Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I love insurance

So my orthopedically old shoulder and I had an MRI today. It was supposed to be two weeks ago, but of course something crazy happened with insurance, and I had to reschedule.

Let me tell you about insurance. Some of you may remember that they refused to pay our hospital bill when Grace was born. Our insurance switched from one company to another on the day she was born, which has apparently never happened in the history of the world, so no one knew what to do about it. It didn't get taken care of until eight months later. EIGHT MONTHS. Do you know what would happen if we didn't pay a bill for eight months?

I'm pretty sure there was some kind of hang-up with Emmy's birth, too, but I don't remember. I was surviving having two kids who couldn't even walk yet.

And then this past year, two doctor visits were deemed unnecessary by my insurance and were therefore not paid for several more months. One was a physical; the other was a well-woman exam.

I have had it up to HERE with insurance. And we have one of the "good" companies. On paper, we have fantastic health coverage. In practice, it's more like pulling teeth. Which we also have insurance for.

So. The day of my shoulder appointment a couple of weeks ago, I got another appointment scheduled for an MRI. When I called the hospital to pre-register, our insurance came up as not existing at all. We were uninsured as of February 28th. I gave birth to a baby cow right there, screamed at the wall, and then called Jeremy.

He called a bunch of people, and finally we got it straightened out. Our health insurance was still through his old office in Wisconsin, which we moved away from over two years ago. It was switched over the day that I called the hospital to pre-register for my appointment. Apparently this has also never happened before in the history of the world; I wonder what they would have done if I'd been in a car accident and had gone to the ER.

So I had to call my doctor's office again to schedule an MRI again, and you all know how I feel about the telephone. The lady at my doctor's office, she is kind and well-meaning, but I do not think she has very good verbal comprehension. I have the same problem on the phone. It's part of the reason I hate talking on it so much. I sometimes feel like I'm listening to a language that doesn't exist yet. I call it telephone Aspberger's. I'm always taking offense at innocuous comments, or laughing at really inappropriate times, or not understanding any words coming at me through the earpiece.

HOWEVER. I have never attempted to hold a job which required me to communicate over the telephone. This lady, it is her job. So it was very frustrating to repeat, over and over again (I wrote it down ahead of time so I would not be confusing), "I was there a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Lee told me to schedule an MRI at the hospital through this office. My appointment fell through because of an insurance mix-up. So I need to reschedule, please." I have dealt with her in person before, so I know she is not stupid. But I felt like I was talking to a three-year-old.

Finally, FINALLY, it got scheduled for today. I was all excited, imagining it like an episode of House, but it wasn't. The hospital was almost as nice (there is a water feature in the outpatient waiting room that is absolutely mesmerizing, the lighting is pleasant, and the heat is at an adequate temperature for someone with no shoes on), but otherwise it was completely boring. I almost fell asleep. I would have fallen asleep if I hadn't drank four cups of coffee this morning. First it was the itchy skin, and then I had to pee. There was no TOCK TOCK TOCK TOCK like on TV. Mostly a loud, electronic hum, with a few beeps here and there, and a subtle yet soothing vibration. I felt like a swaddled baby in a buzzing rocker.

The tech wasn't allowed to tell me anything about what he saw (as I expected), but he did say that their specialist was in that very morning, and since I had an early appointment, the results would probably be done tomorrow. That doesn't mean I will necessarily hear about it tomorrow, but hopefully my doctor will.

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