Insurance….I haven’t mentioned it much. This blog will take more than one, so it will have to come in parts.
There are so many bills from hospitals, doctors, labs… it is so confusing and so difficult to keep track of, let alone considering that you are on medication that is designed to numb the brain. Most of the time, I would receive a summary first. At the top in bold letters – THIS IS NOT A BILL This summary would get sent to the insurance company which would usually deny all or part or most of it. Then the hospital or doctor or lab will begin sending you bills, actual bills …or not.
Because it was so confusing, I saved everything. Well, everything that I thought I should save, which is most everything. There were moments of lucidity, when I felt brave enough to tackle this growing stack of bills. I would find the THIS IS NOT A BILL and attach it to the insurance denial of reimbursement. In a certain mood, it is actually quite amusing.
In August 2009 I felt clear headed enough to balance the checkbook – of which it is embarrassing to admit that hadn’t been done for months and months. At the time, we were fortunate to have enough ‘cushion’ that it wasn’t critical. (of course that has all changed due to the 2009 depression and our business and medical problems).
But back to August. I was confused, because I could see that my insurance company, Assurant Health was automatically debiting my monthly payments – not once, but twice and for different amounts. My husband and I had an individual family policy – we hadn’t had insurance through an employer for over 10 years.
So I called them. The lady on the phone was shocked and had no explanation. Looking back through my records, I could see that in April 2009 – in the midst of my chemo treatments – Assurant Health had issued me a new policy. Everything was the same, everything was the same….except for the policy number and the amount due. So, instead of cancelling and reissuing, I had two policies. Great.
They promptly cancelled one and refunded me the money. Now, my son-in-law accuses me of being a conspiracy theorist, of which I deny. But, in this instance, I am guilty and do believe it was deliberate. If I had missed a payment – bingo bongo, they would have cancelled my policy. There are many instances of insurance companies cancelling policies on breast cancer patients, too many to count, but the horrors came to light during the health care debate.
So, what was even more inane, is that now all my hospitals, doctors and labs were being denied because “I” had cancelled the policy. Here we are almost four years later, and there are still unresolved bills out there, of which I only recently learned of.
I have a primary care physician that is currently researching the true costs of healthcare. I have given him all of my records of bills from insurance and providers – there are over 137, and I may not have all of them, I am now learning. This man is educated and not doped up, and it has taken him weeks to sort through – and I had everything organized by date and gave him a timeline of my procedures. On the telephone, discussing all the bills, he shared with me that he wished he had another patient like me that was as compulsive and meticulous, for comparison. Hilarious.
His website is www.truecostofhealthcare.org