The following is a letter I recently sent to Legacy Health in Portland, after receiving another huge bill for stuff I thought was covered by my insurance. However, it turns out that, as previously stated, the only thing covered by my insurers was their own ass. I would have been better off setting that money on fire and then snorting the ashes up my nose. Such is the state of healthcare in America, where the best we can hope for is to die poor and alone, while our children slave away for the Starbucks Industrial Complex to pay off their quarter million in college loans.
To: Legacy Patient Business Services
Regarding the blood money I owe. (Pun slightly intended*)
I am writing to apply for financial assistance to help me with my past-due bills of roughly $700. I am a freelance writer, with inconsistent and below-average income. My insurance recently lapsed, due to my inability to afford the $330/month payments. Payments which, apparently, covered just about nothing. Today, before finding out about the $700 debt, I was really excited to have managed to cobble roughly the same amount together to pay off other outstanding medical bills. So that’s about $1400 total, on top of about $4000 in insurance fees for 2015. I had pneumonia and some minor stomach problems, as well as some pretty serious depression stemming from my ongoing financial stress, but nothing that came even close to being worth $$5400. I’ve applied, unsuccessfully, for easily 100 jobs in the past year, and managed to make somewhere in the neighborhood of $30k (before expenses), most of which I made prior to the end of the summer, when things fell off sharply. That was actually the best year I’ve had since I moved to Portland in 2011 to try and find better work. The point of all this is, I don’t have any money. I haven’t paid rent in two months, and would be out on the street if not for the love and generosity of a close friend who has graciously taken me in, while I look for better opportunities. I have not filed my taxes in 4 years, mainly because I made so little and it costs too much to even file them. I’ve just been holding my breath, hoping that my fortunes would turn and I’d one day be able to catch up. I felt the prudent thing to do was to spend what little I had on health insurance, so that I knew that my bases were at least covered in the event of catastrophe. Boy was I stupid. Instead, what I got was this giant bill.
So, I’m told that you have a financial assistance program. Unfortunately, I’m too pathetic even to be able to muster the required pay stubs and tax returns. I’ve included my bank statements for the past two months, which will demonstrate exactly the level of loser you’re dealing with. I hope you can help me. My alternative is to just let it go to collections and put yet another nail in my financial coffin, or just give up entirely and switch to a less metaphorical coffin. I am so frustrated and broken-hearted by this system, this country, and life, in general, that I don’t really even care what happens anymore. That’s gonna be especially true when my anti-depressants run out and I can’t get them anymore, due to my lack of insurance. So you can help me, or not. I’d much prefer that you do, of course. There is still some shred of hope in here, somewhere. But on days like today, when I’m reminded that, for every step forward, I get pushed two steps back, it just gets so hard to find a reason to even bother.
Have a nice day!
*Because part of the bill was for blood tests, so…