Monday, July 06, 2015

4064 Medical insurance, care

Sunday, July 5, 2015

It takes 42 muscles to frown, and only 4 to reach out and smack you.


Want to know if your medical insurance is good?  Don't bother reading online reviews.  Spend a few days in the hospital, especially over the weekend.

When I was hospitalized with pneumonia after Hurricane Sandy, I had doctors coming out of the woodwork, at the rate of about 5 a day.  Lung doctors.  Kidney doctors. Heart doctors.  Infectious medicine specialists. Whatever.  I didn't know who most of them were, or why they were there.  Some didn't do a damn thing, just asked me how I was feeling, and left.  Sometimes my "vitals" were taken by four different doctors (not nurses - although they did it too) every day.  Of course every single one of them submitted a bill.  Also, all kinds of tests and scans were being scheduled - most of which I refused because I saw no reason for them.

The woman in the other bed lived in a badly-maintained low income senior project, and I think she had just medicaid.  The doctor who had admitted her never even stopped by, even though she kept asking for him.  She was given no tests and no medicine.  Every time a nurse came in she told the nurse she still had a lot of pain in her leg, and the nurse said she'd tell the doctor, but the woman was released (pretty much kicked out) before I was, and STILL had not been seen by a doctor.  Not one.  She didn't even have a diagnosis, and she still had the pain.  She cried as she was leaving.

I suspect my insurance and credit rating were much better than hers.


What brought this up was an online comment I just read.  People in other countries do not understand why anyone would be against the ACA.  A Canadian wrote that he noticed a big difference between medical care in the US, and in Canada (where it's all free).  In Canada the first thing a doctor will ask you is what is the problem, where does it hurt.  In the US, the first thing you are asked is whether you can afford the doctor's services, what insurance you have, and you might hear "Oh, oops, I don't accept that insurance, goodbye."



Back when Jay was in the hospital so much, I kept pretty tight control of doctors wandering in.  I'd ask them who, why, what they plan to do for him, and most of them kind of sputtered and said they'd been looking at Jay's records and thought it was an interesting case, so thought they'd stop by and say hello.  And then they'd leave, and they didn't submit bills.  After the first day, I guess the word got around that Jay wasn't a free lunch, and we didn't get drop-ins other than his own known doctors.

I kick myself for not managing my own hospital stay as well, but it's different when you're the one in the bed, I guess.  I need to get over being so compliant.

1 comment:

Becs said...

It is very difficult being the one in the bed. Today is the one year anniversary of the Night of a Thousand Thank-Yous, where I said thanks to anyone who even wandered into my room. People came and shone bright lights into my eyes and asked me my name. I was left in my bed while I was wheeled hither and yon, still in too much pain to ask any questions. Like, who are you and where are you taking me? And why?

Jay was lucky to have you watching out for him.