As a senior citizen and lifelong resident of New Jersey, I chose to move into a senior community located in Warren County. My dilemma is that currently I am on Medicare, but no longer qualify for Medicaid. I also cannot receive a Medicare supplement for another two months due to my hospital admission for a severe case of COVID-19 in December 2020.
I do not have memories of being transported to the emergency room, and I was placed into a coma with a feeding tube and ventilator down my throat. I have no memory of these devices, either. I woke up in a single-bed intensive care unit room to discover my arms and legs were too heavy to move. I could not walk, and it was also not easy to speak.
Eventually I began learning how to walk again by working with a physical therapist. In time I was transported in an ambulance overnight to a rehabilitation center one hour away, and nearly a month later I learned to walk with support. The insurance company claims it will be six months before I can qualify for a Medigap. In the meantime, I’m still required to see other doctors.
Health insurance is expensive, and unfortunately many families must choose a plan with a high deductible. Bernie Sanders has said that universal health care is more cost efficient than what the U.S. has now. I have felt much frustration with the private health insurance in this rich country, where many have gone without or the bare minimum of coverage.
Jane R. Frieman