Archive for June, 2013
The American health care system is made to screw people. No insurance company wants to actually pay for things, so they make it as impossible as they can to get any coverage. It’s compounded if you have the cheap insurance that forces you to go to low-rent medical care places.
I’ve had the nice, swanky insurance before. You don’t have to constantly be jumping through hoops in order to get things done. On the other side, the customer service is way better, probably because they have more money to hire more people and properly train them so they are not overworked and cranky all the time. Thus, you can get conflicts and questions resolved in a more timely manner than with the crappy insurance.
So now I have new insurance. It costs way more than the old insurance, yet also the co-pays are more. For a doctor’s office visit I have to pay a co-pay of $25 now instead of $14, like the last place. Also, medication is $25 instead of $12 for the one drug I was on and $14 for the other one. So, now I have to pay $50 just for the privilege of getting refills on my prescriptions every month (the ghetto clinic requires one to see a therapist in order to see a person who can prescribe you drugs, so I have to go to twice the appointments than I would if I went to a place that just hired psychiatrists that could provide both services, but these places are impossible to get appointments at). And the drugs themselves are now $50 per month instead of the old $26. Oh yeah, the prescriptions are administered by yet another company, so I have to call them and have a separate insurance card (which of course I haven’t gotten yet) just to get drugs.
The latest exciting hurdle in all this is now I need a “prior authorization” form for one of the drugs I’ve been taking for at least one year. This means I have to bring some form to the doctor’s office and have them contact the insurance company to let them know it’s OK for me to be on this drug (that I’ve been taking for over a year). Obviously I have all the time in the world to go running around to different offices to get forms to make sure I’m not trying to game the system! This will take 3-5 business days to go through. What the hell, my prescription already ran out 6 weeks ago, what’s another week of waiting?
I also need a “prior authorization” for birth control, apparently because god forbid anyone try to not get pregnant without as many hurdles as possible. Ironically, this insurance also doesn’t cover abortions, so I think they WANT me to get pregnant. That doesn’t make any sense since then they’d have to cover prenatal exams and hospitals for delivery and all that good stuff. What am I saying? They probably don’t cover any of these things anyway. Plus, there’s a $2000 deductible, so I’m not about to seek medical care for anything anyway. I have almost $2000 in my savings account, and it’s taken me years to amass this much money! I think of it as my Travel Budget and that I’m going to use it to go someplace cool for a vacation, but I know I will just end up blowing it all on rent when I’m unemployed in September. Since it will only cover like 2.5 months of rent, I don’t want to think about it.
So basically, the American Health Care system AND my life are both total bullshit.
Republicans don’t think that we should have state health care because why should poor people be healthy? Fuck ’em, they’re obviously poor because they’re lazy. However, how will the rich maintain their lifestyles if all the poor people die because of bad health? Who will clean their pools? Who will fix their cars, work in their factories, buy their products and consume their mass media? Rich people, admit it– you need the great unwashed classes in order to stay on top. You need someone to exploit– why keep them sick and miserable? Is it because the blood of the working class is an expendable, highly renewable resource? Maybe THAT’S why they’re so against birth control and abortion– they need to be sure there will always be a disposable impoverished class whose backs they can stand on!
My 3-month odyssey of acquiring health insurance reached a pinnacle of stupidity today. AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! Warning: this is boring. I’m just writing it down to clear my head.
TIMELINE OF IRRITATION:
December 2012: Four Seasons Greenery, the plant company I work for, is sold to New England Foliage. My hours, wage, accounts, everything remain exactly the same.
January 2013: New England Foliage changes the payroll over to a 2-week pay cycle instead of the 1-week cycle Four Seasons had. They forget to pay me every other week for 4 weeks.
February 2013: Commonwealth Care sends me a notice that I need to submit a form verifying my change of employment (apparently because the company changed hands it’s considered a change of jobs). However, I DON’T GET THIS MAIL BECAUSE MY ROOMMATES ARE LAZY SLOBS WHO THROW ALL THE MAIL ON THE TABLE AND THEN GETS BURIED AND SHOVELED ELSEWHERE
March 2013: I get a notice that my insurance is about to be cancelled. Of course I don’t get this either, see reason above.
April 2013: I go to renew a prescription and am informed by the pharmacy that my insurance is cancelled. I call the company and find out what’s happened. I call Commonwealth Care and they tell me I need to send in a new form which includes pay stubs.
April 2013: New England Foliage figures out they forgot to pay me for 4 weeks and sends me a paycheck making up for the extra hours.
April 2013: all my medication runs out, with no refills, but I can’t even get a refill and pay the non-insurance price for them ($200 some odd) because they won’t let me see my doctor without first seeing the therapist and I can’t afford all these appointments out of pocket.
April 2013: Commonwealth care amazingly sends the form I need in the mail 2 days after I call! I fill it out and FAX (they need to be faxed, causing me to panic since I have no idea where a fax machine is, then I learn you can do this over the internet!) the required 2 pay stubs from each job. Nowhere does it say that you only send in *one* pay stub for a job that pays bi-weekly. I send two, including the one with the make-up hours.
May 2013: Commonwealth care counts the bi-weekly pay as weekly and determine I make too much money for insurance and am no longer eligible. I fax in a new pay stub and explain what’s going on. It apparently takes 56 business days to get this reviewed. In the mean time, I have Health Safety Net, which is only accepted in approved state-run clinics. The clinic closest to my house has a waiting list for new patients and even then you can only make appointments for 2 weeks in the future. Jack, my boss, says this is stupid and offers to pay the difference in what I paid for the state-subsidized insurance to the actual cost.
May 2013: I apply for NON-SUBSIDIZED health care, pay the premium and manage to fax the form I need from Commonwealth Care saying I am no longer eligible in on time! I SEND A CHECK WHICH GETS CASHED. Insurance is slated to begin June 1.
June 3, 2013: I call Commonwealth Choice (who the unsubsidized insurance goes through) to see what my member ID# is so I can make an appointment with the therapist so I can make an appointment with the doctor and get my meds refilled. They tell me everything is awesome on their end, but I have to call Fallon Health Care (the actual insurance company that is contracted by Commonwealth Choice) to get my number. I call Fallon and am not in their system. They tell me they will get my info to the enrollment office and have them give me a call.
Fallon calls me and tells me I am not eligible for Commonwealth Care (DUH I’ve known this since March) and can’t get Fallon Health care and so I should call Commonwealth Choice back.
Commonwealth Choice is closed by the time I get off the phone with them.
AAARRRGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! I’ve been taking half-doses of meds since April and I only have 5 pills left. I am SO SICK OF THIS BULLSHIT.
AND, IT’S ALL MY FUCKING LAZY ASS ROOMMATES’ FAULT!
Yes, the same roommates who WIPE THEIR MUDDY FEET all over the bath rugs I JUST SCRUBBED CLEAN. When they told me TWICE they would stop doing that (I asked them to stop nicely, already). The same ones WHO SCOOP SUGAR OUT OF THE SUGAR BOWL WITH THE SUGAR SPOON, STIR THEIR COFFEE AND THEN PUT THE FUCKING SPOON BACK IN making the sugar all clumpy and gross and the spoon all crusty and smell WHEN I ALREADY ASKED THEM NOT TO AND THEY AGREED TO STOP.
I am so sick of being jerked around by health insurance companies and so sick of living with roommates. FUCK EVERYTHING!!!
People often idealize the past. In my childhood, the 1950s were always held up as the paragon of When Things Were Perfect. Sure, the 1950s had a lot of things on this list, but I sure as heck wouldn’t want to have lived back then. Hanging out with a lot of SCA people and others who are into historical re-enactment has made me aware every time someone says “OH YEAH, well in the 12th/19th/WHATEVER CENTURY, WOMEN/MINORITIES/MEN/CHILDREN/WOMBATS could do _______!” Maybe so, but I enjoy living right here and now for the following reasons…
2. women’s rights, both on paper and [more than in past eras at least] in cultural practice.
3. air conditioning
4. central heating
6. ability to get sushi in the grocery store
7. the fact that I know ceviche exists and I can find places to acquire it (this is also kind of a class-based thing, I know)
8. the internet (for all its faults; it’s still awesomely mind-blowing to have the world’s repository of knowledge at your fingertips)
9. refrigeration (it’s been around for a while, but still, in the history of humans, that’s just the blink of an eye)– seriously. Think about it– what was life like before refrigeration? We spend probably 0% of our time thinking about how to preserve food to make it last. Now we can be fat and happy and devote all those brain cells to looking at stupid pictures of cats on the internet!
10. freedom from religion. no really, the next time someone complains that Christmas is too omnipresent/there’s a War on Christmas, just think about the Spanish Inquisition.
11. anesthesia — maybe I should just make a separate category for “modern medicine” (yes, I’ve been watching all these BBC medical dramas that take place in the Victorian/Edwardian eras)
By me, of course. In a fit of nostalgia, i’m going to nominate the Videos That Sum up the 80s the Best. By “the best” I mean “in the most hilarious ways possible.”
Journey, “Separate Ways”
here are some highlights:
nobody ever actually looks at the chick who’s meaningfully stomping around the warehouse.
Did I mention the entire thing takes place on the ground of a warehouse?
0:01 AWWW YEAH ROCKING THE AIR SYNTH!
0:53 I can’t tell if the air-drummer is actually sitting on a real stool or on an air stool. Either way it’s impressive.
0:56 more air synthing– the guy looks like he’s at an air scratching post.
1:31 The drummer is wearing a ripped-off collar sweatshirt advertising a foosball tournament.
1:44 the awesome grimace on the keyboard guy’s face
1:55 you finally see the chick who’s stomping around’s face. WOW HER AMAZING SQUARE PUFFY MULLET HAIR!
2:18 Whoa, extreme close-up of Steve Perry’s teeth!
2:22 Steve saunters backwards through a maze of pallets, but not without a quick look behind him to make sure he doesn’t smack into machinery.
2:31 two guys are facing each other singing with the chick in the middle. They are not looking at her.
2:45 synchronized head turn!
3:12 Bass dude’s got a Steinberger! SO JEALOUS!!! He shows off some sweet moves
3:51 keyboard guy has his keyboard mounted sideways on a wall again. The 80s were a tough time– it’s hard to look cool while playing a synthesizer. One had to break new ground!
the end: was it all a dream?!?!?!
I LOVE this song. Seriously. I love Journey, and I don’t care who knows. I realize I lose like 85% of whatever small shreds of indie street cred I ever had by admitting this, but I do! I also realize that I get most of my dance moves from Steve Perry. I just realized this this moment. I can’t dance for shit, and I mostly flail my arms and occasionally make fists. This video must have imprinted on my subconscious somehow.