Believe Me? No, prove you’re worthy of being treated like a human is more like it.

WARNING:  This post contains anger and resentment, and verbiage that may be misconstrued to be anti-same-sex marriage. I am not, so please do not attack me in the comments. I don’t like deleting other people’s words, but I will if I have to. Thanks for your understanding.

 

Okay, I almost just let this go by without posting anything anywhere—because we’re supposed to show our happy-faces at all times, right? But maybe someone else will feel a little less humiliated and dehumanized if I share, so here goes.

I jumped through a bunch of hoops to get the new health coverage for me & Kiddo activated asap so she could see a doctor. The plan that seemed to work best for us is a Kaiser plan, and if she’d never been a Kaiser patient before (or if the Oregon wasn’t at least a month behind on everything) she’d be the proud owner of an appointment to see the person who could become her new doctor. She has an existing condition and a new, painful deal going on—neither of which has anything to do with being trans. But, since Kaiser knew her under her old name, their management insisted to see proof of name change AND an operation before they’d allow her to make an appointment.

Supposedly, this will be cleared up as soon as Kaiser gets the records from the state of Oregon, but in the meantime, we spent a day trying to get a workaround—and she spent a day feeling almost completely dehumanized.

This is a good time to state that the Customer Service Rep she talked with did everything in his power to help her—and the whole time they struggled with the mindless bureaucracy he used her correct name and pronoun. He was very cool, and probably the only reason chocolate helped at all.

But I’ve paid for a month of health coverage that might be useless to my family. The cost of one month isn’t a lot to some, but it’s a lot to me—and the only reason I didn’t try to put the start date off to February is because my daughter needs to see a doctor!

Kaiser has this program, “Believe Me”, that says if you’ve signed up for coverage but all the paperwork isn’t complete you can still see a doctor as long as you sign a form guaranteeing you’ll pay once the coverage is sorted out. I’ll pay. I have paid. But we’re stuck waiting—and she’s stuck in pain and not able to sleep—because Kaiser wants to know details nobody has any business asking.

Nobody should have to tell a customer service person or their manager what stage of transition they’re in—that’s between a person and their doctor.

Nobody should have to spend even five minutes, let alone thirty, being made to feel sub-human because of who they are.

It’s hard enough for me to get her to the doctor, and now the people who were supposed to help me keep her healthy have screwed the pooch.

To anyone who’s experienced something similar—yourself or with a loved one—all I can say is hang in there. Eventually all 50 states will allow same-sex marriage and then we can move on to the things that benefit the whole community, like healthcare protections or consistent application of existing laws (I’m lookin’ at you hate crime legislation), and maybe even a baseline level of respect for everyone.

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14 thoughts on “Believe Me? No, prove you’re worthy of being treated like a human is more like it.

  1. Don’t they know or understand that they treat the person, not the sex? I am so sorry the two of you are having to deal with idiots.

  2. Hang in there Charley. Hopefully she gets the help she need very, very soon. It sucks. They should be treating the illness and the person, regardless of the person’s situation.

  3. Charley, that sucks. I will be the first to say I am anti-Kaiser so take this with that in mind. But the fact they are demanding proof of anything when in fact, going into the doctor would settle that score is the kind of bureaucracy that managed health care has.

    I had a ‘health issue’ 20 years ago and my company demanded proof of it when it was none of their business when I had to take 3 months leave. I was able to just ignore them, but in your case that’s difficult.

    I will send out good thoughts that your daughter feels better and that the pain, or whatever else is happening, goes away.

  4. I don’t know you or your daughter but no one should ever be treated that way. I pray for both of you that she gets what she needs to feel better.

    One of my friends used to say “Ignorance has no one to blame but itself.” He was right.

  5. Charley, I’m so sorry you and Kiddo are being made to go through this. *big squishy hugs for both of you, unless that hurts too much, in which case, gentle hugs* Tell Kiddo that she is beautiful and special and amazing and unique and that she is loved by people who haven’t even met her. Tell her that every time someone tries to tell her differently and make her believe it. And tell her it came from me… that way, she won’t think you’re just saying it ’cause you’re supposed to. 😉

    And I totally understand about the cost of a month’s insurance being a big deal. It is a big deal. My kids’ insurance premiums are covered by my ex and come out of his paycheck, thankfully, but I still have to scrape pennies to pay the high copays when they have to go to the doctor. So i get it. And I think that if “they” are going to make you waste a month’s worth of coverage, then next month’s fee should be waived. Good luck getting them to do that, though. *more hugs*

  6. First off, gotta send major love* over to Kiddo, because pain and sickness are already bad enough (and I hope it can be alleviated soon), but messing with your emotions on top of that (when they’re already stretched dealing with the pain) is just so awful. I’m sorry there are so many clueless and unfeeling people in the world. Let’s keep working on that, world, and fix it yesterday, please. Second, what a great mama bear she’s got in you who is always on her side and always trying to make things better. Nothing worse than seeing someone you love in pain and being hurt, right? Sending love* your way, too. Lastly, I hope you never ever question sharing something that doesn’t fit into the happy-shiny of author blogging. Your place, your rules. Being ourselves (in all the simple and complicated ways those are inside and out) and showing all the facets of that is part of the message we embrace, in fiction and in life. Being human, and not writing robots (but damn, we’d get more stories faster if you all were), means that you’re going to have real life going on while you’re creating fictional ones, and you get to talk about that if you want, especially because you have a forum to show people something real, and you never know, as you say, if you can help someone else from the sharing. For example, I haven’t had that experience that you or she has, but damn if I’m not pissed off right now about it and thinking of the why of it and what part I can play in the solutions. (I’ve got a mental list going of tangibles and intangibles, but if you think of something in specific you need, let me know…like a cogent and thoughtful F-U letter that’s itching to come out.) Other someones may read it and get something else from it. So, yeah, I think it’s great that you keep writing about your writing and also that you share those glimpses into your world (and any opinions thereof) that you want to. Not like you need my say-so, because I have seen you wield your “my house, my rules” power so well, but I’m saying I’m in your corner on whatever you want to write about.

    *Actual size of love shared is not proportional to the amount of time I spent talking about it in comparison to other things. “Love” may be a short word, but we know it’s more powerful and longer-lasting than any others in our language. Also, unscientifically-proven, but true nonetheless, footnotes are able to hold twice the love and care per square inch of their main body counterparts. Crazy, right? So, yup, you guessed it, more in here, too.

  7. Geez. 😦 The hassles we go through with health insurance and getting health care! We often have to make the choice between getting care and paying bills, and when illness is too serious to be ignored…well, you know what I mean. For some reason, the people in charge of billing, etc. tend to be super nasty. Sending things to collection, etc. rather than trying to work out a realistic plan.

    Just remember that as far as Kiddo is concerned, you’re the be-all end-all. What insensitive people say won’t matter quite as much when a parent is supportive. Kiddo is fortunate to have you.

  8. My husband and I have been married for 29 years. We have had Kaiser Insurance forever. Now we are eligible for health care through Healthcare.gov. We navigated CoverOregon in 2014. I applied in November using Healthcare.gov. I have called the feds and have called Kaiser, and have got lot of different answers to the same question, why do I not have insurance? I am sorry that you have experienced the same thing. I canceled my appointment, that I made in December, with the Surgeon to remove cancer. We were told about the Believe me policy today. I was looking up what it is when I found your posting. The people I have talked to on the phone did not sound like they believed me. I pray you get what you are seeking.

  9. It’s truly frightening to go to the doctor’s, when you or your child is that all too vulnerable state of being sick, and you have to go through this. It’s hard enough, when you’re feeling completely healthy. I’m sorry, Charley. (hugs)

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