Today was Day 23 of the 2017 Fall pollen season.  I am feeling very “stuck”.  There is nothing I can do to feel better until the pollen count goes down to 6 or lower (and stays there for at least a week straight).  I’m trying to move ahead and improve my health, but am being dragged backwards by forces beyond my control.

Today, the pollen count was 8.5.  I had to go outside because I had another doctor appointment.  Three days ago, I had the birth control that was in my arm taken out.  Today, I went back to make sure the small wound was healing properly.  (Last time around, I ended up with an open wound.)

The good news is I didn’t have to sit in the waiting room for very long before being seen.  The bad news is that my health insurance company required a confusing co-pay that I was not expecting.

This was my third appointment to see a doctor.  Two were at Planned Parenthood, and the other one was at a dentist.  I have a separate insurance card for the dentist, so I believed that it was not part of the regular health insurance.

I got both types of insurance through Covered California, so… maybe they are connected?  The receptionist at Planned Parenthood told me that my insurance requires me to pay a $105 co-pay on my third appointment.  After this payment, I will have to pay a $75 co-pay whenever I see a doctor.  I handed her a credit card and paid for this unexpected cost.

Another good thing was the doctor who checked my arm said it was healing properly.  She even cleaned it for me!  I have nothing to worry about there.  When I left, the billing specialist said I was good to go – but then called me back to the window.  She said the cost of my appointment was… I forget exactly, but somewhere around $45 (I think).

Long story short, we put that charge on the credit card, and paid it out-of-pocket, instead of paying the $105 co-pay.  Which means… the next time I see a doctor (or dentist) there will be a $105 co-pay waiting for me.  Sometime tomorrow, we are going to get a call that lets us know the co-pay charge was taken off the credit card.

It is days like these that I wish the United States had single payer health care.  Or, “Medicaid for All”.  Or, whatever will make our system a health system instead of an insurance system.

I’m trying my best to do the right thing – to use my health insurance and get the health care I need – but it’s difficult and confusing (and comes with unexpected extra costs.)  I’m feeling stuck in a system that benefits the health insurance industry way more than the actual patients.  This must change.

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