Believe me when I say I’m VERY fortunate to have decent health insurance. It’s not perfect and it’s been expensive in relation to my fixed income, but it’s something that I HAVE to have. For example, I believe the charged rate for my standard cardiac biopsy and clinical visit (with labs, X-ray, EKG, ect) is usually about $30K (US). My annual heart cath is probably twice this amount. Wow, can anybody spare a dime?
Two days from now, I will officially have new health insurance. In the past, I would just accept the change and move on, knowing that my out-of-pocket expenses would increase with the new year. It was a way of life for many years in my profession. Sharing the burden, is what our employers always told us.
But, this change is different. WAY different. Now I have this little pre-existing condition called a heart transplant. Even though I’ve been told that my out-of-pocket expenses “should” be lower with this new plan, I’m more than a bit skeptical.
Believe me, I’ve done my due diligence in investigating how this change will affect me and my family’s finances. I’ve spent hours and hours reading the fine print, made scores of calls to verify this or that specific point. I’ve searched the web, spoken in person to the plan administrators in an effort to cover every base.
Along with the new coverage, I also get a new mail order pharmacy plan. My current one has driven me bonkers on a number of occasions by making random changes or errors with my immunosuppressant drugs, which help prevent organ rejection. For my transplant center, this is a huge NO-NO, and it usually takes some time to get everything straightened out once it has happened. So, I can add this to my current pile of worries as well.
On the bright side, I can switch back to my old plan at any time. And, I was “savvy” enough to get a good inventory of all my medications built up, so I have a cushion if there are pharmacy issues.
The devil’s in the details – I’m organized and I have medical offices to call and inform of my changes next week. I have a list of things to activate through the plan administration. It effects my gym membership (saves me $10/mo). On-line accounts that need to be set up. A long fax prepared to go to my transplant center in regard to the changes, etc, etc.
So, let’s bring on the new year and actually see this plan in action so I can worry about something else.