As a building engineer for a small charter school, my job is physically demanding. As I approach age 65, my degenerative scoliosis has worsened, making it harder for me to work and raising the possibility that my contract may not be renewed if I’m physically unable to perform my duties. My doctor recommended surgery to help relieve my back pain, which should allow me to continue to work and get back to my normal lifestyle. But my insurer twice denied my doctor’s request for an MRI, and then denied coverage for the back surgery I need on three separate occasions. I was finally able to get approval for my surgery, but only after I made a last-ditch appeal to my state insurance board. The entire experience made me feel like I don’t matter, and that there are all these wonderful medical advances out there that are simply off limits to people like me.