Getting Insurance Became and All-Consuming Battle

United States

I have multiple pre existing conditions - urological issues, PTSD, Asperger's, anxiety. Insurance and making sure I have insurance has pretty much dominated my life. I lived in the same city from childhood into my 30s. I was on the same HMO from a young adult to an adult. I had been on my mother's insurance but I switched my father's because the HMO had a higher cut-off age for dependent children.

I got a job, lost my insurance, had COBRA, timed out of COBRA (I was working temporary jobs) and for a few days thought I'd lose insurance but the HMO had a "non group" plan for individuals. Eventually the price went so high I left a job I liked (where I was a contract temp) for another one where I had benefits.

I wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's or PTSD until the past few years. I've been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and have struggled with therapy that didn't work. For the most part, I would work because I needed to and neglect my mental health because there was no time or space to deal with it. I'd go to work, I'd go home and recover from being at work and usually have anxiety attacks, and then rinse and repeat. I had no idea how people went and did things after work.

Because of my background I've been unemployed for years (supported by my parents) and under employed. I was in a relationship and I moved to be with the man (we met online). I moved because I knew I could get insurance in Vermont. So I moved and suddenly insurance became ... not an all-consuming thing. I had time and space to actually try and take care of myself. I got a job, I worked, I had insurance, but because ACA had kicked in I no longer lived in fear of what would happen if I coudln't sustain the job, if I lost, if I was unable to work.

And I did become unable to work and had insurance through ACA. I'm in therapy and group therapy and have made tremedous strides. I've found working in retail, although lower paying, is enormously helpful for me because I can take a full weekday off and go to therapy and not have to worry if I'm going to be too emotional to continue. I can work a low stress job and not live cosntantly battling anxiety and stress (the way I have most of my life).

But I'll lose that. I will end up going back to what I was before — working to make sure I can have insurance. Hopefully I'll have better skills to handle it but ... I feel like I've wasted my entire life (I'll be 44 this year) trying to get to a point where my life is semi-normal and when I feel like I can achieve that ... it's going to be taken away. I also have to go back to the fear of losing insurance and being uninsuranble.