The wretched state of “healthcare” in the US, part 279

I have high blood pressure – well under control – but whenever I have to deal with the various health insurance layers of obfuscation I’m sure it spikes to dangerous levels.

The latest is whether or not when BlueCross BlueShield says “paying in full for annual physicals” it actually means paying in full for annual physicals.  Spoiler: it does not.

It covers a small portion of it – but not the blood tests (necessary for that physical), the ECG or the leads for it, or many other tests.  As far as I can tell what they do pay for is the doctor to loo at you from across the rom and say “you look fine” or, more likely, “you need to lose weight”.

This echoes my experience last year when “paying in full for a colonoscopy” actually meant paying for part of it and not covering any of the anesthetist’s charges ($1200) because I am supposed to know all the steps and staff involved in a procedure and then call my health insurance to ask whether each one is covered or not.

Dental insurance is just as bad – I search for a new dentist on their site, call the closest person and am told they do not participate in the plan – the plan that lists them first in a search for affiliated providers.  In fairness, that search also shows my former dentist as being located at an office he left over 5 years ago.  I’m also told its unlikely they will cover a procedure unless I can give them the exact code and name of what the oral surgeon is planning on doing.  Again, I am supposed to become an expert in dental surgery to ask the questions to determine whether or not the company that I pay for insurance coverage will consider paying for what I pay them to cover.

Of course if I moved back to the UK, I’m informed that finding dentists who accept NHS patients is essentially impossible.

Maybe my inability to open my jaw wide enough to eat anything larger than porridge or soup will address the overweightness and I’ll kill two birds with one stone. And on the plus side I’ve passed a pleasant morning looking at examples of non-functional web sites, waiting on hold to talk to people who ask me to repeat the same information I just entered on the phone, and greatly expanded my knowledge on the vagaries of billing codes and medical & dental procedures.

Fuck this shit.


About Raoul

With a fairly unusual first name, this is where I have to stress VERY STRONGLY that these posts are my personal opinions and in no way reflect anything at all to do with my employer. For employer-approved content, take a look at my work blog.
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