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?
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.