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Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

No Insurance? Why?

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 16, 2013

Recently, I went to my appointment with my pain management specialist only to find out he’d left to go form his own practice. They gave me his new contact information. Why they couldn’t have contacted me and saved me the trip in is beyond me, but with health practitioners, not much makes sense these days.

So a couple of days ago, I called the doctor’s new number to schedule an appointment. It’s a post-surgery appointment, for Pete’s sake! It’s kind of important. As I was scheduling my appointment, the woman on the phone told me he wasn’t accepting insurance, so I would have to pay with cash or a money order. I was stunned! Appalled. Mortified. I’ve been out of work for awhile now and can’t afford to pay for health care visits out of pocket. More importantly, I have insurance — good insurance — and isn’t that what it’s there for? Why in the hell isn’t he taking insurance? Well, I’ve heard the reasons lately, mostly from health care practitioners, and it sounds like sour grapes to me. Doctors don’t make the money they used to with insurance. They don’t make enough money. They don’t want to take insurance anymore and would rather have people pay out of pocket so they can pocket all the dough. Greedy bastards! I guess two yachts and three mansions aren’t good enough anymore. I’m sorry, but don’t they understand that if they don’t take insurance, they’ll see a big drop off in patients? People can’t afford to spend $400 for a visit to the damn doctor! I know that’s a drop in the bucket to doctors. To me, that’s a lot of money and I don’t have it. I’m busy making insurance payments with it. Don’t they see this? Do they not care? Are they seriously this greedy and selfish? I’ve heard the sob stories. One of my former doctors said after he pays out his overhead and staff expenses, etc., he makes about as much as a teacher, but I find that very hard to believe. My fiance worked in the healthcare industry and I know plenty of other people who do as well, and I know how many patients these doctors are scheduling and how much they’re charging and I’m pretty convinced they’re not hurting. And besides, why do they have to be so damn greedy? I thought you got into medicine to help your fellow man. Or is that a thing of the past?

This isn’t isolated. A year and a half ago, I was dissatisfied with one of my specialists and started calling around to find a replacement. Not one was taking insurance. So I’m still stuck with this joker of a doctor. A similar situation occurred again about a year ago. I think this is a sign of times to come. Doctors just aren’t going to take insurance cause they want ALL the cash from the visit their patients make to them. And God forbid someone on Medicare or Medicaid seek medical help. All I ever see are signs on doctors’ walls stating they no longer take Medicare patients. WTF? Greedy bastards! I’ve heard people try to get me to pity them by stating that they went to college for eight years and had a residency to make it through and have big college loans. Well, boo hoo. I went to college for 13 years, have three — and nearly four — degrees and will be paying my student loans until I’m nearly 70 years old. And I don’t make anything close to what a doctor makes. No sympathy, sorry.

I’m not sure how to end this blog post. Has anyone reading this had similar experiences? Any advice? Any further thoughts? Any solutions? I’m really worried about the future of healthcare — mine especially — and if our expensive insurance is no longer going to be honored by our doctors, where does that leave us? Screwed, right? Right.

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Household Funk

Posted by Scott Holstad on January 10, 2013

There’s a funk in my household and it’s not from George Clinton. It doesn’t help that it’s dark, bleary, and rainy out either. For me, it started this past weekend when I got a $1,500 bill from my physical therapy place. I was stunned. I shouldn’t be paying a dime; my insurance should. But since it was the weekend, I was left to stew about it until Monday. It really ruined my Sunday and my enjoyment of the NFL playoffs.

When Monday morning came, I called and was told that my insurance company had denied my claims. That made no sense, so I called my insurance company. They looked back in the records three months and told me they hadn’t received one claim from this place for me. So I called the physical therapy place back and, sure enough, they had submitted the wrong subscriber ID. It was an old one from two years ago! I was pissed. I told them that they had a photocopy of my current insurance card, why couldn’t they get it right, and they had no answer. They said they would resubmit the claims. I then drove down to my local physical therapy office and had it out with the receptionist, who I’m sure mis-keyed my ID in the computer. She apologized, but I cancelled the rest of my appointments. I also didn’t like it that I was having to pay a co-pay three times a week, when no other office in town charges me a co-pay and my insurance doesn’t require it. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to them, even if they are supposed to be the best.

Monday night was the NCAA national championship between Alabama and Notre Dame, which Bama, of course, won by killing Notre Dame 42-14. As I’m a Tennessee fan, I’m also an SEC fan, so it was good to see an SEC team win the national championship for the seventh straight year. Talk about domination! But I was still stewing over this bill, and other unpaid bills. I’m unemployed right now, and have lots of bills — and lots of medical bills — piled up waiting to be paid. It’s been pretty rough. And I can’t get that out of my mind. It’s weighing heavily on me.

I’m trying to get my mind off of things by reading. I’m reading one book called The President’s Club, which isn’t a page turner, but is interesting. It’s about the relationships presidents have with former presidents. The other book I’m reading is Scar Tissue, by Anthony Kiedis, the lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I’ve loved the band since the mid-80s, but the book is kind of  depressing because so much of Anthony’s life was caught up in coke and heroin, along with other things. It’s a crazy book, but one I should probably be reading on sunny days.

Of course I’m paying attention to politics. I’m very interested to see what will happen with gun control. I know I’ll probably upset some readers, but I’m in favor of it, and I’m a proud gun lover. I don’t see why we need assault weapons for sale to the general public! Their only use is for killing people! You don’t hunt deer with an AR 15. I also don’t think we need high capacity magazines. Who needs 30 rounds for self protection? Again, those are made for murdering people. I also think there should be background checks for every gun sale, and mental health should be made a greater priority. And I sure as hell DON’T think arming our teachers is the answer! So I’m worried Biden will come back with some of these recommendations, and just when the public is behind the administration, the NRA will swoop in and get its paid off Congressmen to defeat new legislation. I don’t understand how the NRA, with only 4 million members, can hold so much sway over the country. I’ve had arguments with friends and non-friends about this situation, and of course I’ve heard the tired refrain that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Well, people use guns to kill people. Look, the other civilized nations have gun control laws and they have something like 20 or 40 gun murders a year. We have over 10,000!!! It’s not a coincidence. Fewer guns means fewer deaths. It’s that simple. Of course, it won’t mean an immediate stop to crime, and yes, criminals will still find ways to get guns, but these people committing mass murders weren’t criminals. They were nuts. If there had been a decent database to track these types of people, perhaps they never could have bought their guns. It’s a thought, anyway.

Today I have to go to the vet to get some flea medication for the cats. I have to go get a damn flu shot. I promised my fiance I finally would. Didn’t realize it would be killing people. See, the last two times I got flu shots — years ago — I got the flu, so I never get them. I guess I will today though. I have to go to Staple to buy labels. We’re doing our own wedding invitations and they look pretty good. That’s the one bright spot for the week. I’ve really enjoyed working on them, and working on our wedding registry too. These labels are the last thing we need, and then we can mail them out! Exciting.

Since my last surgery last October, I haven’t had TN-type head and facial pain, but I’ve been having a lot of standard headaches. Yesterday I had an all day headache, and it just wouldn’t respond to any type of medication. I’ve also been very tired, and have been having trouble sleeping. I’ve been up since 3:30 AM today. I’m tired and grumpy. I do hope to finish these two books reasonably soon so I can write new book reviews. I have four others that I’m in the middle of, but they’re definitely not page turners, so it’s slow going. I’m really disappointed with the Autobiography of Malcolm X. I’m about a third of the way through it and hoping it improves. So far, he was just a punk.

I’ve also been reading poetry submissions for the magazine I serve as poetry editor for — Ray’s Road Review. I accepted poems from two writers yesterday. One was quite good. I rejected poems from two others. I have about seven more to work through today. They don’t appear to be very promising. I’m trying to finalize the Spring 2013 issue while beginning work on the Summer issue.

My fiance has been down too. She misses her family back North, and is having work issues. She’s frustrated, and it’s frustrating that I can’t help her more.

I guess that’s the end of my diatribe for the day. Sorry if I brought you down. Sorry if I upset too many NRA members. The weather is supposed to be bad through the weekend, but hopefully I’ll be able to recover my good mood somehow. Hopefully my fiance and I will have a good weekend. Until the next time — cheers!

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