Thank you, Jessica, for sharing your story.
I was 20 or 21. Had left the fast food job I'd been working at because had found a tech support job that offered better pay and better benefits. After the job interview, started working night shift on a probationary period in November.
Come January- almost through my ninety day probationary period- and the husband starts vomiting. Daily. Can't keep anything down. We go to the emergency room, they diagnosed him with the flu. Some anti nausea medication, a fluid top off, send him home. While we're in the waiting room, he vomits again. I make arrangements for a second opinion at the VA. We get to the VA, start the processing, he qualifies for coverage.
While we're processing at the VA, THE ER sends us a bill, I don't remember how much. I do remember sitting in our kitchen with that bill in front of me with the washer running and explaining that the person they'd diagnosed with the flu actually had stage three metastatic colon cancer. The VA notices we have private pay insurance through my employer, so they cheerfully submit a bill. I get a letter in the mail: my husband was denied coverage because of a preexisting medical condition. I get another letter on the heels of that: denied state level Medicaid because I have employer based insurance. The VA covered him, in full.
He died a year later. If we'd had the coverage, he might have been able to get the colonoscopies that would have detected it sooner. And I would not have had to bury a husband at 22.
Jessica H., College Station