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Personal Narrative: How Many People’s Emergency Become An Emergency

How many people’s emergency becomes an emergency? I recently had to have an emergency root canal done because one of my old fillings had begun separating from the tooth and caused the area around the nerves to become inflamed and infected. What I found interesting was the process? First I had to give the dental office my drivers license for them to make a copy of it. Secondly before I was given the forms to fill out they verified my insurance coverage.

At first I felt insulted but I began to think of it in the business sense and asked myself the question of how many people have had dental work done and claimed to have insurance when they knew in fact they did not have any coverage? I thought about how many people have written checks knowing the money was not in the bank. Seeing it from a business point of view changed my mindset on the procedure of collecting data prior to seeing a patient. The clerk gave me a clip board filled with forms for me to complete. That was understandable so I thought until I began filling out the forms.

I had to fill out a lot of paperwork giving the doctor not only permission to perform the procedure but permission to share the information with my insurance company. I purposely read every form because some were not the typical forms. I was use to the three forms – medical history, current state, personal information including insurance. Yes, I did complete the three that I am familiar with. But there was one form that stated my medical information without my name could be shared for medical training purposes.

There was one form for me to understand my insurance was between myself and the company that overall I would be held fully responsible for the bill if the insurance company did not pay. One form was understanding the dental office privacy act, however there was a statement that said it is subject to change at any time. I found that disturbing and questionable. On the last form I had to give the dental company permission to call, text, email and/or mail me medical correspondences. When I read they will not be liable for third parties gaining access to my emails I said no.

I know telephone companies maintain copies of text messages I said no. I chose the call me option which I had to grant them permission to leave a message. While waiting on the doctor to call me to the back area, I began pondering on all that had just transpired. I thought about how many ways people will find an excuse to sue a company to gain finances so maybe those forms are a means of protecting the company. I thought about how low would a person go to gain money they had not earned. This took me back to a time when I was in my teens and a lady came over to my mother’s house.

I was in the kitchen cooking and they were sitting at the dinning room table – I grew up when we had company we served the adult visitors something to drink and eat, if they wanted something. While I was fixing her a glass of water, she expressed to my mother how another lady fell in a store, hurt herself. The lady sued the store and won some money. The visitor expressed how someone told her all she had to do was slip and fall in a store and they would pay her money. My mother told her first of all you must be crazy to even think like that. Secondly, she asked her if she thought about if she fell and seriously injured herself what then.

What my mother said next really took me by surprise – she asked the lady to leave her house for coming to her with some dishonest thoughts for some quick money. She proceeded to say I shop at this store and the thought of it closing because of your foolishness bothers me, so please leave. After thinking about that I realize how companies have to protect themselves from people like this lady. My thoughts did get interrupted by the receptionist calling me. She said wow if you have to get a root canal procedure your insurance company will pay for fifty percent of it which is really good.

I thought good but they use to pay for eighty percent. She asked me how would I pay for my portion. I asked her how do you want the payment. She said you could do cash, check, credit card or we do payment plans if that is too much for you to pay right now. Being honest I was insulted again, but thought about it because I did hear her say the same thing to another lady just before me. And the lady opted for the payment plan – so much down and payments until it was paid. I asked her do you want a check or my credit card for it to be paid in full today?

And this is where I got the thought about how many people’s emergency become an emergency. I was thinking did we as Americans learn anything from the economy slump we reached in 2007 – 2009? (Economic Policy Institute. n. d. ) At first my husband was the spender in our house but he knew me well enough to know I have a threshold for spending that he should not cross. He originally thought I was hard and tight but he realized our emergencies should not be a crisis. The first time we had to get four brand new tires on our car and we paid cash his mindset began to change. See I grew up understanding anything man made will need to be replaced.

He grew up with the mindset of as long as you can put it on a credit card and make the monthly minimum payment you are okay. He said saving money was not a thought in his family. As soon as any one in his family obtained some money, his family went out and spent it all because they did not know if they would get that chance again. So many American families think in this manner. I started laughing because as I began writing these thought down a few days later, I read an article published on 6 January 2016 by Bankrate who had a survey done on “How Americans meet Unexpected Expenses”.

The article stated, “Nearly 4 in 10 respondents, 37%, say they would pay for an unexpected expense with savings, Bankrate’s survey found”. (Steiner, S. 2015) I was dismayed by this because sixty percent does not have a concrete plan therefore their emergency becomes an emergency. Nearly forty percent can cover a thousand-dollar expense – we have work to do. I say this because most of the people who can not cover their expenses wind up not paying those bills which is passed on to people who pay their bills in full and on time.

For me it feels great to be able to pay for a major purchase or an emergency in full. I must confess I am one of those people who panics when it comes to owing money. If I use the credit card and can not pay the balance in full, I can not rest. I think over the years making major purchases with cash has helped us to set priorities, establish goals and stick to them. I believe the only way a person’s emergency will not become one is when he/she sets financial goals and achieve them. Do you know any one who has not learned any thing from the recent economic crisis?

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