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Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Insurance - Need it, Hate it
So here's a good one for your Tuesday reading pleasure. I tried to make an appointment for my annual lady-parts exam AND so that my doctor can check out a pain I've been having in my abdomen. Seems simple enough, no? The appointment lady (AL) says, "We can't schedule you for an annual exam and a general exam at the same time." Um, excuse me? I said, "Hmmmm, that's weird." I mean, don't people normally "save up" some questions for their doctor so they can get it taken care of all at once? I can't talk to my doctor about more than one problem in one visit?

The AL goes on to say that insurance companies are starting to not cover exams in which more than one issue is covered.

What the shit is that? I have to make TWO appointments and pay TWO co-pays for something that can be covered in ONE exam. It seems like they are making more paperwork, more hassles and wasting money for everyone involved. AL went ahead and scheduled me for the general exam, since the pain is more important than the annual, and she offered to check with my insurance company to see if they would cover everything at once. Sheesh. Why is it so hard to get your parts looked at?

Update: I totally should have waited to ask her in person, but I'm so dippy when I'm at the doctor I forget my questions and fail to mention important things. I have a history of doing this. I really don't know if it's the insurance co. or the office, but I'm inclined to think the office. Why would the insurance want to pay for two visits? It doesn't make any sense. All I know is, I'm going on Tuesday for the pain (I'm hoping there is nothing wrong with my ovary), and maybe I can sweet talk her into a pelvic exam. If I have a few drinks before hand, I could be extra flirtly.


26 Comments:

Blogger Carrie said...

I feel ya. Insurance companies are getting a bit insane. Two exams? That's stupid. Just another chance to screw us around. Sometimes, I think it's actually cheaper not to have insurance - but there's always the fear of something really extreme happening and getting screwed.

Blogger Shell said...

I would have scheduled my lady exam and then when I was in there mention that I had that other problem too. Your Doc would have been hostage and liable if he said he couldn't look at that right now without another appointment.

Insurance companies are a pain in the ass. I read a report though that they are losing money big time because the cost of medicine is going up so much. Plus Docs send you to have tests run to cover their asses (like my CAT scan for what ended up being a root canal) so they don't get sued for malpractice. I think the only ones making money are the Docs.

Trust me...you don't want to go without insurance. Just my little CAT scan with insurance cost me $250. I can't imagine what it would have been like without.

Blogger liberalbanana said...

That is ridiculous! I'm with Shell - just mention the other problem when you're already being examined. They always ask me if I've been experiencing any problems; I can't imagine that they're going to stop asking that... Seriously, that's unbelievable! I hate insurance companies!

Blogger TBG said...

I hate insurance more than anything.

Damn what a nightmare. It is the multiple co pay bullshit that pisses me off. I already pay enough in insurance!

Blogger TBG said...

Oh and just schedule an apponintment for 1 and then for 2 so they have to see you back to back. Have to pay two copays but only have to take one afternoon off from work.

Blogger Mama C said...

I would have done what Shell said. One appt. and mention it.

Insurance sucks.

Blogger Shell said...

Hey...I saw one of your pics on Lucky Lum's site...so cute!!

Because insurance executives are frequently men and we all know how stupid they are.

Blogger Kether said...

I know. I had a fit about that a month ago when I had to do the same thing.
It makes no sense. Wouldn't an insurance company prefer to pay only one office visit fee? I think it is the DOCTORS who want more money and this way an bill seperately.

I did what shell did and as soon as I mentioned the other stuff the doc made me make another appointment.

I love the back to back appointment times! HA!

Blogger Tx Mom said...

That is ridiculous!

Blogger Linlee said...

That is totally insane! Make your yearly exam appt. and just mention your pains.
I just got paperwork yesterday in the mail that I couldn't believe. My dr wants my hubby to take a test for HIS research but he wants us to pay the fee to have it done. If his research is so important I think he can pay the small fee. It's just the principle of it!

Anonymous Jen said...

Insurance companies are the devil incarnate. Both my parents are self-employed, and when I was in college they paid something like $1000 a month to have insurance for themselves, me, and my two siblings. Then, when I got injured running and needed MRIs, they denied the claim for rediculous reasons. Luckily, my school (grudgingly) covered the costs, which were about $2000 per MRI, because I had several done and I sure couldn't afford those bills NOW, let alone when I was in school and only worked 15 hours as week.

I don't think the doctors coming out on top lately -- especially not OBGYNs. i don't know who to blame -- insurance, pharma companies, our government for not having a better system, etc -- but I would go the route of not mentioning the pains until you're already there too. Maybe it's not too late, if you just mention them to the doc when you're there for the annual? I'd hate to sound sexist, but I can only think that a man came up with the idea that two exams involving stirrups is better than one.

Blogger Kami said...

How stupid!

Next time, don't complain about the pain until you are there.

Dude, that sucks big time. I had the same shit happen to me with my OB. I had some "consultation" question that wasn't maternity related, so that fucker charged me a SEPERATE co-pay. I don't know how much of that is insurance stuff and how much of that is doctor-needs-more-money stuff.

Anonymous wendy boucher said...

I've seen this at my doc's offices too. You made the right choice to check out the pain. It's probably not anything serious but there's no reason to put up with pain. I'm having a D&C in a couple of weeks for a stupid polyp myself. I've also had cysts recently but they are resolving on their own. Girl stuff. Bleh.

Blogger Lilah Mum said...

That is so dumb. Yeh, I have to agree with everyone about mentioning the pain. What a ridiculous scam.

Blogger The Old Lady said...

There is something wrong if you have to sweet talk your doctor into a pelvic exam!

Blogger Ravinnia said...

Oh wow that is just pathetic. I agree with what others said about going in for the pelvic and mentioning the pain. Let us know what happens (if they make you schedule another appt). Good luck!

Blogger Cheeky said...

I work in HR - don't get me started on insurance companies - its just one giant rackett - but in this case it sounds more like AL wanted to get as much $$ as possible.....wonder if the doc knows about this.....the office people tend to do things like this without the doc knowing....

Blogger Shell said...

Well stop thinking of ways to get your pelvic exam for free and go do the assignment on my blog. I tagged you. You must do it. Think of it as a test for going back to college. ~Hugs~

Blogger Lisa said...

Gah. HATE doing the lady exam -- whether the gyno is cute or not.

Blogger Celina said...

I'd go with Shell's suggestion. At least that's what I do. Of course, trying to REMEMBER all my recent ailments isn't exactly easy (maybe keep a running tab in a small notebook). Yeah, that's what I should DO!
Insurance/Doctors SUCK! Hubby had to go in to get his back checked. He waited almost an hour, then they only took 15 minutes, to schedule ANOTHER appointment for him to get x-rays! After the x-rays, he needed a 3rd appointment to go over results & get prescription for pain meds! WHAT JERKS!!
And "they" wonder why we don't go to the doctors as often as we're "supposed" to!?!

Blogger Fightin' Mad Mary said...

I bring a 4*6 notecard of questions/topics I want to cover to every doctors visit.

Put one in your purse the week before you go - then write down stuff as it comes to mind.
You don't want to waste the doctors time - this helps keep you on topic and to the point.

Blogger Tammy said...

I hate insurance companies. But, that bullshit with the doc is ridiculas. They don't have to bill it as 2 separate things. They could bill it as one. Asshats. All about the buck.

Blogger wordgirl said...

What if they two-or-more issues are RELATED!!! Did the insurance companies ever think of that? Huh? Huh? Are they suggesting that you make two appointments to talk about two issues which might possibly end up leading to a single diagnosis? Are these people stupid or just criminally insane?

Blogger Lucky Lum said...

I hate how insurance companies preside over our medical choices.

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