Friday, March 10, 2006
Some of you might think I'm a little obsessed with women's rights.
Believe me, I agree with you. But I'm obsessed because I have to be. Sometimes I'm embarrassed that all I do is send $ to planned parenthood and write on my blog. I should be in the streets marching. Today was supposed to be my day off. I had a midterm and a hair appointment, then I was gonna return home and chill -- the apartment all to myself for spring break! But it seems I just can't escape these issues.
In my quest to find health insurance, I've been calling around different agents getting info. Imagine my shock when I realized, this anti-choice, crazy agenda was effecting ME. No one will cover birth control! Today I was telling my hair stylist this and she said, "Oh, it's probably just because of the risk." But all drugs carry risk. Viagra has been linked with heart problems and THAT is covered. SO THEN... I talked to one of the women I worked with this summer-- she told me that people have been lobbying our state legislature for years to make all insurance companies cover women's contraception. It is always defeated.
So this afternoon I called Blue Cross Blue Shield back. So far, I am NOT IMPRESSED with them. First of all, every time you call you have to listen to 2 minutes of "press one for this, press two for so-and-so" -- I hate that. Then, even though I tell them I just want to ask an agent some questions, they make me give my: name, address, date of birth, phone number and parents health plan ID number. Makes me want to scream. THEN they transfer me to an agent who asks me all the same info AGAIN.
Today I finally got a person to talk to me. Here's our conversation:
ME: Do you have any plans that DO cover birth control?
BLUE CROSS: NO.
ME: Okay. Is this because of risks?
B.C.: NO. You can get birth control if you doctor writes a letter to our insurance company stating you have a medical condition that requires birth control. But we won't cover it for contraceptive purposes.
ME: Are you serious?
ME: That is ridiculous. I need a "doctor's note" stating I'm using a drug for a reason other than family planning.
ME: Okay, my doctor prescribed this drug. Why is it their business if I'm using it for irregular periods or family planning? Family planning is safe and something you SHOULD want your customers doing. I mean, it costs a lot less to buy birth control pills than to pay for maternity costs.
B.C.: Yes, I know. Some businesses offer it as a health insurance "perk" but many do not.
ME: Well I'm not going through a business that offers it as a perk. This is really making me question whether or not I want to take out insurance through Blue Cross. This is not only blatantly sexist but also stupid.
B.C.: I understand. But not many companies in North Dakota will be much better. I'm sorry.
*insert annoyed scream here*
Why do I need a note? Would they ever ask a man for a note? Can you imagine?? "Sir, we just have to prove that you're using this Viagra to have sex with your wife and not have an affair-- standard procedure. Please just go see your doctor and we'll let you know if we can cover your Viagra in 4-6 weeks."
Just now I checked my mailbox. Blue Cross sent me the packet of info I requested two days ago. They had addressed it to "Eric." Oh the irony, if my name were Eric, I wouldn't have to get a doctor's note proving I'm not a whore.