Insurance

February 2009

I was insistent on not letting the issue go. I couldn’t believe what happened. How could this be happening in 2009? Did we just swear in a black man as President of the United States?

Munch woke up sick. Coughing and having trouble breathing. I was so worried. I called out sick and called the pediatrician. My baby was sick. They told me to take him to the hospital and that one of the doctor’s from the practice was there. I got him dressed and rushed out the door.

This was my first time at this particular hospital. Munch’s pediatricians are in a different state and I have a choice of hospitals. This one has a pediatric emergency room so it was definitely the optimal choice. I get there and check in with the receptionist. I’m trying to hold my fat baby (he weighs 25 pounds) and my purse.

The male receptionist asked me did I have insurance and I said “Yes”. As I began pulling out my card he asked me “Do you have Medicaid?” I was floored. Here was this white boy asking me do I have Medicaid. I’m carrying a child in designer clothes and a designer coat and carrying a designer handbag and you think  I have Medicaid?

I was offended. I said “No, I actually have a job that pays for our health insurance.” He said okay. I let it slide.

I got Munch in the back and met with the pediatrician. They gave him a breathing treatment and told me that he needs to rest. Upped his medications. The financial person for the hospital came to the room while he’s getting the treatment to get my co-pay for the emergency room visit.

I handed her my card as she charged $100. These dang administrators are worse than bill collectors. Can I please make sure my child is feeling better first? What the hell?

This hospital was getting on my nerves. I was one of the very few people of color there. I didn’t see one black doctor. Insurance games.

I reported the white guy at the check-in desk the next day. I called the hospital administration and registered a complaint. I explained that I didn’t judge those that were on Medicaid, but I worked hard to have great health insurance and I had never felt more disrespected or discriminated against.

A few hours later someone called me back and apologized profusely. They said that they would never allow a patron to be disrespected or discriminated against. They actually made the receptionist call me back personally and apologize.

I didn’t believe him when he said he didn’t mean anything by it. Whatever! Lies! You saw a nicely dressed black mother in her mid 30’s and you assumed I was on Medicaid?

I

This post was part of the A2Z challenge and the letter “I” is for Insurance. My posts will be written as a journal style for the challenge and will be on the theme: Mothering While Black. I hope you enjoyed it.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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5 thoughts on “Insurance

    1. Maybe, but it was ignorant and in unexpected. Part of his job is to ask do you have insurance? May I see your insurance card? I have been to multiple practices and hospitals prior and after and not one ever asked did I have Medicaid. The administration didn’t think it was appropriate which is why they apologized and said they would have him call me. It’s presumptive and rude to assume that I would have Medicaid and not private health insurance that I work hard for. It’s as though if you saw a person dressed poorly you would ask them if they had Medicaid. Maybe mom was rushing out the house with a sick child and threw on the closest things (her cleaning clothes) didn’t do her hair and you assumed she had Medicaid. Those biases don’t belong in an organization designed to help others. You are the gatekeeper to the ER.

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  1. Here in Montana that happens if you’re Native American. All the people following in stores, the weird looks, the driving while Native. Really weird when the cop/mall security/etc stops the car or the kids and THEN sees my white face. The attitude change is there, sometimes it’s even more angry. Keep making complaints. I had to make one to the Denver Museum of Art for a racist example in one of their CHILDREN’S activity centers! I’m there with my Native kid and my Native nieces screaming at the information desk about how I didn’t pay for my children to be racially profiled and, “You’d f##*in feed your dog to your children if they were starving on a reservation too!” Long story. I felt so alone making that complaint and following up on it. Fist raise to YOU for making a complaint!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow! That is horrible. Yes, we must continue to educate the institutions about racial profiling and discrimination. I was pleased the administrator called back and apologized and made the receptionist call and apologize but it shouldn’t be that way. We should all be free to receive top notch service.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I certainly feel the frustration in this post! The entire situation having a sick child, getting the child ready and yourself… the child is heavy and all you really want is to be seen in a decent amount of time and get a solution for your baby. I was just one of those days.

    Liked by 1 person

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