Preparing My Son to Make an Important Healthcare Decision

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by Joe MacDonald |

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In two months, my oldest son turns 25. After the initial shock that he is reaching a milestone birthday, I realized that next year proves crucial in terms of insurance.

I currently cover him with my benefits package, but starting at 26, he must provide coverage for himself. He must learn how to distinguish between different medical plans, including vision and dental. For many, this may sound like a no-brainer, but the decision is a little more difficult for my son.

“MacDonald the Older” is an actor and musician. His educational pursuits focused on the arts and how he might be a successful entertainer. While I respect him for following his dreams, insurance coverage must play a role in determining his career path.

With one year remaining until he cannot receive coverage under my plan, my son must start researching the best healthcare alternatives available. I promised to walk beside him and help advise him on his journey. As we discover options, I hope to chronicle the path he chooses in future columns.

One of the biggest initial obstacles my son faces is that he knows nothing about how insurance works, and so, I must educate him on the importance of maintaining quality care and deciding which resources are best for his particular situation. This is especially relevant to him, as he must pay for his hemophilia treatment. Without insurance, care for my son’s bleeding disorder can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. Healthcare is necessary to help pay for his expenses.

Before we begin researching the best care available for him, I must take a step back as a parent and fill him in on insurance basics and the necessity of having it.

I taught him how to order factor VIII and maintain an adequate supply of products and necessities (gauzes, needles, syringes, Band-Aids), but I did not lay the groundwork for future decisions, such as choosing the best healthcare plan for his needs. It seemed like something in a far-off galaxy. Somehow we started moving at the speed of light, and now the issue is right around the corner. We face an extremely critical choice regarding my son’s healthcare.

Because my son is an adult, this part of the journey is more complex than when he was just a stinky little boy. I know that I must be sensitive because I am no longer in the driver’s seat regarding his life choices. I hope to help guide him in making informed choices about his care. Ultimately, it is his choice, and I must respect his decisions.

We try to prepare our loved ones for the twists and turns that life has to offer, only to encounter unexpected detours on the journey. Healthcare caught us off guard, and now we must face it head-on. We start by observing what lies ahead of us and how we might navigate the terrain of insurance and quality care regarding hemophilia. In many ways, this is the ultimate moment to pass the torch to our adult children as they take full responsibility for their healthcare needs.


Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.


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