Monday, September 27, 2010

don't blow up...

warning: this is a vent post. f-bombs will be dropped.

Don't blow up, don't blow up, don't blow up (my mantra while on the phone with insurance company). Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry (my mantra after hanging up with insurance et al, companies). Unfortunately I don't work on mondays so that is the day I get to deal with any medical crap I've been putting off. Believe it or not I'm still dealing with misc medical bills from my last surgery in february. I had to have some additional path work done in april because of some strange healing my body was doing. I don't even remember the name of the cells they scrapped out of me at my doc's office. I had put that all behind me. The office visit was covered as part of my surgery costs. But my doc sent the path to the hospital (because it is right there and quicker) instead of a private lab, thus my insurance company wants to stick me with the bill as part of my deductible. I say a lab is a lab is a lab so why should I pay for it? The hospital says the same thing so I'll be going for round three of phone calls after already talking to insurance, doc's office and hospital a couple of times. At the very least, if I don't win my hospital said they would knock 25% off the bill. So one lesson learned right there: find out from your insurance company which labs they will allow you to use and then make sure your doctor's office only sends your shit to those labs. Yeah, I know most of us assume that once we find a doctor that is in-network that our work is done but it ain't. We must ask about every procedure and every lab and every other thing that might get billed. Did you know that if you're having surgery that you'd better make sure that everyone involved is in-network? Including the anesthesiologist and the radiologists and the pathologists. It's a little hard to do sometimes because we don't even know all the details and who is even involved outside of the doc we searched so hard to find.

They tell you not to have regrets after we make our decisions because we do the best we can at the time. We don't have the luxury of hindsight. But I do have regrets. I wish I had kept my original insurance plan. I used to have in-network only insurance with no deductible that covered 100% of my bills. I only was responsible for co-pays. It was beautiful and stress free. I paid $50 for each lumpectomy and my breast mri. That was it! I wouldn't be worried or responsible for this dumb lab bill right now. I would have saved $1800 on my hysterectomy. But no, I was all hell bent on going to an out-of-network plastic surgeon so I switched coverage. I'm not sure what I was thinking cuz I didn't have the money for that surgery let alone money to travel and stay out of town for the ten days it would require. And I got stuck with a huge bill for seeing that out-of-network surgeon. $450 for a one hour consult. Yeah, I ended up only having to pay for half of it but I would rather have used that money for snowboarding or groceries. Oh well, at least I saved $900 by skipping my radiation treatments. If I could do things over I think I would have paid $100 to have my diep and mastectomies here in town and be done with this whole mess. Talked to my insurance company to make sure my upcoming breast mri is covered and find out that I will be responsible for a deductible for that. Possibly $350 but I'm not sure. It's all a little confusing to me. So while I had the best intentions to get that done soon, I think I will have to wait til january because I am not spending that kind of dough on a deductible this late in the year since it all starts over from scratch again in january. Again: wish I had kept my old coverage!!!

I am tired of this fight. Oh yeah, happy fucking Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer (HBOC) week.


  1. Sometimes it's ok to blow up - It happens to all of us. And you're right, hindsight is twenty/twenty. I hope you feel better after venting...

  2. There is a special place in hell reserved for those insurance company folks who thought all these "rules" up. Too bad we won't be there to see them squirm.
    One tactic that sometimes works for me - I ask them, would you treat me this way if I was your daughter/wife/mother...whichever one I think will work. It sometimes melts the ice in their black little hearts.

  3. It took me a day, Teri, but feeling better again. Almost ready to give the insurance company another call.
    D - thanks for making me laugh and for assuming I'm not going to hell!