Woes of the temporarily uninsured

So get this — as of May 20th, 2009, I am no longer a student. In July, I had Swine Flu (woooot!). My student health insurance expired on August 31. So this means that for the last 11 days, I’ve been uninsured. Last night at fencing practice, a foil slipped up under my mask and hit me in the side of the head. No blood, no scrape, no concussion. Phew. Dodged that bullet. 15 minutes later? Ankle gets caught on strip, rolls one way then the other. Cracks 3 times. Walks it off. Or so I thought… while I was walking to locker room about two hours later, after a lesson, two more cracks, pain shoots up leg. Okay, just a passing thing? Hmm… maybe not. During the commute home, excruciating pain shooting up leg, can’t move toes, can’t touch foot without squealing. Fuck. I’M UNINSURED and I THINK MY FOOT IS BROKEN.

I’m writhing in the front passenger seat of the car, contemplating pulling into the ER, but I decide to hightail it home. I don’t have health insurance and my bill from the Swine Flu incident included an x-ray and had totaled at $2,600. Now, there are a lot of stairs between my car and my bedroom and I can’t put any weight on my left leg, which has turned into a kankle (this is a technical term for super swollen ankle). So I hop… on one leg…up 3 stairs to the walkway, 12 stairs to the house, 20 steps to my bedroom. I hop into the shower, literally. I hop out of the shower. I fall over putting on my PJs. I scream. Even after icing and 6 advil, sleeping is a chore. Every time I turn, my foot catches on the blanket and pain shoots up my shin. fuck.

The first thing I do when I wake up? enroll in the continuation plan option on my expired health insurance. Next? Go to doctor.

Verdict on foot? No broken bones. phew.
Total cost: $25 co-pay + $6,111 for health insurance = $6,136.
Wallet? Empty.
Doctor asks if I have a rich boyfriend yet. Answer is still no, though one is now definitely needed.

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2 thoughts on “Woes of the temporarily uninsured

  1. I hear about this kind of troubles in the US in the news , usually. The question of your national health care system is unbelievable. My country is a little one – Italy – respect to yours and, though slightly ill-working sometimes, we have a national system which takes care – for free – of anyone in emergency. If you go to an ER section with more or less urgent health troubles, they do not ask you for money. You can die for a doctor’s incompetence … but you do not have to pay. So, you see, each country has its pros and cons.
    I’m glad none of your bones is broken at least. And … what about swine flu? Was it so bad? Our TV news programmes are disquietingly preparing us to a dramatic winter epidemy… but this is another story. Have a nice weekend, K.

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