With the Spouse leaving his job soon, I needed to re-evaluate the health insurance options New Job University offers to see what would give us the most bang for our buck. Spouse rarely gets sick, and visits medical professionals even more rarely. We jokingly say that his primary care provider is Dr. Wifey (yes, me). One upside to being as sickly as I am is that I know how to treat a variety of maladies using OTC or home remedies. That said, he is soon turning 40 and I have very specific medical needs.

When I arrived here, I chose the most expensive plan offered, assuming that with a higher price comes greater coverage. Apparently this isn’t so. My biggest complaint thus far is nickel-and-dimeing I get every time I have anything done: Allergy shots, lab work, diagnostic tests, etc. Even after my expensive-ass insurance and a $30 copay, I was still on the hook for nearly $200 for a CT scan of my head. Especially since I get allergy shots every week, $2 or $3 here and there really adds up. I’m sick of receiving bills for things that should legitimately be covered. I’m not asking for chemotherapy or high-priced interventions. I should not have to pay $15 for a basic blood panel when I’ve already paid a copay, met my deductible, and paid my premiums. I digress.

Warning: If you are a Republican or get weirded out by talk of lady parts, stop now!

Another issue we’ll soon face is that I need to get my IUD replaced. It’s been fantastic, and we really don’t want kids any time soon, if at all. To be truthful, we probably won’t ever have any, but the idea of getting sterilized permanently freaks me out a bit. Even if I were able to have children (somewhat unlikely, given my medical history with severe endometriosis), I still would prefer to adopt for ethical reasons.

IUDs are fantastic things, and cost less over their 5 year lifetimes than similar quantities of birth control pills, patches, etc. That and they’re incredibly effective (0.1% failure rate). However, the initial cost can be quite high ($800 if out of pocket). I called my current insurance company to see what percentage they would pay. That percentage is approximately ZERO. My overpriced annoying insurance does NOT cover contraceptives. AT ALL.

My jaw dropped. I don’t work for a Catholic/religious organization, so that isn’t the reason. I do wish I knew why. How on earth can any decent insurance company justify not covering that stuff?! With that information, I switched to another insurance option that not only covers my allergy shots at 100%, it also will cover a new Mirena at 100%. Hell yes.

While I’m on the subject, I have to admit that I am rather peeved at some who call mandated contraceptive coverage “paternalistic.” They argue that the government should not force an organization to pay for something that goes against its values. OK, fair enough. Many people believe that we should have to restrict our calorie intake, exercise, and avoid tobacco use to prevent chronic illnesses. If you do these things, why should we have to subsidize your choices when you develop diabetes in your 30s and have a heart attack at 40?

Or better yet: Many people believe the world is overpopulated and that we should not subsidize people who choose to contribute to this environmental and public health travesty by procreating. If they want to engage in such actions, they should have to pay for it out of pocket. Of course, since they also don’t cover contraception, the entire work force will become increasingly sexually frustrated and unhappy, thereby harming productivity and the workplace environment. Yet, I am fine paying more for insurance to allow people to make personal choices for themselves. We’re all in this together, and we can respectfully disagree without forcing our values on one another. Don’t believe in contraception? Don’t use it. Can a Muslim organization refuse to pay for alcoholism treatments? What if you work for a Jewish organization that won’t pay for you to receive a porcine heart valve? There would be pitchforks and fires, I assure you.

You know what’s paternalistic? Thinking that your values are one-size-fits-all and that you should have a say in what a doctor and a grown woman (and perhaps her partner) decide will work best for all parties involved. Never mind that many forms of contraception have legitimate non-contraceptive uses. I would be completely out of commission about 5-8 days a month if I were still having a monthly cycle. As in, “Sorry, I can’t come to work because I can’t get up or stop vomiting.” Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, I don’t live with the gut-wrenching pain, anemia, digestive problems, and the cost of insane quantities of feminine products. I literally have no other options aside from a complete hysterectomy, which seemed a bit drastic for a 25-year-old nulliparous woman.

So, unless you are my physician, you can shut the fuck up about how my medical care should be handled. Thank you and good night.

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