With regard to health insurance, I am quite fortunate. I am retired from the Air Force, and I therefore have the benefit of Tricare insurance. This is a government sponsored insurance for active duty military and dependents, and retired military and dependents. With this insurance, deductibles are reasonable, and I do not need to fight for medical care.
Last year, I was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. My workup included CT scans, a PET scan, MRI’s, a bone scan, and two CT guided biopsies with pathology and tumor markers as well as multiple consults with specialists. These were all very expensive, but my out of pocket expenses were very reasonable. Further, there were no long delays along the way while waiting for authorization for any tests or appointments. As my plan is a PPO, I was not restricted in which providers I could see. Ultimately, I was found to have a specific tumor marker which allowed for an oral targeted therapy instead of traditional chemo. The medication costs >$15,000/month. I pay $24/month for the medication. All of my care has been very easy. I have never had to directly contact my insurance to receive care, and the prescription process has gone very smoothly as well.
The stress associated with the diagnosis was great, and not having the additional stress of overwhelming medical bills or gaps in care related to issues with insurance was wonderful.