What I'm struggling to spit out is that planning around the hole you're going to leave is pretty much normal human behavior at any age. I'm younger than I would have expected, and will be leaving a sorrowfully bigger hole than I'd meant, but the challenges are similar to everyone else's. I don't need to plan for retirement, so what I've saved can go to college funds, at least. As long as I die fairly soon, I can do so secure in the knowledge that the kids will be taken care of.
|Whose future is it anyway?|
I can't afford to bankrupt our family. But that's what the state of US health care means to someone living with a fatal illness today. No one talks about how, in the pay-to-live system we have in America, co-pays alone can wipe out a family's financial security forever. I think people would be shocked at the number of times the ill choose between living and living as long as is financially possible for themselves and their families.
I called MD Anderson—home of the edgiest cancer-fighting gadgets on the planet—and they want $200,000 up front to sign up for their fancy photon therapy. They're certainly not taking any chances on our insurance company spontaneously leaping to do the right thing.
We're fighting this uphill battle, draining my family's financial resources just as my kids are getting ready to enter college and my husband tries to ready for retirement. We have the kind of medical insurance to which health care workers are entitled, so we're atypical in some ways. I'm receiving good treatment.
But this could still bankrupt us. And ours is a universal story.