Hi BFN family, I know… it’s been a while. Hi! Hello! Hi! Some of you have been hanging out with the muses at 3musesmerge where Cal, Tal, Nia, and Typist show up with their almost daily banter. Two newsletters is more than I can keep up with! I’m really glad that I have not discarded Born Free Newsletter in one of my cleaning frenzies! There’s something I’m called to write and share today that doesn’t fit the mood I imagine and create on 3mm.
It's a big question, Gail--"What am I worth in dollars and cents?" Sadly, our insurance system determines that those with coverage are worth much more than those without. I think it's a good thing we aren't asked the unanswerable question--we'd make ourselves sick trying to come up with a number.
First I had to rub my eyes! Is this THE Bornfree Newsletter I grew to love ever so long ago? Then you OPENED my eyes. Not just so I could read today’s new BFN post. Not just around Gratitude Day.
You shared your experience seeing the cost of your care. Know what? That’s strikingly similar to my reaction when I read the final summary of costs for my back surgery! My Medicare insurance plan is big on “in network providers,” which the accessible Mayo Clinic was not.
I chose that route after finding no local providers that had a clue. I was desperate to find someone who could even explain my problem (diagnosis) much less present a treatment option. When both were presented in a 45 minute encounter I signed on for their care. My wife and I were confident we could afford their care. Faith?
With the final bill I learned that because
Mayo had agreed to provide treatment, they had also agreed to measly amounts that Medicare paid for that care. Which was less than one one hundredth of the tabulated cost of care.
Taking a victory lap was never a feeling I entertained. As with you, I felt ashamed. Like if I had known my cost outcome, I would have been too embarrassed to receive treatment. I felt embarrassed to return for follow up care. I felt unworthy. At some level well above my pay grade that must all “come out in the wash.”
Your sharing today of your experience serves as an invitation to revisit my reactions. To reframe through the lens of gratitude.
As always, ever grateful. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.
I haven't been keeping up with my personal email lately, but I have been thinking about you and wondering how you are doing. I had a few minutes to kill at the end of lunch and actually got on just now specifically to look through my 21,000 or so unread emails for something from you. And here you are. You are ABSOLUTELY worth more than that amount. You are priceless.
vulnerable post, thank you!
Insurance has facilitated the cost of healing to skyrocket. I would like to see it outlawed. The insurance companies get rich off of the suffering of people. That just isn't right.
There's so much wisdom in what you've said, Gail. When we can't change the system (at least not at that moment), what we can do is move through it with dignity and respect. Like you did. Like you do.
What I take from Gary's comment is that All the kindnesses we share in the world do not go unnoticed, even when, at the time, it feels that way.
I don't know if NY state has healthcare safety net insurance, but I love that Wisconsin does.