Monday, July 6, 2009

Meanderings: There ain't no winnin'

I started my day with a call to United Healthcare which runs the medical plan at my company.

"Hey," I said, "I'm calling because there's got to be some mistake here. I went for my annual Gyn exam, and it cost me six hundred dollars."

"It sure does sound like there's something off." the lady on the other end replies.

"Well, when I got to the doctor," I tell her, "I found out my doctor doesn't take your insurance. But heck, I'm really quite attached to her, so I figured I'd pay out of pocket. But then she sent me for a mammogram which was in network, but I get a bill from the hospital. So I figure that's that. But it's not, 'cause then I get another bill from the guy who read the mammogram."

"Did the hospital charge you the agreed upon amount?" she asks.

"What's that?"

"95 dollars. And I see the radiologist charged 54. But don't worry because it all goes to your 300 dollar deductible."

"Okay, but I'm not finished. Then I get a bill for 142 dollars for my pap smear. Lady, I am 51 years old. In all my life, I've never paid more than 25 dollars for a pap smear. I thought it was like a rule that a yearly mammogram and pap smear was part of a health insurance policy. You know, all that bullshit about preventative medicine and all. Are you telling me that 142 dollars is the discount price you negotiated? We're not talking about brain surgery here, you know."

"Well, that's the policy your company arranged. And as I said, it does go toward the deductible." Now she's not sounding quite as nice. You might even say she sounds a bit exasperated.

"All right," I counter. "That's why I sent in an out of network claim for the doctor."

"Oh, that's the one for 200 dollars. We were missing some information. Let me transfer you to someone who can help you with that."

My next customer service rep is Christina. "Oh," she tells me, "There was some information missing."

"What was missing?" I ask.

"The doctor's name, address..."

"Wait a minute, I attached her pre-printed receipt as instructed."

"Well, we need the codes."

"Ma'am, it was all on the receipt. I saw it."

"Was the the doctor's taxpayer ID on the receipt?" Christina's getting a little defensive. "We need it to pay the claim."

"Lady," now I'm losing it, " You don't need her number. You have to pay me, and you have my number."

"It's a federal law."

"It's federal law that you need her tax id to pay me? Okay, what do I need to do? After all, I should satisfy the 400 dollar out of network deductible and get some money back."

"Oh no," she informs me, "that's a separate deductible. You have to spend 400 dollars with the out of network doctor."

" You gotta be kidding. Well, I'm going to complain to my company. Better yet, I'm going to write to your CEO. Scams like this are exactly why we are going to wind up with Obamacare. And you know what, Christina you ain't gonna have a job."

The moral of the story: check your insurance before you go to the doctor.

My morning entertainment done, I spend the rest of my day off attempting to quit smoking. Of course, since I'm trying to quit for the umpteenth time, I smoke double. Here's a primer. Before the bleeding heart Democrats got in power, I paid 2.69 for a pack of cigarettes. Today, thanks to them and the other misbegotten offspring of randomly copulating camels who call themselves the Florida legislature, I pay $5.35. Let me 'splain. At a pack a day, that comes out roughly to $160.00 a month. At two packs, that's $320.00 So at my house that translates to about $600.00 a month. Since I can't afford that, but I can't quit, I am freaking.

But they don't care about me. Even worse the prating hypocrite Dems don't care about the poor. It is the poor who smoke. These cigarette increases represent what is surely the most regressive tax ever passed. What was that Mr. Obama about not raising taxes on those earning less than 200 thou? Unfuckingbelievable.

I console myself. As I was on the beach at Manatee County over the weekend, where I go because the upscale elitists who run Sarasota want the beach all to their nonsmoking selves, I was struck by a thought. It is an observation I first made as I sat in the waiting room at the hospital where my mother was dying and where smoking was not allowed on the grounds of the entire campus. If there were ever a time for a cigarette.... I was looking at the photos of the ladies who run the hospital, each more porcine than the other, as if vying for the Petunia Pig award.

Well, the beach yesterday was full of fat, white flesh. And they're coming for you next, baby. And you know what, I ain't gonna give a damn. What was that Shirley Jackson story? See ya.

1 comment:

fermi said...

Could you imagine if you didn't have medical insurance? Mon Dieu, those tests etc. would've cost you.....well, NOTHING since you'd be 'entitled' and someone else (Government, taxpayers, hospitals, those paying for their own insurance) would be picking up the tab. As for quitting smoking, you REALLY don't want to, nor should you HAVE to, so cost is not a sufficiently motivating factor. I have a daughter, presently unemployed, who is spending her 'savings' at a rate of $9 per pack to feed her habit. She feels EXACTLY like you about government intrusion on her right to do whatever she wants to her lungs. And I can see her (your) point. I am among those white fleshed fatties who likes his ribeye rare and his baked potato dripping with butter, ( add a bottle of Heitz Cellars cabernet and you've got a meal made in heaven.) But I'm already being 'advised' not to eat my beef rare, and to consider the lowfat manmade option to butter. There's a top shelf burger joint in my area that won't serve less than a 'medium' done beast pattie, and sizzles fries and onion rings in trans fat free oil only. The camel has its nose in the tent......