Healthcare American-Style

How I Almost Had a Heart Attack When I Got Back from the Doctor’s Office

Richard Medugno
2 min readSep 15, 2021
Photo by Sammy Williams on Unsplash

I spent the last week doing all this “stuff” to prepare for an elective medical procedure. I even called my insurance company (that I get through work) to confirm I had coverage on Thursday. I had the procedure on Monday. All went well.

However, when I arrived home, still groggy from anaesthesia, I open my mail. In a letter from my insurance provider it says, “YOUR COVERAGE IS CANCELLED EFFECTIVE 9/2/2021”

WTF!!!!! (Blood pressure is rising, Heart is pounding.)

Then I see the letter is dated 9/3/2021. “Thanks for the heads up [insurane company jerks]. Sending me a letter a day AFTER cancellation. Ever heard of f-ing email?!!”

So I call the insurance company phone number provided in the letter and wait for one hour before I talk to someone who can’t confirm that I have coverage. The agent asks to transfer me to “group coverage.”

I say, “Sure.” Guess what? I got a recorded message saying “Group coverage is closed and will be available at 8 am.”

I read my post-procedure instructions, which include:

  • DO NOT resume normal activities until tomorrow
  • DO NOT drive, return to work, or operate any machinery or power tools.
  • DO NOT make any important personal or business decisions.
  • DO NOT drink or take drugs.

I decide not to have a beer and drive to the nearest insurance company office and blow it up.

I begin to meditate. And start to calm down.

It occurs to me the only possible explanation for this monumental screw-up is either: 1) “My boss fired me and didn’t bother to tell me” or 2) “Somebody screwed up at the company or the insurance company and everything will be fine in the morning.”

I actually slept well. The following morning I signed on to my work computer and there was an email from HR saying please ignore the “cancelled coverage” letter from the health insurance company.

Moral of the story: This BS doesn’t happen in Canada or any self-respecting first world country.

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Richard Medugno

Richard is an author and scriptwriter. His latest book is Deaf Politician — The Gary Malkowski Story. His latest script is The Mulligan Marriage.