I left a beginning to this story a short while ago, and I want to continue to tell the story in detail so you get an idea of who I am, and what I am trying to accomplish.
First, before I go any further, I want to thank a young Englishman I met in a blood drawing office this morning named Giles. He goes to school at UNLV and he gave me some good advice. The only advice I could give him was to get his health care in England – it’s better there for all their people than the health care is here. Giles, maybe you, me and Keith Richards could get a pint sometime.
I am 62 years old, three years away from Medicare, and knew I had to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act in order to avoid mandates or penalties. My favorite movie is ‘The Crying Game’ and my favorite song is ‘New Soul’, but those things can change a bit over time.
I am divorced having been married 15 years to a wonderful woman who was not able to bear all of the issues I thrust upon her. We divorced quickly and we are great friends today. I’ll say she is my best friend, and I boldly say I made no mistake in marrying her. We had a few kinks along the way, as shortly after we married, she was diagnosed with 2nd stage breast cancer. We went through radiation therapy and chemotherapy ‘together’, though she is the one who suffered. My only suffering was watching her suffer, and for those who have been there, you know what I mean. But, she was strong, stronger than I could ever be, and after 7 years of tamoxifen, she was determined to be cancer free. We were blessed, though it was a trial.
One side affect of the cancer was that my dream to have children had to be forgotten since we had so much more important things to concern ourselves with. For me, I volunteered at the Honolulu Zoo and saw 500 children a day, each day I was there as a docent, so my gift of children came later, and in a different form.
I am a retired Professional Engineer with a BSCE from Penn State, and I have a simple motto that works – Do the right thing, ala Spike Lee. My jobs were with the private sector and the public sector(FEMA), and I did structural design and analysis and gradually settled into hydrology and hydraulics and computer modeling. As part of the jobs, I was involved with all aspects of contracting from the developments of the scopes of work, Request for Proposals, selection criteria and all the way through to the acceptance of the product at the end of the contract. I did it all for these engineering contracts and I spent 30 years doing it.
I believe in single payer plans in other countries and that which was supported by Dennis Kucinich in the US House of Representatives. But, he came to an agreement with President Obama right before the final vote was to happen, and he abandoned the single payer idea.
So, I applied, like many thousands did, starting on October 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act hear in Nevada, run by Xerox Corporation’s Nevada Health Link and it’s accompanying web site.
To say the web site was a fiasco, replete with errors and fraught with problems is an understatement. Having worked on contracts for 30 years, and having been involved with insurance with those contracts, I knew a little. And what was obvious to me was that the contractor was unable to do his job. If Xerox was my contractor, I would have fired them after a few monitor visits and determined them incapable.
I started out with my application on October 1, 2013, just as Nevada Health Link suggested. That’s when the fun started and that’s where I’ll pick up next time.