Different lighting, same happy girl 😉 #nofilter
Happy Despite My Circumstances – 20180211
I currently have $-9.80 in my bank account. A large check that I post dated was somehow processed early anyway so that is a bit of a mess. I complained and the bank said there was nothing they could do. Checks are so useless at this point! Does the date box mean nothing!?
For the most part, I stayed in this weekend partially due to my current finances. I get paid on the 15th and I did some consulting work this week as well. I know this situation is temporary so I am staying calm. I guess it was just time to hunker down and save some cash. I missed out on some opportunities with my friends this weekend, but I feel happy and content.
I focused on getting a few things done that I have been meaning to do. One example was I that added a clips section to my twitch channels landing page at http://maidenariana.com
I also cooked and baked just about every ounce of food I had left in my place. It felt good to work through a ‘low food’ situation that could have totally stressed me out in the past. I made the yummy gluten free/dairy free chocolate brownies in a cupcake pan pictured above.. so let’s call them “cupnies?” 😉
Thanks to some gift cards, I have money on my Starbucks app so I went and got my favorite Venti Soy Latte drink and a gluten free breakfast sandwich yesterday for lunch. That cheered me up immensely 🙂
I also did two 3 hour streams on Twitch and had fun as usual with those that showed up. It is hard to feel lonely when you have friends cheering you on while playing an entertaining game. 🙂
My point is.. I could have gotten really down this weekend, but..I am just not. It helps that there was huge news regarding my insurance company woes. Part of the reason I am so low on money is that I had to start to make payments on several medical bills or risk collection actions being taken against me. I am not trying to avoid paying anything.. the problem as I mentioned in a previous post was that my medical insurance was denying all of my claims regarding my surgery and related pre and post care.
Ariana vs. Insurance Companies Round 3
In every denied claim, they were trying to tell me that the mental health intermediary insurance must cover my surgery. I knew that was wrong and my contact at the mental health insurance company agreed. At one point, a woman from the medical insurance company was saying to me on the phone.. “sir, we don’t cover transgender health care, that would only be possibly covered by your mental health insurance. You need to understand it is a mental health condition.” I am not sure if she read my voice as being deep at the moment or if she decided to address me that way because of the claims I was asking her to look at, which spelled out every aspect of my gender confirmation surgery. Either way, I corrected her on her pronoun usage telling her that my bio information on my account with her company says female, my driver’s license, social security card, and birth certificate all say female and that MY NAME IS ARIANA, so why don’t you try using that instead! She apologized but was totally unhelpful from that point on. I also told her that it WAS IN FACT considered a medically necessary procedure and that was the very reason why her company would IN FACT be covering it. Her company is based in Alabama and in the past what she was saying was true. However, I knew that my employer had setup a plan with them which at least for 2017 allowed transgender surgeries to be covered due to compliance with the ACA. That was one of the reasons I pushed myself so hard since early 2017 to jump through all of the hoops I needed to in order to insure (hah! a pun!) that my surgery could take place in 2017. I feared it could be a narrow window in which I could get this done with insurance coverage considering the current administration attempted to repeal the ACA repeatedly last year.
That horrible phone call happened about 10 days ago and at the time I was instructed to request a specific form to be mailed to me so I could begin a formal written appeal process. The past couple of weeks I began to gear up for a fight. I put together a folder of information detailing my PRE-APPROVAL letter from the very same medical insurance company(which listed all of the procedures and dates as being APPROVED), an email response from the mental health company, and finally an addendum that was dated 1/10/2017 with that woman’s company letterhead detailing the sections of the health care agreement that were being removed. The healthcare agreement once specifically excluded transgender healthcare, but that was all gone as of that date. I KNEW I was right. I attempted to have another person at the medical insurance company look at those documents by submitting them as an online request for review, but they responded quickly telling me all I could do was appeal. I was livid. It was all there in black and white and there were gatekeepers at this insurance company that were misinformed and relying on answers they had given in the past thinking they knew better. I was considering hiring my lawyer again (the transgender woman that represented me for my divorce. Knowing I had nothing to pay her with though, I was hesitating.
Instead, I reached out to Natalie, the HR representative that helped me come out to my company. I asked her if there was anything she could do. She referred me to a gentlemen (I use that word intentionally) who worked directly with the insurance companies on behalf of my employer. I was not sure what to expect from him.
This past Thursday, he came through in a big way. He emailed me telling me there was good news and bad. The bad news, he said, was that ‘you had to go through this at all.’ He apologized. He said he can only imagine how hard it must have been to overcome the stigma to transition, to make it, and then to have this happen. He told me not to worry, and that just last week, my rejected claims came up in a review. He said that he just had finished submitting an Addendum to he company health plan that CLEARLY spells out that transgender surgical care is to be covered by the medical plan. He said that at least we now know this will not happen to anyone else that works for our company and he again apologized that I had to go through it at all.
I read that email and the tears of relief would not stop. I was waiting to write this up because I knew I would cry again and YEP I am. They are tears of release and contentment though. I could make a fuss with my company about how painful the last month was, but I see no reason to. My biggest remaining road block (potential further financial ruin) now appears to have been lifted. He said I should start to see amended claim documentation arriving in my mail this week.
I have no idea how much I will end up having to still cover, but I believe I had already paid out the maximum out of pocket last year. We will see what happens. I will meet any inaccuracies with as much ferocity as I need to muster.
Let me tell you all.. the stress is starting to dissipate.
I am financially broke (at the moment), but I have never been more whole. I am content. I am standing strong and working my tail off. No matter how many corners I turn only to find more corners, I will keep running.
Now it is time to only RISE higher than I ever have before!