The boring life of Jerod Poore, Crazymeds' Chief Citizen Medical Expert.

Health Insurance Follies

I've needed to see a doctor for over a year.  Maybe even two.  I've got all sorts of symptoms that can't be written off as age, side effects, and/or depression.  I have health insurance, and I'm finally getting my act together to choose a PCP and make an appointment to see him.

Of course it can never be that easy.

First is choosing a doctor.  My insurance provider's website is one of the most user-hostile sites I've come across in some time.  My premiums hadn't been paid for three months because I thought all I needed to do to get the bills paid automagically was to sign up for it and enter all the information they need to pay the bill.  Turns out there's another page you need to go to in order to activate the fucking thing after all that.  And the first letter they sent me asking for the cash didn't arrive until two weeks after the second, which wasn't their fault, that's just how the mail is around here.  I'm glad they didn't cancel my policy.  

Trying to find a doctor through their site is painfully ... I don't know what the fuck they were trying to accomplish.  You can enter only one. parameter. at. a. time. regarding where you live, how far you're willing to drive, what sort of doctor you want to find, and what sort of coverage you have.  I can understand if they coded it that way in an attempt to speed things up, but the only thing it sped up that I can think of is how fast the code monkeys delivered it, because that's just lazy-ass coding.  Worst of all is the selection based on your coverage.  I can't remember what type of coverage I selected.  Can I look that up anywhere?  No.  It tells me where on the Olympic podium my plan is, but it doesn't tell me which network option I chose.  It's not on my card either.  As far as picking a local PCP is concerned, it didn't make any difference, but when it came to finding a shrink, therapist, and neurologist, I may as well just ignore their site and pick doctors based on whatever other info I can find.  Most of the shrinks they have are at the clinic where I went when I first moved to Missoula.  The clinic that was one of the reasons why I moved up here.  The clinic where every shrink I saw there retired on me and the EEG registered inconclusive when I was having a fucking aura during the test.  And the info they provide when comparing doctors is content-free.

Looking through the website of the regional health center to find a doctor was enlightening.  Two osteopaths (no thanks), three MDs, and five PAs.  Normally I would have gone with one of the PAs, but I think I need stronger medicine.  So of the three docs: 

One's an ENT.  Other than frequent nosebleeds, which are probably a side effect of fish oil as I used to get them all the time when I was a kid, and the occasional bout of tinnitus, those parts of me are OK.

One is ex-Navy who looks like he could play the part of a Navy doctor in a movie set on a ship during WWII.  He specializes in sticking things inside you and, based upon the results, cutting out stuff that's between your ribcage and thighs.  Ex-military I'm OK with.  I think I'd have a hard time convincing him I'd rather live with frequent minor kidney stones than seizures, or this fucking jamais vu I'm currently experiencing.

The third one is the Chief of Staff who specializes in family medicine and sports medicine.

The PAs are looking better and better.

I go with the Chief of Staff because he's also close to being a diagnostician, and that's what I really need.

So that's all set up.  The insurance company's website is happy I selected a PCP.  But it wants to know why I changed PCPs, and I can't update my policy without telling it something.  Selecting one because you enrolled in a new policy isn't an option.  Previous doc chosen in error is.

But can I make an appointment online?  Through either site?

Of course not.

I still have to deal with the phone.

I've been needing to make all sorts of fucking phone calls for three fucking weeks now.

On top of all that they limit prescriptions to 100 pills per fill.  That's 17 days of protriptyline, 20 days of 25mg topiramate and 25 days of buspirone.  My drug regimen is difficult enough as it is.  Not being able to get all my refills at once just makes my life that much more of a pain in the ass. 

I really need somebody to manage my life for me.

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