Anthem Blue Cross Can Suck It

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

October 23rd, 2010 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

I am feeling angry and powerless. Apparently it doesn’t matter how much you haul your ass out of a hole, you can still end up victim to a heartless, fucked up system. A couple of weeks ago, I was driving my car barefoot, and as I moved my left foot into a different position on the floor, I heard an awful symphony of crunching sounds in my big toe, which suddenly really hurt.

My toe felt weird for a while but seemed to calm down after a few days. Then a couple of days ago, it started feeling weird again. And when I was working late at night that night, I did this thing I habitually do with my feet while sitting for long periods – pointing my feet downward and bending my toes. On this particular occasion, my big toe made it clear that was not a happy move.

Since then, I’ve been feeling anything from a very weird sensation to outright pain in my toe. And I’m wondering if some teeny tiny bone has been dislocated or broken. But I can’t find out, because my Anthem Blue Cross health insurance – to whom I’m paying a whopping $600/month — will not let me go to a doctor outside Los Angeles (400 miles away) until November 1, when they are happy to switch me over to a doctor in my new area.

They will allow me to go to an emergency room, of course, where I can sit and wait for about four hours in a room full of people with all kinds of contagious illnesses. You know, so that I can have not only a broken toe but some new thing on top of it.

One month of nada, to the tune of $600. This is typical of health insurance. And I am feeling angry, angry, angry. When something like this happens, I am reminded of the many, many ways that the system has either caused my body to fall apart or let it happen – active and passive forms of medical negligence. Allowing a healthy, beautiful, vibrant, young woman to just crumble to pieces.

And then I’m reminded of all the people who jump on you when you write about this stuff. And then I know why so many people shut down and break apart. I will not be one of those people. I will keep speaking up. I will keep seeking my tribe.

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