Maybe I should give a little background. I have pre-existing conditions. Actually, it’s not that hard to be tossed into the pre-existing condition category. When I applied for health insurance when we moved to Texas, I was denied by six different insurance companies. No two insurance companies denied me for the same pre-existing conditions!
As a result, I applied and was accepted into Texas’ Health Risk Pool. I paid A LOT in insurance premiums, but at least I had coverage. Good thing, as I had two total knee replacements and a few other minor orthopedic surgeries in the four years we lived in Texas.
I began looking into health insurance soon after we moved to California. I was ineligible for California’s pre-existing condition coverage because I did not have the same plan in Texas. California has another pre-existing condition program, but you must be uninsured for at least six months before applying. And, if accepted, the monthly premiums are more than what most people pay in rent!
I swallowed my pride and made an appointment at a clinic for the uninsured and low-income. That was two-and-a-half months ago.
It was what you’d expect: a very unsafe part of town, dilapidated building at the end of a pot-holed, unpaved parking lot. I waited my turn at the reception desk. I gave the clerk my name and, of course, she could not find my in their system. Eventually she found what she assumed was me. The correct first name was entered and the correct date-of-birth. The last name wasn’t even close. I’m sure I was asked to spell it when I made the appointment because it is an unusual surname.
She then told me that they tried contacting me to reschedule, but the phone number had been disconnected. I asked her what number was on file – you got it – whoever I talked to when I made the appointment had transposed several numbers so it wasn’t even the correct phone number! The next available appointment was two months away!
I told her to take me out of the system. I thanked her and left. Oy vey! And people wonder why we need health care reform.