Have you ever sat and listened to the story of someone else's life that just curled your stomach, bringing about such a strong feeling of discomfort that you immediately swiveled your life around to take action?
Here was a situation that exposed a blind spot for me. This client had opened my mind, as an insurance broker, to the ugliness of layered occurrences. She brought the "what if" into clear view.
This woman was 50 at the time of our talk, and her mother had just recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. Her mother had no desire to know how much longer she was going to live; it brought her mother comfort in not knowing.
My client herself had been involved in a highway crash nearly 31 months earlier. Through this ordeal she had been off work, as she was unable to perform her job activities due to the severity of the collision. Not surprising.
Her income, until 30 days prior to our meeting, was being provided through the insurance policy that she held with her general car insurance carrier: $1,400 a month for accident benefits, and her medical needs were included under this plan, to a maximum of $50,000.
If you caught something wrong in the above paragraph - yes, you read that right. There was zero income as of our first meeting.
My client’s accident benefits had been cut off because she had reached the maximum $50,000 level, and her monthly income was terminated because she had not been deemed a catastrophic case yet.
This person had nothing. Literally nothing. If it had not been for her mother's income at the time, I doubt it would have been likely that they would have had a roof over their heads. They wouldn’t have been able to make the mortgage payment and condo fees. Never mind food.
This is when I had entered the picture as a referral through an associate. They had hoped that I had access to a solution through one of my insurance carriers, and could secure the much-needed health coverage.
There were a lot of layered situations to resolve: first, this client suffered from diabetes and had no money to pay for her required medication, or the lancets needed to take sugar level readings. Second, she required colonoscopy supplies and had no manner in which to obtain these supplies that she needed to use daily.
And, aside from being cut off of her accident benefits, she had been dismissed from her employer seven months earlier because they had declared her disabled and unable to perform her required job activities. This action had created a catastrophic moment in her life because she was immediately removed from the employer's group benefits plan and had to rely solely on the dwindling accident benefits coverage.
So, how do you fix this? What options do you have?
In this case, we were able to locate a small health coverage plan that would allow for $2,000 in medical supplies to be charged annually, and this would increase to a maximum of $5,000 over time. So colonoscopy supplies and lancets were covered.
However, this plan could not cover the medication, even though there is a plan for $2,500 in annual coverage. There was an existing health condition which meant diabetes would generate an exclusion in the contract.
The next thing we considered was a Trillium drug plan application, but it isn't quick enough and takes into account the entire household's income (so everyone living at that residence).
After that, we looked at completing a Disability Tax Credit application for her in the hopes of recouping income taxes paid through the working years. The hope was that we could apply these monies to her current health needs. Unfortunately, this is never a quick process.
In the end, it took a year for funds to arrive.
I walked away from that meeting knowing that this situation could follow me home. Anything was possible: I was 48. I lived on my own. I was 100% responsible for my income. Pretty much the exact same situation as her.
I own a car, and I drive, and a substantial percentage of my driving is due to my profession. But does that matter? Circumstances could be similar - I could very likely get into a car accident.
What if I needed that $2,000 annual coverage for medical supplies and $2,500 for prescription coverage? Where would I find the money? What if my income dwindled to $1,400 a month?
I arrived home from that meeting, sat at the computer and immediately applied for my health coverage plan. You may recall the story of the shoe-makers children not having shoes - it holds true for most professions, although I had "meant" to get around to it and had not.
But now I had my health plan. It costs me $63.00 a month. I have it in the budget for life. I don’t care if my circumstances changed, if I suddenly gained employment through a company that offered group health benefits to their employees.
I am never cancelling this policy.
If this story affected you like it did to me, you deserve a health plan you can trust. Leave your email here and we'll work out your plan.