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  • Writer's pictureAnnelise

A Healthcare Robbery

"Health care reform is important to me because of my grandmother and because I may lose my own coverage due to cost and lack of a job. My grandmother has had breast cancer since at least 2002. She had a lump a year before that at her last mammogram, but the doctors screwed up and NO ONE TOLD HER. She found out the following year. She had her right breast removed, but it had spread too much and is now in her liver and possibly her lungs. She has done remarkably well for her age (86 now) and was still herself until her latest treatment, which has robbed her of her memory, her energy, and feeling in her fingers among other problems. She isn't the first person to have this disease. Her sister, their aunt, and their grandmother all had it too. This puts me at a higher risk, yet Highmark won't cover a mammogram for me until I am 40. That's almost 11 more years. I may lose my health care soon due to losing my job 7 months ago. I may have to drop it because I am only 29 years old, but it costs me $200 a month on a *cheaper* PPO plan than what other companies would cost (at least $330 a month with my last insurance company). What would it cost if I had children or my fiancé on my plan? I hate to think of that. I have no chronic conditions, I am healthy, but I do have a few minor things. I don't take birth control because my birth control is not covered in the state of PA if I use it for birth control, but if I wanted to use it for regulation or other problems, it would be. Paying $120 a month is a bit steep for birth control which has no generic equivalent. The other types make me sick. My anti-anxiety medication, in generic form, is still $230 for a 90 day supply. I need nerve testing to see if I carpal tunnel syndrome, but I was told it will cost up to $1,700 for the testing and my insurance, despite me paying them $200 month, won't guarantee it will be covered. Oh, and Highmark has filed for *yet another increase* on our costs with the state. The third in at least as many years. I was born without 6 of my adult teeth, but haven't had oral surgery because it's $1,500 a tooth and I need four of them "replaced". And guess what? Insurance only covers one tooth a year (despite it being something I was born with not from neglect) despite it being a 2-surgery ordeal for implants. I refused to have *eight* separate surgeries for this so now it is no longer covered and I have to pay for it out of pocket. I need hearing aids, but have never gotten them because my *health insurance* NOT my doctor doesn't think I need them. They're $2,200 an ear. All of these costs are ridiculous. Most people, and even I with a bachelors degree, and a second income (well, until I lost my job) to help out can't afford this!"
- Robin, Pittsburgh, PA 15239

Story collected by the Susan G. Komen Advocacy Alliance

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