Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wow! An Unexpected Benefit of Weight Loss

I had a real moment of clarity and thankfulness today, and it came when I least expected it. Sometimes, we just can't predict how our weight or weight loss might affect us. And thus was the case today.

As I mentioned before, my health insurance was cancelled last week, and I was notified that as of April 1, I would no longer have coverage. This is a pretty big deal, because most of the policies available will not cover any pre-existing conditions if you have a gap in coverage (meaning, if you are uninsured for any amount of time). So I set out this week to quickly find myself some kind of health coverage that could be in place by April 1, on very short notice. I was having a hard time finding anything. But then I found an agent who could get me covered for a reasonable price, by April 1. (I need knee surgery. Not sure when, but it IS preexisting, and it IS the source of most of my health problems right now. So it is imperative I not have a gap in coverage).

I went in to the office to fill out the paperwork. I had to sign and attest to various questions about my health that the agent was asking me. She asked about whether I smoked, had cancer, or was treated for various afflictions in the past 5 years... and I was able to answer "no" to them all. Then she asked the clincher. "Do you weigh more than 250 pounds?"

Wow. I was, of course, able to say "no," but not long ago I would have had to say YES. And then, I would be up a creek (and embarrassed) because this health insurance will not accept or cover anyone who weighs over 250 pounds.

Wow! Can you imagine if I had not lost the weight?

Agent: "Do you weigh more than 250 pounds?"
Lyn: (face turning shades of red, looking at floor) "Um, yes, I do..."
Agent: (folding up application and looking away uncomfortably) "Then I am sorry but you do not qualify for coverage. As a matter of fact, you will not qualify for MOST health insurance at that weight.
Lyn: .............. (stunned silence)
...uncomfortable gap in conversation...
Agent: (standing up) "Well I am sorry we couldn't help you. Good luck."
Lyn: "Uh, yeah, thanks..." (bolts out of the office, goes through the McDonald's drive-thru for a Big Mac meal, and scarfs it down in the parking lot with tears streaming down her face).

Wow. I am SO GLAD I am not over 250 pounds. So thankful I am finally losing this weight. You just never know when your weight is going to be an issue.

10 comments:

Em said...

I am just glad you didn't start crying from happiness. That would have been embarrassing!

I read that comment you left me. Thank you so much for the advice!

You know... something I have noticed. There are like, three primary eating disorders, right? Anorexia, bulimia, and over-eating.

But if you're bulimic or anorexic, it's like it's okay.

BUT IT'S NOT. Over-eating is a disorder, and should be treated as such. People are compassionate to anorexics and bulimics, why can't they be compassionate for overweight and obese people, too?

Just a thought I had. Keep up the good work, Mrs. Lyn. I know that the weight training will help tremendously.

Here's my email if you want it. [I think you do]

cottonheadedninnimuggin@gmail.com

~Em

Kathy said...

Good for you. This is going to be true more and more. It used to be the insurance might cost more...now, it might not be available at all.

Heather said...

that is definitely a great benefit. you should be so happy and realize just how far that you have come.

Hanlie said...

That is huge! I am so pleased for you!

Conversations with V! said...

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Lynne said...

I am so glad you were able to find insurance. I am glad this stressor in your life has been put to bed.

You are a great inspirer to the uninspired.

rebeccascritchfield said...

I just want to say first that your photos are amazing! Wow... way to go and keep it up. You probably don't need to hear it from me, but your new habits are your permanent lifestyle behaviors! How exciting for you.

In response to this post, I just wanted to say some people aren't so lucky. A friend of mine left a very nice CIO job to become a consultant and had to go back to an industry job when she couldn't get insurance. It didn't matter that she eats healthy and exercises... (we ran and lifted together 3 days a week at 5 a.m. before work and she kicked my butt)! What DID matter is that her BMI was "too high" for coverage and she was on lipitor due to a family history of high cholesterol. But I am telling you, this woman has healthy behaviors. She is just really short, which skews her BMI, and she is overweight. But her good health behaviors should count for something. It's a real problem when people fall through the cracks like that.

CM said...

Good work!

Dottie said...

I had never thought about health covereage before because it's always been offered through work. Thanks for the eye opener and I'm very happy for you that you can say with pride that you weigh under 250! You go girl!

Amy said...

Hello, I stumbled across your blog and am reading through the archives from the beginning. This post hit very close to home and left me in tears. I found out two days ago that my new request for an insurance policy was denied and that I need to lose over 100lbs AND keep it off for ONE year before I could ever be reconsidered for their insurance (or any, for that matter). I'm glad this wasn't the case for you.

- amos2632@hotmail.com