Monday, September 22, 2008
Health insurance is complicated and confusing. And I'm not talking about whether we need a universal healthcare coverage plan in this country (I'm not going there; at least not today). I'm talking about my personal health insurance plan. It is CRAZY what I can and cannot do under my current insurance plan. For instance, I can get prescriptions from my PCP (that's insurance speak for 'primary care physician') filled at the school's pharmacy. But prescriptions from a doctor outside that school's medical system cannot be filled there; they have to go to a partner pharmacy that the insurance company accepts. Additionally, all of my lab tests have to be preformed by one lab and analyzed them. No exceptions.
The particular laboratory I'm required to go to by my insurance has been hounding me for weeks for unpaid bills. This blows my mind. I go the lab they recommend, I check (before going to said lab) to be sure they'll cover the cost of the test, and then I follow through at the specified lab. What more can I do? Why does the lab call me saying that I have thousands of dollars worth of unpaid bills?
My most recent message from the laboratory said that they will start refusing to provide services for me (and the baby when he/she arrives) if I don't pay my outstanding bills. Obviously this caught my attention...
I called the lab this morning to see what the problem was (and was even ready to set up a payment plan if in fact my insurance wouldn't cover my prenatal blood glucose test or blood work). Much to my surprise (and DELIGHT) the laboratory had entered my insurance information into their system incorrectly. They made the correction to my insurance policy number and, BAM, I owed only $12 for nine months worth of laboratory work.
As grateful as I am for my insurance, I am curious what people without insurance do? Just visiting a doctor is expensive. I've had the most uncomplicated pregnancy known to mankind (knock on wood) and still the bills (co-pays) have been more than I expected. And the costs for the actual procedures, which are mostly covered by insurance, are outrageous. What is one to do if they don't have insurance? The answer is beyond me...
Baked today: lemon bread (using leftover lemons from David's catering venture last weekend) and marinated tofu.
Currently: at the library taking a break from studying statistics. One more chapter to read before Wednesday's study group.