I will not get frustrated. I will not get frustrated. I will not…

I don’t want to either end the old year on a sour note or start the new year on one, so today’s a good chance for a little rant about everyone’s favorite topic…health insurance! And it can all go away tomorrow with my Happy New Year post.

Until then, I need to vent. I bit the bullet a couple months ago and abandoned my primo (so they tell me) individual HMO plan that I’ve had for the 10 years I’ve been self-employed and switched to a newly offered high-deductible plan. So instead of paying a lot every month, plus co-pays for doctor visits, for the privilege of not having to deal with coverage issues, I now pay much less a month (2½ times less!) but have to meet a $1200 annual deductible, then cost-share for another $1000. Even with all that, it still saves me $800 a year over my old plan, and makes me eligible to start a tax-advantageous Health Savings Account (HSA), so I went for it.

But of course, the glitches are already starting. Though my Member Handbook clearly states in 2 places that annual “routine” mammograms are fully covered, it seems my annual mammogram a couple weeks ago was coded as “diagnostic,” thus incurring a hefty charge. Given that my OB-GYN calls it diagnostic simply so the place will also do an ultrasound (due to higher risk/family history), I have little faith that I can get this corrected, even though it is in fact my annual “routine” mammogram.

Hey, I’m even willing to pay extra for the ultrasound, as I understand it’s not routine for most women, though it is for me. But I balk at having to pay for the same smash-your-boob-in-the-machine mammogram every other woman in my plan gets covered for free.

The really rant-y part: I’m sure NONE of these types of administrative/system issues that hurt well-meaning, premium-paying citizens like me are addressed in the mega-cost, mega-debt-inducing, tax-raising, rammed-down-our-throats-on-Christmas-Eve, so-called health care “reform” plan that is expected to raise the premiums of — or eliminate completely — the kind of high-deductible HSA-eligible plan I enrolled in specifically to save money and “have a better hand in my health” as my insurer likes to urge 10 times a day in commercials…

That felt good anyway. Deep cleansing ujjayi breath. Inhale for 5, pause, exhale for 5, pause.Repeat today’s mantra: I will not get frustrated. I will not get frustrated. I will not…

Better go keep working on that last part.

The trouble with always trying to preserve the health of the body
is that it is so difficult to do without destroying the health of the mind.
~ G. K. Chesterton