This Space for Rent

Avoiding stress, the American Healthcare™ way

My pitiful excuse for a health insurance plan has, in addition to such cheerful little things as US$30 copays (on doctor's visits that average about $56 dollars a visit), the annoying habit of just looking at the bills and just refusing to pay any bills that happen to bump above what they consider to be reasonable. So when I go into the doctor's office for a physical exam (this is, by any reasonable definition of the term, an office visit, and you'd think, if you looked at the goddamn coverage chart, that it would be covered under the US$30 copay they make me pay for an office visit. Um, no; apparently since a physical exam costs more than US$56, it doesn't count, so I get to eat the whole cost. This is apparently to make sure that people don't get preventative care and thus end up in the emergency room, where the insurance company won't cover bills that cost an order of magnitude or so more.) It's a great scheme if you're one of the executives of a health insurance company; this way you get the whomping huge bonuses for reducing payments, and you can tell your minions to pay for any healthcare charges you might incur yourself. It's not quite so good for the people who have bought into these piece of shit that pretend to be healthplans, but they're just the working class and don't count -- if they'd have wanted good health plans, they should have chosen wealthier parents!

Why do I choose today to mention this ongoing abomination before g-d? Because of the emergency room visit on Saturday, of course; this year I've managed to shovel a bunch of money into my retirement savings, and now I'm looking, thanks to said emergency room visit (which the insurance company won't pay for, because they don't pay for emergency room visits unless they're life-threatening, and since I wasn't actually having a stroke, my visit wasn't life-threatening. I suspect that if it was life threatening and I'd died, the insurance company wouldn't have paid in that case because the insurance policy would lapse upon my death), at having a large chunk of that money dredged away to the pockets of the Catholic Church. (When Silas went into the emergency room a few months ago so they could stitch up his chin after he dove onto a hardwood floor, it cost us $600 to have a nurse superglue his chin shut. I fully expect to receive a US$10,000 bill for the nice little cat scan of my brain, with a little note from the health insurance company saying "Our CEO doesn't pay anything for his monthly cat scan, so US$10,000 is unreasonable" paperclipped on, along with a US$75 bill for the paperclip.

The (what we thought was) horrible health insurance plan we were on a couple of years ago when I was unemployed and we couldn't afford to buy a good one was better than this one. And I work for a big company, one that you might think could actually afford to get good life insurance for its minions, but, no, not in the United States, where the whole idea of healthcare has become perverted into just another way of enriching the parasite class at the expense of everyone else.

And did I mention that the exit instructions from the emergency room suggested that I avoid stress? Oh, hahaha, what a joke that is.