It’s 7:38 am. I open a letter from Blue Shield Health insurance which tells me my insurance is being denied/and or cancelled because they have not received my whole payment. Which IS A LIE. And it starts. My heart starts beating faster. I can literally feel the heat run down my veins. My shoulder tightens. I soon grow to the size of The Incredible Hulk. And I basically take on the mentality of this Kramer.
I am lucky enough to get some government assistance on my health insurance because I’m currently unemployed. This is awesome and I’m totally grateful. Except for the part where I have to rely on a bureaucracy to do something right, and in a timely manner. It also tests my tendencies to want to be in CONTROL OF EVERYTHING!!
Here’s the story. I originally called to inquire about the Covered California plans late December. At this point I was on a Cobra plan from my previous job and just getting information. But some IDIOT… wait. I’m sorry. That’s not loving or enlightened. Some (grimaces in pain trying to come up with something nice) very misguided lady, who was very busy with other important things so she couldn’t fully listen to what I was saying, entered me into the computer with a start date of January 1. But I had just called to get a quote for how much government assistance I qualified for. I HAD ALREADY PAID FOR COBRA THROUGH FEBRUARY.
When I realized this, I called back and some other COMPLETE MORON, I mean super nice lady who thought she was being helpful but didn’t know what the hell she was talking about, assured me that this was not a problem because I hadn’t even picked a health care plan yet so that didn’t matter. For my plan to start March 1 I just needed to pick a plan by February 20. This made perfect sense to me so I continued about my business.
So I did pick a plan early February, and when I went to make the first payment it said I OWED TRIPLE for January, February, and March. How I could pay for the month of January on a plan that I didn’t even pick until February 15 is beyond all constraints of logic I possess. So. First stage of hulkness began and I called Covered California, the government run agency that pays for a portion of health insurance for low income residents. I explained the situation to a really understanding and helpful man, who unbeknownst to me was still a HUGE NITWIT. He said he saw what happened and would amend that plan for a March 1 start date. I went onto my online profile for Covered California and it now said I only owed one payment for my insurance to start March 1. Crisis averted.
Except it wasn’t. This agent never contacted the insurance companies with the change (I told you he was a nitwit! I mean, a well meaning man who just didn’t know he had to follow through.) So I then start getting letters from the insurance companies saying I owe three months of payments. I STILL want to know how they expect me to pay for January and February when I hadn’t even received my health insurance cards, therefore couldn’t actually use the product they were selling. If this is how consumerism works, clearly I am doing something wrong. And everyone owes me $25 for my book that’s coming out next year. I haven’t started it yet, but trust me, it’s gonna be GOOD.
So I called Covered California AGAIN. And some nice lady (nice, gotta trust nice, because my brain is screaming HALFWIT) told me that they would “accelerate my claim” and send a letter to the insurance companies. But this morning I open the letter from Blue Shield saying my plan was being cancelled for lack of payment. I literally felt like the floor was splitting open and I was pummeling down into fiery lava. Because, surely, this is what Hell feels like. I immediately pick up the phone to call them but, of course, it’s still only7:48 in the morning and they aren’t open yet. So. I. Have. To. Wait.
This is where thankfully my practice and “A Course in Miracles” come in. First I meditated to try to slow my heart rate and calm the emotion. Which worked to some extent. Various phrases like, “Why can’t anyone do anything right?” or “Maybe I’ll just move to Zimbabwe and have NO health insurance” popped into my head. But I kept breathing. I took control of my emotions. Because I truly believe it is a CHOICE whether you let yourself spin down that rabbit hole or stay joyful despite the current circumstances.
Previously, I had no freaking clue how to actually do this, though. But today the lessons from “A Course in Miracles” popped in my head.
DAY 3: I DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANYTHING I SEE IN THIS ROOM (ON THIS STREET, FROM THIS WINDOW, IN THIS PLACE).
Yes, this is a silly video. Yes, in LA we think that 50 degrees is The Arctic. Yes, that really is my ex on the cover of that magazine. And yes, he really did cheat on me. I laughed so hard when I saw this issue that I know WITHOUT A DOUBT that God has a sense of humor. But most importantly, I do not understand this letter I see from Blue Shield. Maybe they sent it before Covered California sent their follow up letter. Who knows. I haven’t talked to anyone yet, so why make myself crazy?
DAY 4: THESE THOUGHTS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING. THEY ARE LIKE THE THINGS I SEE IN THIS ROOM (ON THIS STREET, FROM THIS WINDOW, IN THIS PLACE).
I kept using this one over and over again at the end of my meditation today. My thoughts about this Blue Shield letter do not mean anything. I mean, the likelihood of me never having health insurance again, resulting in my teeth falling out, and all my organs rotting from the inside, is slim to none. But why does my brain automatically want to go there? I will make some more calls which, while VERY annoying, is not the end of the world. So why do I want to waste precious time and energy freaking out? Instead I poured that energy into this blog. But it takes PRACTICE and REPETITION.
I challenge everyone to REALLY use this lesson, “these thoughts do not mean anything.” I truly believe this is the key to our freedom. We make up sooo many stories on a daily basis. Anything from, “that girl doesn’t like me” to “I’m a failure because I got a parking ticket.” I’m not saying don’t feel the emotions. Trust me, I felt anger like a mofo today. But I sat calmly and OBSERVED that anger. What is it doing to me? What’s helpful and what’s not? I’m still going to call and figure this thing out but since I can’t do it right this second what’s the HEALTHIEST choice for me at this moment? I resisted the urge to let the emotion of anger CONSUME me and make me useless. I maintained my power. And for that, I’m proud of myself. This is progress.
And now, it’s after 9am. So I have a call to make. Everything’s going to work out perfectly right? RIGHT?????
And so it is.