Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Medical and Insurance Rant

OK so I had my fasting blood test this morning and was quite surprised when my doctor mentioned forgetting the VitD test last time and doing it today.  He doesn't seem to be a fan of CoQ10 and thinks it is mostly a placebo effect.  Placebo or not, I feel much better.  I did not share my past 6 weeks of taking the Lipitor every other day and am curious to see how it affects my test results.  My blood pressure was slightly lower than it had been and as good as my husband's who is being treated for hypertension.

Now the real fun begins.
I asked about a Shingles vaccine which is listed as a preventative care benefit on my insurance website.  My doctor said he would order it for me if I get a confirmation that it is covered by my insurance so I called the insurance rep who said it would only be covered if it was assessed as a medical necessity AFTER its administration.  Isn't it fun being the ping pong ball in this table tennis match?

Then my husband asked about having an irritating skin tag removed from his neck.  Doctor gave us the number of a Dermatologist but suggested calling our insurance to check that the procedure would be covered.  Same Rep, same answer .... coverage would depend on whether the procedure is assessed as a medical necessity after the procedure is done.  (somebody please remove this rep's ping pong paddle)

I called the dermatologist and was assured that they know how to submit the correct codes so the skin tag removal will be covered.

Meanwhile, I coincidentally heard from our pharmacy that they believe the pharmacist can give me the Shingles vaccine after checking their system before administering the vaccine so I may get the vaccine there.  However, I fear their system may hit the same coverage conflict.

I have had my share of medical coding errors and insurance conflicts in spite of being more knowledgeable than most victims but want to stop being the ping pong ball in these medical table tennis matches.  I really do not know how anyone can choose a medical insurance plan with all of these conflicts.

Well there is one thing that the doctor, insurance company, and pharmacy all agree upon:
a nonsmoking post menopausal woman with parents who lived to their 80's (neither ever having a heart attack) should be on a statin in spite of side effects which are ruining the quality of her life.
Go figure.

(ETA: I am now vaccinated against Shingles thanks to the local pharmacist)

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