Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The New Black

Yesterday was the day that we bailed out Freddie and Fannie. It was also the day that my new health insurance card arrived in the mail.

I've been dreaming about that day; wondering when the card would arrive. As you may remember, I've already received my meds for my upcoming IVF cycle from my UPS pal. But the missing link, up until yesterday, was the actual insurance card.

Yesterday, when I opened my mailbox, I noticed an envelope that had a special logo--the health insurance logo--the symbol of my recent dreams. And when I touched the envelope, I felt a little tingle inside. It's official: my IVF cycle will be paid for.

When I saw the envelope, I immediately dropped my bags along with the rest of the other mail, so that I could rip the envelope to pieces. My appetite would not be sated until I saw the actual plastic, replete with logo, and my new insurance number. When I was in my 20s I used to get excited about credit card plastic, now approaching 40, I am over the moon about health insurance plastic.

Under the neon light of my building lobby, I saw the speckled refraction of the shiney, sparkly white industrial plastic and it was beautiful. This triggered several emotions throughout the evening. Immediately, my face felt flush and I felt butterflies in my stomach which stemmed from a fear starting the whole mess again. But I have to admit that I also felt a strange sense of calm. I'm temporarily free because, I'm waiting a couple more months before I start again. I just started a new job and Nadia and I think it's best if we wait a little while longer. Even though I think the wait it difficult, it allows me to enjoy the summer without worrying about bulging out of my pants with injectible bloat and it gives me some time to lose the 15lbs (grr!) my doctor suggested I shed before I get pregnant.

When I arrived in my apartment a few minutes later, I felt another emotion--a bit of guilt. The TV was on and the news commentators were discussing the Fannie/Freddie bailout. I thought about that and the economic downturn we're in (gas at $4.40!) and I also thought about the 47 million Americans who don't have health insurance. That number represents 16% of our population, but those figures arestale, from 2005, so the actual numbers are much greater.

Additionally, that number does not represent women who are insured but not covered for in/fertility treatments. Stirrup Queen and other Bloggers have written about this. When Nadia and I were doing our taxes this past spring, we discovered that Iwe've already shelled out over $10,000 from IUI's, donor sperm, and meds--despite the fact that I had decent coverage, which is even more comprehensive with this switch.

I guess, towards the end of the evening, I was feeling yet another emotion: gratitude. I'm so damned lucky to have a partner who has a job that pays for IVF and that she works for a company that allows me--a same sex spouse--to join her health insurance plan.

Health insurance is the new black. It's 'in'. It's coveted. It's at the pulse of the nation, but the problem is that it shouldn't be a fashionable; a privilege that accessible only for an elite group of people. It should be universal.

6 comments:

giggleblue said...

damn right it should be universal! i don't know when people forgot about the "life", in "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". insurance should not be an option or a level of social standing.

it's a damn shame, isn't it? i'm happy that plastic showed up for you! use it, use it, use it. it is a blessing.

Lo said...

Amen, sister. I couldn't agree more.

Co said...

It's a shame neither of the two main presidential candidates are in favor of single-payer health care. We need to go a lot farther in this country than we do. You're right. It shouldn't be the new black. It should be seen as every American's right.

sarah said...

What a momentous day. It's good to know that there is some justice in the world.

CD & SP said...

that is great! glad to hear that NY covers infertility, too. it really makes SUCH a huge difference. do you think the insurance companies care about how grateful we are? probably not!

Jen and Tiff said...

I can completely relate! I feel so blessed to have amazing health insurance, although my employer will not allow my wife to have my plan, so she is without (as a full-time Ph.D. student.) We live in both worlds! My insurance has paid for everything thus far in terms of IUI's and medical treatments, I just hope we get preggers soon, because I think there is a cap! Congratulations!