Insurance Rant

Look, I understand, we all need insurance. Right? It is supposed to be there for us when we need it. But let’s face it, insurance is one of the biggest money making scams out there. You pay and pay and pay, and when you do need it, you end up jumping through hoop after hoop to get what you need. They always have some clause or reason that you won’t get what you need. It doesn’t seem to matter what the outcome is for YOU, because in the end, the insurance companies keep making bank!

I guess I am going to sound like an old man here, and I am ok with that. There used to be a time where your place of employment gave you decent insurance as part of your benefits. Out of pocket costs were often very minimal unless you had a lengthy hospital stay. People who worked for a hospital or health care were taken care of by their employer. The auto industry also tended to have some of the best benefits. This just isn’t the case anymore.

Years ago, I remember deductibles were reasonable. Now, they are outrageous! How many people actually meet their deductible in a year? Not too many people I know. Now they have higher deductibles for how many people are in your family and so on… They raise them so you will end up paying it (as well as your monthly costs) and they will always come out ahead! Last year I put the amount of my deductible on my FSA card (because when it was all gone, I would know I hit my deductible, right?!). I used it for all out of pocket costs – co-pays, prescriptions, etc. After I had used the entire FSA balance, I got a bill for something and I called the insurance company. I was told that co-pays don’t go toward your deductible. Maybe I am just stupid (or maybe the rules of the insurance companies are so vague purposely), but I questioned just what they considered “out of pocket” costs. To me, if I am paying for it – it is OUT OF MY POCKET! So I got screwed there.

I have found that I am not the only one who pays high costs for medical insurance, only to wind up with a stack of medical bills that I will spend years paying off. And by the time you get close to paying them off, you get hit with another one! A friend of mine who works with some financial company told me that medical debt is one of the reasons so many people in this country are struggling. So many people file for bankruptcy because they will never get their head above water because of medical expenses. Look on Facebook on any given day – there are always “go fund me” pages for people who need help with medical bills. It is SO unfair.

I wish I had a dollar for anytime someone has said to me, “Why do I bother having insurance?!” If I did, I would take those dollars and pay off some of my medical bills! How sad is it that people won’t go to the doctor or to the hospital when they need to because they are afraid of racking up thousands in medical debt?!

So where did this rant come from? Let me tell you. We recently received the bill for Ella’s ear surgery. How much of that was covered by insurance? According to the bill – ZERO. Zilch. NOTHING! Well, you can imagine how well that sat with Sam and I. It was all I could do to not use some choice profanity while I was talking to the insurance representative. The bill was close to $9000! The entire surgery took 6 minutes! (That works out to $1500 a minute! Nice gig, huh?!)

When the ENT called to talk about the bill prior to surgery, they told us our cost (after insurance) was less than $800. As a matter of fact, they even offered to take 5% off the bill if we paid it all off prior to the surgery even happening. Gee, thanks! Anyway, when that bill showed up, Sam and I about lost it. All we had to see was “claim denied” in big red letters at the bottom and our anger (and stress levels) were through the roof!

So I called and got some clown with a smile in his voice on the line. I held back all my anger and explained why I was calling. He stated that he needed to make sure that there was no other insurance that might be considered “primary” insurance that would cover this. I told him no, we only had this insurance. He immediately stated that they would rebill it and take care of it and we should see an adjustment within 7-10 days.

So what is that all about?! I can barely afford the insurance YOU provide. I guess the answer is to pay for more than one insurance policy in order to make your bills. But in the end, if I am paying for more than one insurance, is it really saving me any money? These insurance companies have you by the shirt collar and you are their pawn. You need insurance. Yet, you will still go into debt with it. I just don’t get it.

Don’t even get my started on car insurance…. because that is just as bad or worse!

Ok. I’m raising my blood pressure, so I will stop. I’ll be ok …. until the new bill arrives!

Classic Calvin and Hobbes

Emotional Weekend Recap

It is taking all that is in me to write a blog today. I don’t feel like writing. I’m numb today.

All weekend long I struggled with whether or not to proceed with something. It is something that has weighed very heavy on my heart. It is something that comes with risks no matter what I decided to do. I have spent three entire therapy sessions (one I scheduled purposely) discussing it with my therapist. No matter how much I talked about it, no matter how I looked at it, no matter what the pros and cons were, I still don’t feel like I was ready to make a decision. Based on previous blogs, you can probably figure out what I am talking about.

It doesn’t really even matter what it is. I wrestled to make a decision and now I am wrestling with the decision I made. I am literally numb. I am feeling many emotions today – fear, anger, sadness, uncertainty, worry, and so many more. As I stared at the computer screen, I wondered just what the hell I wanted to write about. So I grabbed my phone and looked back at some of the pictures from the weekend and figured maybe I should at least talk about the positives.

Positives

First of all, I got to spend the entire weekend with my wife and daughter. It was an extended weekend for my wife and I, and as a bonus we both got Tuesday off. We actually had time to sit on the couch and watch shows we had on the DVR, which is something we rarely get to do. Ella had us laughing a lot this weekend. Recently, Sam’s folks bought her an easel. It has a chalkboard, whiteboard, place for paper, etc… We thought that this would be great for her to draw on. We haven’t let her paint yet, but she can color on it and uses the chalkboard a lot. Up until now, the sidewalk chalk had to stay outside. Now she has it on the easel, which isn’t always a good thing ….

This probably won’t stop her from drawing on the furniture … but it was worth a try!

On Sunday, I got together with two of my close friends from high school – Margaret and Chris. It was probably a couple months ago that a picture of the three of us came up in Facebook Memories. I think it said the picture was taken 10 years ago! While I’ve gotten together with them separately since, it had been that long since we all got together. So we met at Margaret’s house and she had a cook out. The town was hopping because the peach festival was going on. I got their late, because I thought we were supposed to get together on Monday. No matter, we all got to sit around and chat, reminisce, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company. Before we wrapped up the day, I said we had to get another picture! I sent the picture to both of them, and each of us posted it on our pages. Margaret joked around and said to crop the picture more …. so I did….

Really a great picture of us ….

Sometimes, I have to do things just to take my mind off the crap that is on social media. I am so sick of the politics, hatred, and sadness that is often the subject of posts on Facebook. During conversation at Margaret’s, the topic turned to some silliness I have been posting. I did this last September, too. I know it is stupid, but it truly makes me laugh and I share to save my sanity.

One of the Three Stooges pages I follow on Facebook takes Shemp Howard’s picture and Photoshops them on other pictures. The can be movie stills, magazine covers, etc. They call the entire month of September – SHEMPtember! So every day this month, I find a silly pic from their page and post it. This remains one of my favorites, and I am sure my musical followers will get a good laugh from it, too….

The Shemptations!!!!!

30 days of stupidity? Yeah, probably. I’ll take the stupidity and enjoy the laugh over the other things I am feeling any day.

The rest of the weekend falls into the area that I’d rather not think about ….

I hope you had an enjoyable Labor Day Weekend.

Music – LISTEN TO IT!

I posted this on Facebook earlier, and thought I would share it here on my blog.  I am WAY behind on my Tune Tuesday posts, and I hope to correct that soon.  I know many of my followers enjoy music like I do, so I wanted to post this article I found extremely interesting.

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You should listen to music every day.  And according to a new study, you should listen to 78 minutes of it every day.

That’s the amount recommended by the British Academy of Sound Therapy for maintaining good mental health.  But you can’t just listen to one specific type of music.  There’s actually a formula.  You need:

14 minutes of “uplifting” music to feel happy.

16 minutes of “calming” music to feel relaxed.

16 minutes of whatever you choose to overcome sadness.

15 minutes of “motivating” music to aid concentration.

And another 17 minutes of whatever you choose to help manage your anger.

Even though they recommend 78 minutes, 11 minutes a day still has therapeutic benefits, and you can boost your happiness with just FIVE minutes.

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Here is a link to the entire article:  https://loudwire.com/study-music-mental-health/

Music background with notes and watercolor texture

So turn up the volume!  Enjoy some music today!!