The Many Steps to Healthier Living

I do not mean for this to be a rant.  Let us say that there are those with real medical concerns.  And if they go through what I have gone through?  Then that is stress that I would wish them to be free of.

Last summer I acquired a new fulltime job.  With that role came new medical benefits.  I called up my care provider.  I asked if they took the new insurance company.  I was told yes.  So, being a simple person, I figured that was the end of it.  All would be well.

Skip ahead to last fall.  I had not seen a therapist since Covid became an everyday matter.  My church has been figuring some things out.  And, for added delight, a coworker and I had a misunderstanding.  I figured that December would be a fine time to do another therapy visit.  We should check in with health experts every now and then.

I called the people who had set me up with a therapist before.  I asked if they took my insurance.  They said yes.  Though I had to get a referral first.

Okay.  I can play along.  I called up my medical provider.  I told them I was after a referral.  They told me that, in order to do that, I needed to get an annual physical.  Okay.  Fine.  I felt okay, but I could jump through their hoop.  I tried to make an appointment.  They slotted me in for February 8th.

To clarify; I called them before Thanksgiving.  The therapist was all set to see me the first week of December.  But the doctor was not free until closer to Valentine’s Day.  I was told that for anything else, I could see a different doctor.  However, to get the referral, I needed to see my regular doctor. I did not feel I had a strong choice in the matter, so I acquiesced. 

Then, the first week of February, they got back to me.  They needed to reschedule me.  I was given the date of March 20th.  Four months after I requested an appointment. 

I was still not driven to suicide.  I had no chronic diseases.  All limbs had their tendons and bones attached.  If I had no choice, then I would wait.

March came.  The weather started to get warmer.  Hope came closer.  Until I received another voicemail.  I was informed that I would be rescheduled.  Again.  At that point, I was too numb to the proceedings to put up a fight.  I was penciled in for Monday, April 10th.

“That was yesterday!  You must have gotten it all worked out!”  That was my thought too.  Until I got there.

I presented my insurance card.  The card that I had double-checked that my medical provider accepted before I signed up for it.  As the attendant held said card, she informed me that the insurance would not let me see anyone for a check-up unless they were referred by one of the insurance company’s chosen providers. 

As I understand it, I need to call the doctor that insurance has assigned me.  I can go see them and try to get a referral for mental health.  Or, I can go see them, to get them to refer me to my normal doctor, who would refer me to a therapist.  Either option sounded complicated to me.

There was a third option.  I could have gone to see the doctor that I had the appointment for.  I could have gone around the system and paid three hundred dollars out of pocket.  The temptation was there.

I declined.  It has been five months.  If we are going to play the game, then we are going to play the game.  I shall not pay three hundred smackers simply to jump ahead.  Nay, I shall adhere to the rules of engagement set forth.  I will contact said physician.  “The Chosen One,” apparently.  The two of us shall meet and take the process to the next step. 

Here is what my sister said about the rigmarole:

“Good grief. You need a new doc office. That is RIDICULOUS.”


“I am mad for you.”

“Mama bear is coming out.”


Or, perhaps more telling?  I offer the phrase that the attendant grumbled yesterday.  She tried to be very nice.  I think if she had a way of helping me, she would have.  “I’m sorry”-s were offered up by her repeatedly.  Yet, the phrase that stuck out from me most was one I had not expected a health professional to say out loud.

“I hate insurance.”

I walked away and hoped that someone else could use the spot that I had just vacated.  Perhaps the doctor would have an extra thirty minutes to go over his files.  Or, maybe some small child who fell out of their wagon was tended to that much quicker.  And why?  Why did they get medical attention right when they needed?

Because, insurance, that is why. 

About Cosand

He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.
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