Yesterday I signed up my husband and myself for health insurance, through the Affordable Care Act. The infamous Obamacare.
For the past three years since my return to the States, I’ve had health insurance for a total of about a year, broken up between two previous jobs. During one of those times was when I was diagnosed with Essential Thrombocytosis.
My husband Picasso? He never had insurance in the States, because he was undocumented during all of his years in this country.
The process took a crazy long time yesterday, mainly due to me not being able to input my husband’s social security number correctly.
Yup, you read that right. I’ve got a Masters and a temp job right now that involves data entry, but I wasn’t able to input Picasso’s social security number correctly. I kept putting three numbers in the middle section, instead of two.
I’m learning to work with this new number of his.
Heather Wilhelmina finally pointed it out to me after sitting next to me for three minutes and watching what I was doing. While I typed in my social without any problems, I’d been putting in his number completely wrong all day long.
However, after that was all settled, the application was in. I’ll have to supply additional documentation, but after that, we should be good to go.
I looked at my computer screen with the Covered California flow chart showing that the application was submitted.
I thought about the time that Picasso coughed up blood when we were first living together in New York in 1999.
I thought about the time when I went to the hospital last March, the fear that I was stroking out hanging over my head, my lack of insurance making a difficult situation that much more frightening.
I thought about how I received my initial diagnosis of Essential Thrombocytosis because I was insured and I could go to the doctor without worrying how the hell I was going to pay for it.
Yesterday I was also thinking about how for every one Picasso that received their U.S. permanent residency this year, how many undocumented, detained and deported immigrants stand behind him, behind us, watching, waiting.
How many U.S. citizen family members will be able to fill out a healthcare insurance application for themselves, but not for a loved one?
I know that feeling only too well.
After a year of stalled immigration reform, these looming deadlines of signing up for health insurance?
They’re just salt in the wounds for too many in our community.