If you have too calm a life — tranquil and with plenty of spare time — it’s easily solved with a chronic illness.
It’s not just the aggravation and inconvenience of the symptoms, which will likely inhibit a full enjoyment of life as you previously understood it. No, it’s more than that. It’s the bureaucracy of upkeep.
While Medicare is somewhat famous (or, really, infamous) for its complexity, any insurance company is steeped in bureaucracy that will leave your head spinning.
Yesterday, for example, we found out that Nadine’s plan won’t cover out-of-network blood draws at any level.
Group Health is only available in Washington and Idaho, but it has out-of-network options. Granted, these are covered at far lower levels, but the point is, you know you’re covered. Or not.
Nadine has to regularly have her Coumadin (blood thinner) levels checked. Too high or low and it’s life threatening.
My favorite part of this? Nadine called and explained she was out of state and needed blood work done. The customer service rep didn’t volunteer the information that it wasn’t covered. She was just directed to a clinic. (Luckily, the clinic called Group Health ahead of time to verify coverage.)
Apparently, routine blood work is not covered out-of-network. At all. Even if it can endanger her life.
My mom, who is also with Group Health, badly injured her ankle in California. She was sent to a Kaiser Permanente hospital. She didn’t even pay out-of-network rates.
I guess Nadine should have just broken her ankle and hoped she also incurred a nasty gash. Then the ER docs could have checked her Coumadine levels while they put her in a cast.
Instead, we called around to some clinics to see what the appointment would be out of pocket. A receptionist at an urgent care center told us to skip the doctor’s visit and just take her blood draw order directly to a lab.
So that’s what Nadine and Tim are out doing now. We still have no idea how much it will cost, but at least it will get done. No thanks to Group Health.