Posts Tagged ‘accupuncture’

Magic

You really can’t have a conversation about chronic health issues without it becoming a conversation about health insurance. Please allow me this brief bitch session: Stuck in morning traffic last week, I found myself shouting obscenities at my radio and dialing random numbers, trying to call-in to the local MPR station (of course I remember the pledge line number).  The experts were discussing pain  management and systemic abuse of medications. One said expert was complaining that patients just wanted a magic pill and were unwilling to try alternative measures.

I’m sure there are patients like that out there – and can you blame them? Magic pill? Yes, please. However, my experience has been that health insurance really only allows for pills, pills and more pills. For example, knowing that I would soon be a pain med-free pregnant woman, a specialist recommended that I try a second run of acupuncture with a specialty clinic under my hospital’s umbrella.  I was elated to discover it was actually covered under my medical plan and I booked 6 visits.  Adding to my elation, I had a glimpse of hope, feeling my pain recede slightly after my second treatment. I truly want to deliver a medication free baby and it was starting to look like a real possibility.

That was the week my insurance sent me a $300 bill for my first visit. While I was waiting to get into this sought-after clinic, they had dropped acupuncture from my coverage without warning.  The ridiculousness of this is impossible to comprehend when you consider the costs of life-long prescription medications, steroid shots and general wear & tear caused by the daily use of pain medications.  Not to mention issues of healthy pregnancy and general well-being.  What will it cost them if my infant is born in withdrawal and requires an extended stay at the NICU?

The customer service rep on the phone responded “Just because something is medically required does not mean that we cover it.” My family pays $1,200 a month for this insurance coverage. We cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for anything.

Unless you are independently wealthy, the system does not allow for creative or even obvious solutions. Take the damn pill, magic or not, because it is all the comfort you can hope to get. It is neither logical nor human.

The Littlest Rabbit

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