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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Does my coverage include Face-Punching You?

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 1:54 PM

I hate Blue Cross. I mean, I *fricking* HATE Blue Cross. Your name should be Upside Down Black Cross. When the Bible prophecies speak of the Great Plagues to be visited upon the land in the book of Revelations – creatures the shapes of locusts with faces as the faces of men, and hair as the hair of women and teeth as the teeth of lions and with tails like scorpions – I think there is a VERY good chance that John was picturing Blue Cross. If they aren’t actually the Devil, they’re clearly in league with him.


I’ve been a Blue Cross “subscriber” (even using that term makes me want to vomit into a lined bag that I wrap up and mail to their headquarters) for over 12 years now. In that time I have paid what I am guessing is an average of about $295 a month. Every year I get a regular 5%-ish rate increase.


And EVERY time I ask about something, I find that I’m not covered for it.


A few years ago my shoulder was hurting. Saw the doctor, a specialist in sports medicine. Took the crazy high dosage of Aleve that he prescribed (the kind where you are not supposed to exceed unless under doctor’s orders). Aleve didn’t alleviate the pain so I returned for a cortisone shot. Which solved the problem but was somehow outside the range of my coverage.


I really torqued my back in Mexico a few years ago. Went there for an Elan high-roller getaway and went on a totally hetero kayaking trip with another A/V installer, then went on an (OK, I can see how this could seem questionably hetero) horseback ride, then slept in a horrible bed (OK, this done WITHOUT the A/V guy), then took like a 14 hour plane ride home, then picked up Lauryn and turned the wrong way and STAB!!! Massive, immediate crippling, debilitating back pain. Dana had to help me get in and out of bed. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t nothing. So I called Blue Cross. “I’ve really hurt my back. I need to go and see a chiropractor.”

“Your plan doesn’t cover chiropractic visits.”

So, go to the chiropractor, pay him $50 out of pocket for like 6 visits, get my back back in shape and continue on with life.


So, more years have passed and I turn 40 and Dana decides that it’s time for me to get a check-up. My position on such things is that if it ain’t broke or hurting, don’t bother it, but Dana felt that a more proactive, educated opinion would be in order. So we (by "we" I mean "she" ) scheduled the appointment for a routine, preventative screening. Nurse takes my blood pressure, weighs me, does an EKG, doctor talks to me for about 10 minutes, draws 4 vials of blood and sends me on my way.


And then sends me a $300 bill. Payment submittal to Blue Cross denied. My policy does not cover preventative visits.


FU—YOU, BLUE CROSS! I hope the biggest, most third-worldest, most sewage/medical waste/ebola monkey-est filled truck comes smashing into your next board meeting and explodes its excretia over ALL of your directors. I’ve given you over FORTY THOUSAND dollars over the past 12 years and you have given me NOTHING in return. You raise my rates every year just because I’m older, not because I’m using your black-hearted service. I’m not even sure WHAT my policy covers, I only know what it doesn’t, which seems to be pretty much everything. YOU are the giant exclamation point as to what is wrong with our health care system.  Why pay $295 a month (actually it is $323.60 now) when I am STILL going to be responsible for my actual medical costs? WHY?!

You know, I'd call and complain but I just know that it would be entirely pointless. First, I'd get some totally unsympatheic schlub in billing whose entire role in life is to deny paying claims. Then I'd eventually get so verbally abusive that I'd get bumped up to a supervisor where I'd end up slamming into the brick wall of, "Sir, you need to really read all 114 pages of your policy. These things are clearly listed in subsection F of item i under 'exclusionary coverage clause J." Plus, the whole thing would just give me a giant case of hypertension and raging blood pressure and bleeding eye disease, all of which I'm sure wouldn't be covered by Blue Cross.


So I was scheduled to go back to the doctor to get the results for my blood work, but on the morning of the visit I called the office and explained that Blue Cross was denying to pay for my visit, and I didn’t really see the point in coming in to pay the doctor another $75 to have him flip through my results and tell me that I’m fine. If something was SO drastically wrong, I figure he’d call me. So, could they just fax me the results?


So, it looks like I’ll make it through the remainder of the week. My cholesterol is slightly high (8 points out of range). Looks like my sugars, salts, kidney and liver readings are all within range. The only troubling thing is something listed under the red and white blood cell section. There is an item labeled “MID” which is clearly my Midichlorian count. Sadly, I’m no Master Jedi. In fact, with a score of .4 K/uL (with .0 – 1.8 being the normal range), I am probably more of a weak-minded fool easily confused by Obi-Wan at a moment’s notice. These aren’t the droids I’m looking for...

Categories: September 2010, Rants

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