I haven’t been listening to much of the healthcare political banter because honestly I don’t think it’s going to get anywhere. Universal healthcare sounds great, except for the fact that the healthcare still sucks.
I’ve been trying to set up a doctor’s appointment with a psychiatrist to see if I have ADHD. I don’t have a GP, so I call my viagra without prescriptions insurance company for a referral. They gave me a list of people I can go to, I say thanks and start calling them.
I made it through the list of 6 doctors they gave me (which seemed plenty at the time) without having a single office answer the phone. I leave messages on answering machines. I go online to bring up a wider list. After an hour of calling places to find they either don’t know how to use a phone or aren’t accepting new patients, I finally find the one doctor in the entire New York area who is both available and accepts my insurance. Hooray. I set up an appointment.
Apparently I have to call my insurance company (Oxford/UnitedHealth) to get an authorization. Except sometime between last week and today I have managed to misplace my insurance card. So I call the insurance company. They can’t find me in the system, hold on while we transfer… oh wait I just got dumped back to the automated voice prompts. Next rep, “oh you need to call this other department, you’re with a different group.” And so on and so forth. After two disconnects and 5 different reps, I finally get to someone who is capable of finding me in the system. I ask if I can have a temporary card emailed to me. She says sure, it’ll go out in 1-3 business days.
What? How does sending an email take 1-3 business days? How is there not a button they can hit which simply pre-fills a PDF with my subscriber ID and group number?
Ok fine. I get my number and plan on just printing it out for the doctor. I get transferred somewhere else, listen to some really not very calming classical music on hold, and finally get my authorization number. They ask the address of the doctor, which I’ve of course forgotten. So I look it up online.
I found the doctor’s address on one of those “rate an MD” websites. Along with a number of reviews for the doctor. The verdict? Terrible. The kind of shrink who just wants to throw a prescription at you, take some money, and shove you out the door. The kind of shrink I hate. I’d cancel my appointment and make one elsewhere if it were possible to get anyone else to answer their phone or return a call. Since that doesn’t seem to be in the realm of possibility, I’m stuck with this guy. Maybe he’s really great and the 10 people who wrote terrible things about him are really just crazy. I mean, they are seeing a psychiatrist.
I could go out of network but wow that’s insanely expensive. My out-of-network coverage is pretty much a joke. So I get to go to the one in-network doctor I can get a hold of, who doesn’t seem like a good fit for me at all.
But at least with the new government healthcare plan, everyone in America will be entitled to the same infuriating service I’m enjoying oh so very much right now.