Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News

Funny story.

I go to school. I go to school some more. I get a job. I get a good job. I get a better job. I get a great job.

My great job has great benefits. One of the benefits is health insurance. Top of the line health insurance, for the family and me.

I find a doctor. Good guy, he doesn't nag me, offers to help me when he can. He helps me quit smoking. I smoked for twenty-five years. I haven't smoked for five. I still don't know whether to thank him for that.

Sometimes I go see him just to be safe. Mostly I go when my kids are sick or need a check up. The doctor and I talk then and he tells me when I should come back for myself.

A few weeks ago I start to hurt. My back hurts, my arm hurts, my hand hurts. Probably a pinched nerve, something like that. I think it's going to get better. It doesn't.

I want to see my doctor. Probably a simple fix. Some physical therapy or something.

Too bad. My health insurer and my doctor's employer are fighting over rates. The largest insurer in the state and the third largest provider can't work out reimbursements. As of Saturday, I'll join 50,000 other people who can no longer see their doctor without paying an out of network premium. A premium that for all practical purposes most of us can't afford.

So. I'm sick and I can't see the doctor I know and trust.

This is working out well.

18 comments:

Pinko Punko said...

fücking büllshit fucking motherfück. excuse my møøse.

I always treat trusting my doctor as a bonus, so I pretend square one is the SOP. We've never really been in one place, and I am only just this far out of student health care and I finally have a doctor I trust and he goes and sticks his finger up me bum.

How much is the out of network premium, and since he is just gonna refer you to someone else, can you do just one appt? Can he refer you back to someone else that is in network? Is it some big clique?

I am sad for Snag.

Snag said...

Thank you PP. I am more sad, though, for people who don't have the option of deferring a new electronics purchase in order to get well.

Fücking büllshit fucking motherfück. Our health care system in a nutshell.

Pinko Punko said...

Oh don't I know it. I only had to pay 10 bucks for my ear rocks. Funny how the super rich get their health care paid for. Because they're (we're) worth it!

I want to punch someone. Socialize that motherfücker. What a dirty word.

"But it costs so much to pay for health care."

"But it costs more to not pay for health care."

gregor samsa said...

Now is probably not the time to tell you about my experience in New Zealand..... A GP visit cost me $30 (free if I wasn't able to afford it). A three month prescription cost $3. The GP has great hours, including Saturday, and is available until 7:30 PM twice a week. Plus he's a hell of a nice guy. Mmmmmmmmmm SOCIALISM!

Anyhoo Snag - do you need us to take up a collection for you? Because you know that we'd do it! Get checked out by your doctor. It's worth it.

fish said...

I avoid the high cost of health care by studiously avoiding the doctor at all costs. I am pretty sure if you rub a little WD40 on the affected area, you will feel fine.

I am more sad, though, for people who don't have the option of deferring a new electronics purchase in order to get well.

This is exactly the shit that cobags like George Will can't seem to grasp. On purpose I suspect.

Righteous Bubba said...

Insurance, huh? Nifty word. What's it mean?

Snag said...

I tried to get the Lovely Bride to rub some oil on me but she didn't believe that's where it hurt.

Basically, I have two choices. I can either find another doctor, one who's in the network, or I can write a check for the out-of-network cost of seeing my current doctor.

I'll probably find another doctor; the out-of-network cost isn't cheap. Besides, I'll probably get referred to someone besides my primary care physician. The out-of-network costs for a specialist or physical therapist within my current provider's organization would be truly exorbitant.

But, if I go to a new doctor, he or she is understandably going to want to spend time getting background information. And the new clinic will have to set up all the necessary paperwork for its records. Both of these will just add to the inefficiencies and costs of treating me.

I'm still fortunate. For my family, medical care will only be more inconvenient or more expensive. It'll still be accessible, though, which is more than it is for an awful lot of people.

What a stupid system.

Jennifer said...

I tried to get the Lovely Bride to rub some oil on me but she didn't believe that's where it hurt.

Eeeeew!

That sounds exactly like something Grizzled would say except he'd probably even say that if I were the one who was hurt... rubbing oil on him should still make me feel better.

Brando said...

Are you trying to suggest that the free market can't make us all healthier, wealthier, and wise? Don't you understand that private health care gives you a choice? A choice between seeing the doctor you want and the one you can afford? Do you think the Taliban have that choice?

In short, why do you hate freedom, Snag?

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I hate to be the problem, but you should have gone sooner.

Having said that, AG has been a broken record champion saying the problem is health care is insurance providers. Plain and simple.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

P.S. Brando, health care is not part of the free market. Health does not act, nor is it, like a market good such as a TV or a car. I can write up a post on this, if you would like.

fish said...

I tried to get the Lovely Bride to rub some oil on me but she didn't believe that's where it hurt.


I think the filtbot virus has finally infected the last holdout.

Unless you don't count Kathleen because most of her raunchiest jokes are completely unintentional.

Snag said...

I think my insurer is run by the Taliban.

Brando said...

Would that be Blue Crescent, Blue Shield?

I hope things are okay. Probably better to go see the in-network guy.

Kathleen said...

Dude that suh-ucks. (it needs the extra syllable).

I had some not fun medical times this year, and I really feel your pain.

I hope you get treated soon!

Pinko Punko said...

Yeah, but did you have ear rocks?

Kathleen said...

I though "ear rocks" were Pinko's styling diamond earrings he sports.

rotten mcdonald said...

Another triumph for the Greatest Health Care System in The World!!!1!!eleven!!

I hope that one of the doctors is helpful, though.

And maybe you can get the other one to stick his finger up your bum.