Now I have an advocate to help me process my application for public health insurance, all my ducks are in a row. Finally.
No, it's never that simple. Getting my foot in the door was a real gift of the universe; I don't know how other people do it. I can't delineate every phone call, correspondence and meeting that took place to get my file processed at Network health.
I developed a strategy. Before every phone call I would clear my schedule for a few hours. Make sure I was at home to use a land line, you can't do this with limited minuets or a battery. Then, before dialing, I would use the bathroom, make a snack and lay out some reading material. Now I could wait on hold and be transferred or dropped without bursting into tears. It's also a good idea to get everyone's name and number to their direct line so when the call is dropped during transfer you can pick up where you left off without having to listen carefully to the automated greeting "menu options which may have changed" all over again.
My search for health insurance began in the financial aid office of the Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, conveniently located in the emergency suite of the hospital, You can speak to a financial aid officer while in cue for triage. This was a reassuring experience. This crew was hip and efficient, unlike their coworkers in every other department I visited, they worked. Now, my connection at Network health told me I couldn't use the insurance retroactively because five months had passed since the original billing date and only new charges would be applied.
The truth is I had begun the process of filing for subsidized health insurance before I saw a Doctor and had done due diligence daily submitting and resubmitting bank statements, tax returns and utility bills. They know they made me jump through hoops. They've heard that excuse before. I needed a lie.
My eye patch had recently come off, and I had an appointment with a primary care physician coming up soon (my first ever). I lied and said I had been to sick to apply, practically blind, and unable to assemble the documents necessary until now. My advocate/case worker at Network health didn't flinch, he'd been to this rodeo before. I needed more and bigger bullshit.
"Has any patient ever received retroactive coverage?"
"Well yes, but.."
"Wouldn't it be inappropriate to deny a whistle-blower like me any conceivable amenity without looping in your supervisor? I mean, maybe you should confer with the board before you decide, it's only fair..."