Everyone loves a Boston girl. This is the story of one Boston girl's adventures in the city, in blogging, and in getting through those crazy 20-something years.

I'm a writer by trade. And by passion. I'm a lover of food, friends, and all things Boston. I listen to music pretty much 24/7 and idolize Martha Stewart. I love my job(s), my life, and this city. Follow me on Twitter! @Susie

who knew getting stuck with a needle was so expensive.

If you had $1,000 and you could spend it on anything you wanted, what would it be? Maybe you’d plan a little trip. Or possibly you’d purchase that really nice bag you’ve been eyeing. Maybe you’d even want to spend it on a new laptop. But chances are you wouldn’t choose to spend it on bills from your doctor’s office. Oh, but that’s what I just did. I’m still thoroughly confused as to why I enrolled in and paid immense amounts of money for an insurance plan that does not cover “routine services.” But I think it was probably because that’s the plan my school enrolled everyone in, so why my ish wasn’t covered is beyond me. And it’s perfectly clear that the insurance company is not going to offer any information to me. Oh, hell yes I will be writing an appeal. In the meantime, I took out my credit card and paid the frigging bills. Yay credit card points.

God, I love splurging. I mean, as if it’s not already enough fun to get a physical, a “healthy woman exam” (as the insurance lady called it), an HPV vaccine, and blood drawn. Given $1,000 I would no doubt choose to spend it on needles being stabbed into me and such. Honestly, this makes me really mad because I am perfectly healthy and did not NEED to get any of this done right now, but was proactive about my health and figured I had the insurance, I may as well use it. Or else I would have waited until ooh say NOW, when I’m paying over $200 a month for an amazing insurance plan that actually covers stuff (I think, but obviously I don’t know much). I’ve never had a health emergency in my entire life, but always go to my “routine” appointments, so I probably would not have knowingly paid for insurance that only covers emergencies.

Well, I guess I’ve learned my lesson, which is to always read every single freaking packet and piece of paper your insurance company gives you; and if you don’t understand a word it says, ask someone. Don’t trust that because your school is offering the plan, “it must be good.” Don’t let your doctor convince you you need blood work done and you need a vaccine right away. And don’t trust the lady who works in your doctor’s insurance office who signs a little piece of paper saying your vaccine is covered. She doesn’t have a clue. Nor does she care; the one grand isn’t coming from her pocket.

Well, I’m off to go dream about what I could have done with $1,000. And pray that my new insurance covers the $400 for my second vaccination on Monday. I miss the days when my dad handed me an insurance card and dealt with all the paperwork, bills, etc. I almost cried on the phone today with the insurance lady. And then the Lahey Clinic lady laughed at me when she asked for my account number and I said, “Which one?! I have like eight bills in front of me.” At least the Lahey Clinic is a teaching hospital…hopefully they’ll put my life savings to good use.

3 Responses to “who knew getting stuck with a needle was so expensive.”

  1. Bass Man Says:

    Oh, just wait to you really need insurance…

    $1,200/month in insurance premiums and they tell you you’ve exceeded your lifetime allotment of treatment! Yes, lifetime allotment. Oh, gee you’re not cured? You’re only half well? Sorry, you’ve run out!

    Health Insurance, yeah right! It used to be called Medical Insurance. It covered (gasp) Medical expenses. Now it only covers you as long as you don’t use medical services! I.e., you’re healthy, hence Heath Insurance. With it you can’t afford to be sick.

    Sorry, my experiences with the insurance industry has jaded me a bit.

    What you have is catastrophic care insurance. It covers you if you have cancer, get in an accident, etc.. It’s not designed to cover preventive care. There are some new (relatively) low cost plans out there, you may want to take a look (http://www.mahealthconnector.org/). You’re healthy and young, premiums shouldn’t be too bad. Also be careful with plans offered thru the school, the school often gets a piece of the action. It’s more about money than providing coverage.

  2. Therapeutic Ramblings Says:

    (I found through a link you posted in a recent blog). Insurance companies are the devil. I’ve always had amazing insurance…until I went to grad school. I went from $5 co-pays and any doctor I wanted, to having to pay out the ass to go to crappy doctors. I feel your pain!

  3. RC Says:

    I would most definitely read through your coverage info and dispute if you can. Honestly, I firmly believe that routine care is NOT Lahey’s strength. I had a terrible experience with them last year over a bill from 2007 – which I never received, until I got collection calls a year later…apparently they were trying to mail to my address without filling in the zip code (a problem only the billing dept. had with my address, as I did receive other mail from Lahey during that period of time). It was for my routine GYN exam, which is supposed to be 100% covered by my BCBS insurance. BCBS rejected about $500 worth of lab work related to the routine yearly exam. I’m thoroughly convinced that the rejection had to do with the way Lahey billed.

    After about 5 phone calls to straighten out the fact why I never got the bill from Lahey…and 4 phone calls back-and-forth between BCBS and Lahey (one person in the Lahey billing dept. just seemed inept, if friendly…another woman was just inexcusably unfriendly, lacking ANY semblance of customer service) – BCBS adjusted their coverage and, as it turns out, I was correct and did not owe. Ironically, after we figured all this out for the 2007 bill, it was time for my 2008 exam…at which time we had the exact some problem with BCBS kicking back the charges from Lahey.

    I am not going to Lahey this year, and never plan to step foot in their hospital again for routine medical care. My 2009 exam is coming up and I’m very interested to see if I have the same problems with BCBS now that I’m visiting a new practice.

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