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Insurance Anxiety

Just the thought of changing insurance providers for our health care causes me anxiety and a touch of heart palpitations. I’m very dependent on my health care insurance, which is through my employer, and is a great policy. It’s one of the perks of working for a private, faith based university with a commitment to social justice. I’ve had over 25 years of not worrying that I was able to get the care I needed, when I needed, and without any financial surprises if we became catastrophically ill.

This carefree thinking about my coverage is about to end because my work status is about to change. I have been on disability for a year and am about to convert to the status of being a medical retiree. I didn’t ask for this – it’s just something our human resource office says will happen. I’m not old enough for social security retirement with full benefits but my husband is… he has been on my health insurance for this same length of time and it has served us well through my multiple sclerosis, his open heart surgery over 15 years ago, and more recently two hip reconstruction surgeries. Yes, we had to cover co-pays, but that was a small amount compared to the total bills.

Now that I am changing status with my employer, and my spouse is full retirement age and medicare eligible, we have tough choices to make. Fortunately for now, this university still offers medical care to its retirees, and at a very reasonable price. The cost for my spouse will go up some, but from what I can tell it is still comparable to what we would pay through moving him over to Medicare and finding the appropriate supplements. Or maybe not, it’s so darn hard to tell what the right thing might be to do. We tried meeting with a benefits advisor a couple years ago to review our options and we walked away even more confused over what all these options for people on Medicare might mean.

I am so concerned about making the wrong choice, and finding that we have taken on more debt due to our health conditions than what we had planned that it’s hard to even consider a change. Right now, between deductibles and premiums and our assorted visits to the doctors, I can guess it costs us close to $10K this year for our health care. That number is for everything through the year, and I can’t figure out if that is a good amount or if there might be better options. I should note that both of us maxed out the out-of-pocket maximum amount we had to pay thanks to some costly surgeries and procedures.

Besides the cost, there is another thing to consider when faced with changes in insurance. We really like our doctors and trust them as partners in our care. We’ve all heard of people no longer being able to see their preferred doctor because of changes in insurance. We don’t want to make any switches in our choice of doctors and certainly don’t want to be forced into this by changes in our health care insurance and who might be the preferred providers.

Having MS is very expensive and health insurance is a necessity – particularly if you are on a disease modifying therapy like I am and it involves regular trips to the neurologist and the infusion clinic. I can’t afford to make mistakes in my health care coverage and that applies for my spouse, too. So as we go into the fall and the season for open enrollment, you can find me in the corner reading over Medicare supplements and marketplace health care options and having my own private breakdown. I can only hope if my anxiety over making the right healthcare choices becomes serious, whatever insurance I choose will cover my treatment.

Wishing you well,

Laura

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Tomboy59
    6 months ago

    Laura, how did things go back then. If your still on this site. And I’m not being a pain in the ass. I’m curious to how things are going for you and hubby. I’ve been on disability for about 10 yrs now. Hell its longer than that. It’s been 15 yrs. Wow. Where did time go. Send a post if your able. Let me know how things are going.
    Tom

  • Tomboy59
    6 months ago

    Hi Laura. And Hubby. Boy. Your going to burn out your brain with everything you are juggling. My disability went alot like yours. Although I should have called it a day. Alot sooner than I did. I was torturing myself going in every day. My job required a lot of walking and a lot of hours. I tried to keep going everyday. But one day at work I was taken to the hospital. Over the several hours in the emergency room. Between doctors and nurses talking to me. They told me I was done. Call it a career. Call it whatever you want. My days of working as I knew it was gone. The biggest shock I recieved was when I found out the staff at the hospital, not sure what Dept it all fell under had started the disability claim without me being aware. Or atleast I dont remember any of it. I was admitted to the hospital that day. And as of that day. My life changed forever. I miss my job so much. Although it was consuming me, the walking. The stress. And now ad divorce to that. A very ugly one at that. This really kicked in the M.S. I had to have a baclofen pump put inside my belly to try and stop the spasms. I had to learn how to walk all over again. I went from a mild rrms. To ppms. Things had changed like flipping a light switch. As far as health insurance. From day one of going on disability. My insurance has always stayed pretty much the same. Not sure what state you live in. And I’m not sure how differant the health insurance is from state to state. I didnt have that 2 1/2 yr wait at the beginning. Since day one. My primary care physician and all the special docs belong to the hospital. That was like 17. 18 yrs ago. And I’m still going there. I find being part of the hospital. Having your PCP there helped out so much. I live in Massachusetts. I also found with Medicare and silver script. My prescription drug plan. Silverscript is part of CVS Caremark. Part D of the insurance. Between silver script and Medicare. I get extra help paying for all my meds. It’s so huge to get that extra help. You should now inquire about it. 10 grand for health insurance for a yr is absolutely insane. What state do you and hubby live in, just an fyi. My girlfriend just had her left hip replaced. I seen you wrote at the beginning your hub had it done on both hips. There planning on Sept or October for the other hip. Absolutely amazing what they can do these days. My name is Tom. From just outside Boston, Ma.

  • Marysmith
    1 year ago

    I agree with the article above. But I would like to suggest you instead of going through an anxiety you should direct have one to one communication to your insurance provider regarding your issues. As nowadays health insurance is as important as everyone takes home insurance. One who is living in an area of natural disasters must be done with an insurance of flood/water damage Azusa as these are the most common issues they face every year. Many insurance companies offer such a policy, but if after claiming the company is denying the coverage cost, then, in this case, you should take some help from the public adjusters like Phoenix public adjusters ( https://www.alliancepublicadjusters.com/phoenix-public-adjusters ).

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