Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Obamacare Saved My Life" she said ...

"... Even though I had paid into their policy since I was practically a kid, now when I needed it, it wasn't there: I was no longer earning enough to be covered. ...."
This true story should melt a heart of stone:
Jennifer Skye writes: 
"When I began working as an actor as a teenager, one of the perks was comprehensive insurance coverage through the Screen Actors Guild. Up until six years ago, I never even needed it.

Then, one day, when I was 26 and living in Los Angeles, I experienced a sharp pain in my right side that lasted for hours. My husband drove me straight to the emergency room.

Turns out there were non-cancerous tumors taking up 60% of my liver.

When they finally did operate, they took a football-sized tumor out of my liver and pronounced the operation a success. I was left to heal from the large incisions.

The scar runs from right under my breastbone to my bellybutton, and across my stomach, and it is not an easy thing for a former Maxim cover girl to hide.

In fact, my whole diagnosis meant I had to retire from acting altogether.

Production companies take out insurance policies on all assets of their production, including their actors. With such a large scar and pre-existing condition, I was virtually uninsurable, even in the glamorous, fake world of Hollywood.

Acting was a career I had worked hard at since I was 15, but after my surgery I was dropped from my Screen Actor's Guild insurance. Even though I had paid into their policy since I was practically a kid, now when I needed it, it wasn't there: I was no longer earning enough to be covered.

Luckily, I was able to transfer to my husband's insurance. Then, last year, we separated. Part of our agreement was that he would allow me to continue to be covered by his policy, but, in the process, there was a terrible mistake.

One day I walked into the doctor's office for a routine post-op check up. After my appointment, I was about to leave, when the receptionist called me back to her desk.

"Jennifer? Do you have any new insurance for us to use?"

"No, use the same one," I smiled. "I just had surgery, it should work."

The white-coated woman nodded her head and handed me the phone, with the insurance company on the other end.

That's when I discovered my ex-husband's manager had made an irreversible filing error that resulted in me being kicked off his COBRA retroactively. In other words, my last eight months of treatment -- surgery, medication, MRIs at $19,000 a pop -- had not been covered.

It takes a lot to reduce me to tears, but that day in the doctor's office I was near hysteria.

"Please, I'm sick, I can't lose my insurance," I begged to the insurance lady on the phone.

It was too late, she told me. The decision had been made.

When I applied to Blue Cross, I was promptly denied due to "pre-existing conditions."
By the way, having your chest cut open is not the only way to be determined un-insurable.

Pregnant? That's a pre-existing condition.

Ever seen a therapist and been prescribed antidepressants? You have one, too.

Susceptible to chronic urinary tract infections or kidney stones? You guessed it.

Asthma? Ditto.
In fact, it wasn't until our government passed the health care bill I so often hear referred to -- with a derogatory slur -- as "ObamaCare" that I earned the right to be covered under the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.

Now I'm a highly functioning sick girl, and one who's unbelievably grateful to her government for the work Congress and the President did last year, giving me the ability to stay healthy."
Read Jennifer's Entire Story And Remember - This Could Happen To You:

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