, I couldn’t participate and contribute to society. I can do it now because I have double physical, mental, and dental insurance.

What I don’t understand is how the politicians – local, state-wide, and national – have not been affected by illness. There’s mental illness, like mine. There are many others. Mental illness does not discriminate for economic status, education level, or race. Do people in government not know anyone with a mental illness? Because, truly, that’s not possible.

So what happens on the floor? What happens to compassion, empathy, the knowledge that people like me are in charge of medical reimbursements as my main chore?

#obama: Step it up. Go ahead and attack. If you want to help people with illnesses, talk about it specifically. Not just the elderly, not just children. Talk about cancer, learning disabilities, addiction, emergencies, ER visits that costs thousands of dollars and most are oddly just written off, for no reason I can understand. #obama, fight. If politicians are agreeing on limiting health insurance, they’re denying someone that they know who has an illness. That’s not honorable or helpful.

People shouldn’t cry themselves asleep because of fears of losing health insurance, after a day of checking off lists to monitor their illnesses.


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