Healthcare Update #1

My prior blog entry caught the attention of a NY Times health reporter compiling an article about issues people are having around the country accessing the new Affordable Health Care Act plans after January 1, 2014.  As soon as the article is published, I will provide a link here.

In the meantime, I intend to post an update every 5 days (until success happens) about my personal situation as a way to highlight the struggles many of us are in and potential to view it as a spiritual exercise rather than to make any political statement or whining diatribe.

The parties involved in my specific case are:

1)  The Washington Health Benefit Exchange

2)  LifeWise Health Plan of Washington

What has changed in the past 5 days since my last blog post?  Nothing.

  • I have not received my ID card in the mail.
  • I have not received my refund for $340 from being doubly billed for December 2013 for my pre-existing catastrophic coverage plan.
  • I am not officially enrolled for the health exchange plan I paid for on December 23, 2013.
  • I have no way to afford my prescriptions at $187 + $150 for two asthma inhalers without health plan coverage.
  • The reference number I was given for technical support to connect the feature that allows one to view or print medication order forms online through the LifeWise pharmacy plan is still marked pending completion.

Here is my spiritual spin.

Not breathing well gives me opportunity to meditate on the fact we are all a single breath from existence and held/loved by some greater force we cannot see.

Not being able to afford state of the art Western medication treatment for asthma gives me the opportunity to research any treatments I can afford, and I have found over the past five days that completely cutting out dairy from my diet (I already eat no meat except eggs), drinking as much water as I can, taking quercetin and bromelain combined supplement, along with magnesium for the past few months, have helped heal some of my immune response and inflammation.  Some related reading as I wait:

Avoiding animal dander is the lifelong price I have paid to keep breathing – sitting outside at childhood birthday parties, avoiding or taking antihistamines before going to enclosed public spaces like theaters or auditoriums, and never ever dating someone with a dog or cat.  Lest someone reading this thinks animal allergies are all in the mind, I was tested (back skin prick) by a well-respected allergist 15 years ago who told me my reaction to dog was the worst case he had seen in 30 years of practice.  I am tired of living this way.  Ironically being frustrated by accessing healthcare has expanded my horizons to look deeper into the link between my gut/diet health and my respiratory health.  One step at a time, I am testing changes to see what I can do to help cure myself.

Practicing gratitude, once my access to an affordable plan actually takes place in a mythical land far away, as someone with low income, I will be able to afford health care and prescription coverage for only $173 a month with a $3000 deductible for the first time in my adult life.

About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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