Because I Have Type 1 Diabetes

I don’t know how I ended up here. 

“I submitted my payment two weeks ago. I just want my member ID cards. I’ve been covered since September 1st,” I say.

I’ve come directly from school, my backpack still attached. The insurance representative in front of me is wearing a white coat (I don’t know why). Her dark hair and pale complexion remind me of one of the robots from the movie, The World’s End.

“It takes 7 to 10 business days, sometimes more, for the initial payment to process,” she says matter-of-fact.

“But you did receive my documentation of continuous coverage?”

“Yes,” she says and then drops the bomb, “But we have a new rating system. If you don’t meet our health standards, and because you’re diabetic, you probably won’t, we don’t have to cover you.”

She turns and walks away. I follow her, frantic.

“What? But you don’t understand. I didn’t ask for this. I’m the healthiest person in my family. Nobody else has diabetes but me. I don’t know why, but I’ve always taken good care of myself. I don’t feel I should be punished for this. I need insulin to live.”

She doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t care.

And then I wake up. It was just a dream. But a dream that speaks partly to reality.

  • It is true I’ve been covered by my current health insurance since Sept. 1 (since my job doesn’t offer me benefits).
  • It is true I haven’t received my member ID cards, and they say until I do, I have to submit every medical expense (supplies for Type 1 diabetes cost hundreds of dollars) for reimbursement.
  • It is true I submitted my initial payment two weeks ago, but they said it could take up to 14 business days to process it, and then they will enroll me in my new plan.

And the only reason I’m having to go through this process: every other insurance company has denied me because I have Type 1 diabetes.

It doesn’t matter how well I take care of myself. I always will be branded. And the funny thing — I’m actually healthier because I have diabetes, and I have to take care of myself to live.

If only I could convince the world ….


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