Stand up for my son, Wesley. Say NO to going back to pre-existing condition exclusions!
"Everything is covered. Your family is fully covered." I could hardly believe it. My son Wesley has an eye condition called strabismus, and I'd been worried because we already had one insurer drop us and another exclude Wesley's condition from coverage. Then, as the new patient protections under health reform began to take effect, we finally had the option of buying affordable health insurance without any exclusions for pre-existing conditions for Wesley.
My name is Dawn Josephson, and I'm a MomsRising member from Florida. Ensuring the success of health reform is close to my heart--and I have to say that I'm concerned because I'm hearing some candidates for office talk about repealing or blocking health reform if elected. I know from personal experience that this would be devastating for my family and for so many other families across America.
*Tell all your friends to vote on or by Tuesday, November 2nd, AND also to sign this letter to Congress and state legislators demanding that Congressional and state leaders must continue moving forward on implementing health reform--and not take us back to the bad old days when insurers could drop us just when we got sick, exclude our children from coverage because they have pre- existing conditions, or put lifetime caps on our healthcare coverage.
Why is ensuring the success of health reform close to my heart? Because the provisions of health reform that went into effect on September 23rd this year have already have helped my family immensely.
You see, I'm a self-employed entrepreneur and supply my own health insurance. In July of 2009, my four-year-old son Wesley needed eye surgery to correct a problem called strabismus. Shortly after his surgery, the company we were insured through dropped us, so we had to get new insurance. The new plan, which was very expensive, excluded any treatment related to Wesley's eye. By June of 2010, we couldn't handle the premiums anymore, so we began searching for a new plan.
The new plan we enrolled in is an individual plan and is one of the company's newly created "affordable options." When the insurance company representative called me and said that everything went through underwriting and we were fully covered, I said, "Okay, but..."
"But what?" she asked.
"But what's not covered?" I asked.
"Everything is covered," she replied.
Feeling that I wasn't making myself clear, I pointedly asked her, "What about my son and his eye condition? If he needs another surgery (which most kids do need more than one surgery to fully correct the problem), is it covered?"
"Yes," she said. "Your family is fully covered.
I couldn't believe it. She then said, "We no longer exclude pre-existing conditions in children."
It didn't hit me until later that evening what had happened. Legislation from Washington, D.C. had personally affected my family — and in a good way! While I know I somehow feel the effects of Washington's laws and rules on a regular basis, I never felt it hit home like this. I was both happy and shocked.
Everyone has something in their medical history. Whether that something is small — like strabismus — or big — like hemophilia — it's a fact of life that we all get sick at some point. And when insurance companies can use any bit of information as a reason to deny coverage and hike up premiums, they'll do so unless someone steps in to stop it.
*That's why today I'm urging you to join me in voting on or by Tuesday, November 2nd and signing this letter to Congress and state legislators to demand that our federal and state leaders move us forward on implementing health reform.
MomsRising will be delivering these letters, both now as elected leaders are closely listening to what their constituents are saying in the run up to the elections, as well as after the elections.
Thank you for fighting for all America's families!
Dawn and the MomsRising Team
P.S. After I responded to an email request from MomsRising to share stories of how health reform has helped your family, I was invited to share my story with President Obama! Read my blog about this amazing experience here.
P.P.S. We've got a great opportunity to directly chat with Speaker Nancy Pelosi this Friday, Oct. 22 at 1:30 PM ET-- and you are invited to be part of this conversation! Just login to Twitter and follow hashtag #womeninpolitics. We'll be talking about moms in politics, the perspectives parenting can bring to the legislative process, and her personal experience as a mom and grandmother in the House. Looking forward to tweeting with you!