First, I have a question– why do people put such a little amount of wine in wine glasses? They’re HUGE and I personally think it’s a wasteful of the glass used to make the wine glass not to fill it all the way. So, uh, an addendum to my disclaimer: they were 3 really big glasses.
Now, why I started drinking on a Thursday night when I had actually planned on coming home and studying: health insurance. When I got home from work, I checked my mail box and found bills, one of which was from the clinic where I get my allergy shots. I expected it to be no big deal; under $5 for sure since my allergy shots only cost me $1.83 each. Nope! For some reason, I was being billed $12.23 per shot. Huh? So I called my insurance provider to ask why.
Here’s a little background: my employer recently changed our insurance provider.
Our old provider covered allergy shots at 85% of allowable charges, so that broke down to:
*The clinic tried to charge $24 per shot
*Insurance said, “We don’t think so, you actually only charge $12.23 per shot.”
*Insurance paid 85% of that; I paid $1.83.
The new provider? They treat allergy shots like a regular doctor’s visit, subject to the $20 copay to see a doctor. Therefore, I have to pay the full $12.23 for each allergy shot since they don’t start paying until things cost more than $20. So even though I only see a nurse for about 45 seconds to get the injection, I owe $12.23. Feel free to check my math here, but that’s $978.40 per hour!
Not going to lie to you- I cried when I found out that my allergy shots went up about 660%. I hung up with the insurance company, then laid on the floor and bawled, then starting drinking. Before I went to an allergist (last February actually- happy allergy-shot-iversary to me) I would get sick at least 4 times a year. Every time the seasons changed, without fail, I would have a huge allergy attack and come down with miserable congestion, runny nose, cough, lethargy, etc. Sometimes it would happen randomly and I was probably sick with cold-like symptoms more often than not.
Then I went to an allergist, had a full allergy test done, and learned that I’m allergic to freaking everything- grass, trees, pollen, mold, corn, chocolate, cats, dust mites, among other things. I started taking Allegra D, 2 types of nasal sprays, and allergy shots, and my life changed. I could breathe! I could smell things! I didn’t get sick for an entire year! (I actually did come down with cold-like symptoms this last week, but I’m willing to bet I was for real sick with a bug, not just allergies)
And they’re taking that away from me! Well, actually, they’ve been trying to take that away from me for a while now- at some point last year, the old provider stopped covering my Allegra D when it went OTC (I cried when my pharmacist broke that sad news to me, too). My cost went from $5 a month to $60, so I stopped taking that. Then when we switched providers, my cost-per-paycheck-to-have-insurance went up about $15/m. Now my cost per allergy shot is going up from about $3.50/mo to about $24/mo so I’m probably going to stop doing those too. For a little perspective, I make a little less than $1o.50/hour. HOW DO PEOPLE AFFORD BASIC MEDICAL CARE?!?!?!?!?!
Oh- and I currently have an unpaid bill from when I recently ordered a refill of my allergy extract (that’s the stuff they inject you with during allergy shots). I have to pay for allergy extract that I’m probably never going to use, and that shiz ain’t cheap either!
Aaaaannnnd, that’s my sob story. Not sure why I thought that was worthy of a blog post, but I do feel better- probably due to some combination of airing my frustrations, the wine, and listening to crappy dance music.