Monday, March 31, 2014

Health insurance makes me crazy

I am not one who easily becomes upset, but one word can quickly send me on a tizzy, and that word is "healthcare." This year I am being a grown up and paying for health insurance, and not just a major medical one, but a real one with accessible co-payments. My advice network of parents and some friends encouraged me to go for the "good" heathcare plan which came with a high monthly fee but a low deductible and the chance of truly taking advantage of my insurance benefits this year. But the years is a quarter of the way through, and my monthly payment has only brought rise to my blood pressure, even if the hoops I have been jumping through to use my insurance have been helping me increase my hurdle capabilities. I used to pay a low fee each month to ensure that I would not suddenly be in a bad scenario financially if I had a medical emergency, and shelled out a rather high full fee several times a year each time I needed to see a doctor. This year I have had nothing but frustration, paying my monthly fee without any sort of benefit. Being on the road all over the time makes using insurance rather difficult, having to go see a primary care doctor to get a referral for something you know the primary care doctor will not do anything about is absolutely annoying. I do not think I am being dramatic to say it is insane for a female to need to go to a primary care doctor before being able to make a gynecologist appointment. This kind of appointment is not a privilege but a right, and sometimes a right now sort of thing. And the average person does not make up random stories just to go to dermatologists, so having to go to the primary care doctor just to get a referral to go to a dermatologist is not only a waste of time and money, but having to wait an hour and a half as the absolute patient of the day, then finding out you have to cancel your appointment because a week was not enough time for the doctor to fax a letter with a referral number to the dermatologist of your choice (within network of course) is unacceptable.

I have noticed people who hear discussion about doctors automatically assume a person is "ill" or has some health problem, but having preventative care should be about being seen while still relatively healthy, to prevent serious problems, thus keeping health treatments to a minimum and costs down - for both the medical system and the patients. I had a basal cell removed from my skin when I was a young teenager, and have had a couple of other moles removed during my time in graduate school. I continue to keep an eye on some of my moles, and having just returned from the equatorial line where the strong is extremely strong, having a routine mole check seems wise and should be a simple thing to do. But patients who have to go through so many hurtles will eventually give up and decide not to do non-pressing things, and years down the line maybe some mole will become a cancerous problem that could have been easily avoided. I am not one to preoccupy about health, but do think prudence is....shall I say...prudent.

I am all for healthcare being available to all people, but as someone who works hard to earn her income, watching my monthly insurance bill come and go without the basic treatment I seek brings me nothing but frustration, especially knowing I could take that same fee and go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and still have money for a major medical insurance.

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