Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Oh Healthcare, I Don't Care
I’ve mentioned our glorious new high-deductible plan in passing. If only there were a word to actually describe the sucking of this plan. It’s the suckiest plan that ever sucked. EVER! SUCKED!! I prize correct grammar over almost everything else, so you know how serious I am about not being able to find adequate phrasing.
Mathematically, I am informed that this plan is actually a good deal…as “deals” go in healthcare. On a per-month basis, my premiums look quite loverly. But, you see, those per-month premiums cover NOTHING. Anything that isn’t considered preventive (which, hey, includes BIRTHING A CHILD) is not covered at all until you reach a deductible. And then it is only covered at about 60-80%.
Allow me to relate the fun we’ve had with this new insurance plan:
I won’t give the exact amount, but I paid quite a bit for Wee ‘Burb’s birth. I stayed in the hospital for 5 days. I had no choice, they would not release me after my surgery until then. And this is what I tried to explain to the people at the insurance company when I got the bill. I pointed out it was rather punitive not to consider the surgery part of preventive care…again, there was no choice. The baby has to come out some way, right? You cover NINE MONTHS of pregnancy and then when the baby actually, ya know, COMES OUT, I start footing the bill? It’s a natural result of the nine months you’ve been covering, yes? Or am I to be pregnant forever? Cuz nine months felt like forever enough, thank ya!
Then I got notice about our biometric screening "credit." So we’re required to do these biometric screenings for the “credit.” And it just says “go to any convenience care clinic” on the form. Just keep that in mind. Any convenience care clinic.
So, a few weeks ago I call insurance to be sure they will cover a flu shot for Wee ‘Burb if we go to a convenience care clinic. The response I get is less than confidence-inducing: “well, sort of.”
Huh? Yeah, sort of.
As in, the only convenience care considered in our network is Minute Clinic. Target wishes you to know with a million signs that they are NOT a Minute Clinic. Which is ever so excellent information not so much imparted to me from Doctor Cashier as she told me “oh we’ve done a bunch of these biometric screenings.”
Cool. What do you want a cookie? Oh, sure, you can find those in aisle 6. Let me just stick you with this needle first.
Incidentally, the flu shot! Moms, have you not been INUNDATED with people telling you to get the flu shot for your baby? Magazines, e-mail newsletters, everyone is telling me that child needs to be injected like yesterday. Only, nobody would do it! The convenience care clinics refuse to treat those under 18 months!! And Wee ‘Burb’s doctor put us on a waiting list for almost a month! I heard maybe there was a recall of some dosages, but seriously! A waiting list?
So now we’re in that fun open enrollment time where you get to pick the least sucky plan. It’s kind of like politics, you know? There’s major faults with every single candidate, but you have to pick one, and that pick will effect you life for months to come. And you don’t get a do-over if you realize you pick the wrong one.
So I’m trying to put as much thought as humanly possible into this. And I consult Scott. Who actually says to me, in this adorably naïve way: “I wanted to get back on my old medicine. I was waiting for your plan to get better.”
Awww, it’s cute how he thinks healthcare is somehow going to improve. It’s kind of like believing in the tooth fairy, or the Easter Bunny, or Social Security or something.