Thursday, July 25, 2013

Letters to Myself from the Beach: This is a Test

We interrupt this vacation with an important message about healthcare. Yes, healthcare. Because it is, of course, while you are out of state on a long planned family trip that you will be awaiting lab results for your child. And of course they will indicate that she needs twenty-eight days of antibiotics and you left home without your insurance card.

Thanks to the ease of cell phones, we can talk to the pediatrician at length. Thanks to computers, she can send the prescription information to a local pharmacy at the beach and it will be ready within hours. Thanks to our health insurance we can afford to pay for it.

But wait--we left the card at home.

There was no easy fix for this. We had to pay the full cost of the medication: $148.00. We can submit the receipt when we get home and hope for reimbursement. Now, we're lucky enough to be able to swing this, but there have been times in my life when I couldn't have done it. 

As I walked around the CVS as my husband paid for the prescription, I pondered.
What would it be like if your child needed medication and you had no health insurance? I have had some rough times in my life, and certainly have had to put off expenditures, pinch pennies, and often did without. But I've always been able to get medication for my children. Between health insurance from employment and a safety net of relatives, my kids have been protected. I can't truly imagine what it would be like to know my child was sick and not be able to do anything about it.

So, now we have twenty-eight days of antibiotics in pill form and a child who doesn't swallow pills. So you can open up capsules, mix the contents with applesauce, and face the wrath of the kid who has to swallow the mixture, fifty-six times. Oh, and it makes you more sensitive to the sun. And we're at the beach, right? It is a challenge.

But not as much as the challenge of having no medication at all.

We now return to our regularly scheduled vacation, already in progress.

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