April 27, 1987 is a day I will always remember. Mr. Bartender and I had been married for 3 weeks (24 days to be exact). I was wearing white pants. We decided to have dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant. Well, that’s what we would have done if we had actually made it to the restaurant. You see, April 27, 1987 was the day of my “auto accident.”
The “accident” (as it’s referred to these days) was much more than a little fender bender. I shattered my ankle, fractured my face in three places, and broke my back. I subsequently had a tracheotomy and temporarily lost all movement from the waist down. Initially, I spent three weeks in the hospital and the first nine months of my married life in a full body cast. There were countless follow-up surgeries which I won’t go into…you get the picture.
I’m not writing this so anyone can feel sorry for me. I’ve never felt sorry for myself. I am writing this to share with you how fast your life can change. And the importance of health care insurance. It doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Even if you have great cholesterol, work out regularly, don’t smoke and eat healthy food…you can find yourself in a health care crisis.
Lucky for me, my employer at the time offered free insurance coverage for employees. Even though I was young and thought I was invincible, the company benefits representative told me it was free so I signed up. It was excellent coverage.
According to CNN, medical bills prompt more than 60% of U.S. bankruptcies. I can’t even begin to imagine what would have happened if Mr. B and I didn’t have the great insurance coverage.
I’m not writing this to tell you what’s great or not-so-great about the Affordable Care Act. I’m sharing with you my story because the experience made me realize the importance of understanding my health care insurance. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through what I did in order to take an interest in the subject. That’s a steep price to pay.
Each of us has an obligation to read about the law, get educated on the insurance options available and most importantly, make a decision that’s best for them. Take my word for it. It’s important.
Originally published on the HR Bartender blog.