Susan, an artist and freelance grant writer and development consultant, became a little concerned when she turned 50 that she ought to have health insurance in case she became really ill, so she bought a catastrophic coverage policy from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
Six years ago, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. As horrible as the diagnosis was, she was grateful that she at least had insurance to pay the bulk of her bills.
As it turned out, she didn’t. Blue Cross/Blue Shield ruled that her breast cancer wasn’t catastrophic; it was chronic because most of her treatments were as an outpatient.
Every time she had chemo, Susan had to pay $500 out-of-pocket for just one round of anti-nausea medicine.
“The pills were more expensive than gemstones,” she said.
That thought gave her an idea: Make jewelry using expired prescription pills and medical supplies and sell it to help pay her medical bills.
So far, Susan has paid more than $32,000 out-of-pocket.
“I’ve already put off doctor’s visits because of the cost,” she said. “I just hope my cancer doesn’t come back.”
Susan’s jewelry is a reminder that health care shouldn’t be a luxury.