Things I'm Afraid To Tell You

Today I learned about a small movement swirling around the blogosphere that has come to be known as Things I'm Afraid To Tell You. I first read about it over at Creature Comforts, where, in a beautiful, courageous post, Ez revealed the fears and struggles she faces in her life that she has never allowed to creep into her online image. Then I read many of the posts by other brave bloggers (partial list at the end of this post) and was doubly inspired to write my own.


There is actually one particular thing that I've been too afraid to tell you all for a long time. I've even written posts about it before, only to delete them immediately. Today I am going to tell you something that feels very personal but that I've decided shouldn't be personal because millions of Americans have the same problem and if we don't talk about it, I fear that nothing will be done.

I am not eligible for health insurance in the state of California.

I am in my twenties. I have a very healthy diet. I exercise three to four times a week for at least an hour at a time. I do not smoke and I barely ever drink. I have never been hospitalized or had any surgeries. But, I suffer from have a non-life-threatening disease. I can't bring myself to say the word "suffer" because it does not make me suffer anymore. This disease is completely controlled by one pill every day, each of which has a wholesale value of about 36¢.

It doesn't matter what disease I have – that is not the point – because in the state of California, having one of at least 28 "illnesses" (which I put in scare quotes since one of them is pregnancy) is cause for automatic decline. These conditions range from cancer to sleep apnea to any mental illness for which the patient has received more than 6 months of continuous treatment. (Read the whole list here.) This applies to every health insurance company in California – no exceptions.

When I turned 26 and was no longer eligible to be on my parents' health insurance policy, I was forced to face my fears and apply for insurance here in California. Because I am a freelancer and am therefore not eligible for a group plan through any job, I had to look for an individual plan. I expected head butting and high premiums but I did not expect to be turned away by every company. Even if I were rich and could afford to pay any amount under the sun, no California insurance company would cover me. There are no loopholes and no exceptions for special cases.

Today I pay $732 per month for a COBRA plan through the state of Maine, which is not the best plan I could find for is the only plan. And that is before any doctor visit copays or payment of my (extremely high) deductible. If I should get sick, need new glasses, or have to visit the dentist, I would have to pay more (since it also doesn't include vision or dental). On top of that, COBRA is only an 18-month "solution" and very soon I will no longer be eligible even for this policy. Given the recent Supreme Court sessions about Obama Care, my hopes for a solution in 2014 are very low, and even if Obama Care is implemented, there will be a period of time before its implementation and after I'm kicked off COBRA where I will have to find a new plan.

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, State Representatives Mike Feuer and Fran Pavley: I hope you're reading this.


Other participating bloggers (list via Creature Comforts):

Design for Mankind | Little Brown Pen | Beautiful Hello | Curating Style | Sweet Fine Day | The Jealous Curator | Happy Days | Sage & Berries | Really Handmade | Peck Life | Satsuma Press | Rena Tom | For the Easily Distracted | The Hemborg Wife | Vitamini Handmade |Courtney Khail Stationery and Design | Meg in Progress | Dando Photography Blog | Widdershins22 | Alison Citron | Pink Moon Daily | Just Pretty Things | From China Village |Tea with Me | The Darling Ewe | Not Your Average Ordinary | The Electric Typewriter |Elleby Design | Parsimonia {Secondhand With Style}