Friday, March 24, 2017
On this day in 1978, Margot Grimstead-Harris of Atlanta, Georgia found out that the cost of the double surgery for which she'd prepared herself for well over a year would not be covered by Blue Cross. Her health insurance, which she accessed through her husband's job, as an executive for Dixie Bev, a subsidiary of the Coca Cola Company, had previously covered the costs of an emergency appendectomy, gall bladder removal, and a hospital stay, as well as extensive physical rehabilitation, when Margot had been involved in a minor automobile accident on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This time, however, Blue Cross informed her that the costs associated with a procedure which they deemed elective were not covered by her otherwise comprehensive policy. Furious that she was facing such a barrier to her continued good health, despite the fact that her husband was having $45 deducted from his pay every month for health insurance, Margot sat down to write a strong letter explaining that there was nothing "elective" about a woman of her social standing undergoing painful, invasive surgery, complete with anesthesia, to reduce the size of her chin and smooth out the lines around her eyes.