Aggravated With Medicare And The Health System
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Gary L. Clark is an author. After a thirty year career he retired to write a novel. He then joined a counselor-in-training program at the local community mental health center and worked three years as a substance abuse counselor. He retired again and has written two more novels. He recently completed the annotation of a self-help book on faith-based self-help. Two published novels (available on Amazon.com) address social justice. Mr. Clark is the Editor of thefiresidepost.com. He lives in St. Joseph, Missouri.

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Aggravated With Medicare And The Health System

I can’t find my glasses

Right off let me be clear, I am a senior.  That is somewhere between middle age and elderly.  My health insurance is Medicare with a United Health Care supplement.  As I have aged I have experienced more aches and pains resulting from the active utilization of my body parts.  Did I mention that I have Medicare?  I am aggravated with the fabulous wonderful great health care system.

Last year both of my knees ached most of the time.  I would wake up in the night trying to find a comfortable way of laying that did not include aching knees.  Not one to go to the doctor unnecessarily, I put it off.  Finally I went to my primary care person with my aching knees.  He gave me a shot in the ass, I think it was cortisone.  Then a script for anti-inflammatory pills.  It was a $30 co-pay for the doctor visit and 30 copay for the script.

I went in again a couple of months later for my six month blood check, another $30 copay.  I have a hyperactive thyroid and have to be tested.  The physician generally runs a full panel of blood work at the same time.  My blood work came back showing elevated liver enzymes of some sort.  The Doc sent me to see a gastroenterologist.  I actually liked Dr. Dehr – a man of Indian persuasion but well spoken in my native tongue.  He ordered a couple of thousand dollars of more lab work on my blood.  The doctor visit was a $50 copay.

The blood work came back and I went again to see Dr. Dehr, another $50 copay.  The medication I was taking was likely the culprit in the elevated liver enzymes.  I had about $250 out of pocket to learn that I should not take the meds that the Doc prescribed.

I was already aggravated when Dr. Dehr recommended a colonoscopy and upper GI scope.  “Why,” I asked, “how is this related to the liver enzymes?”  “It is not related,” he said, “but you mentioned that you have some acid refux in your medical history.”

“Well,” I said, “I have lost faith in the medical system.  I have invested around $250 in learning nothing.  You and my doctor have been enriched by my insurance and my co-pays.  You want me to do the examinations in the outpatient facility that you own.”  I left the office with no schedule of examinations for anything.

I am now down the road about four or five months.  Being a senior has quirky psychological dilemmas.  Most of all is hypochondria.    Ever since Dr. Dehr asked for two exams I have been having psychological problems.  Am I constipated?  Are my stools too loose?  If I burp I ask myself if I have moved some stomach acid into my esophagus.  My senses are on hyper-alert status.  Being old and being sick at the same time is not pleasant.

Tomorrow I am going to call United Health Care and ask about the out-of-pocket cost for a colonoscopy and for an upper GI scope.  I will have to see my primary again (another $30) and Dr. Dehr again (another $50).  I will have two pieces of humble pie.

What a pain in the a…..

There Is 1 Response So Far. »

  1. All of my 2017 was spent seeing one doctor after another………. Because I was found to have low blood platelets. I discovered on my own that several of my medications were likely suspects and quit them. So onward we went, ruling out this and ruling out that. Then the ultimate rock meets hard place happened, I couldn’t keep my cool and canceled everything until after the holidays. They are all like you can’t do that, I’m like watch me. So… Holidays are over and the crazy train begins again. On one hand I feel like the ultimate schmuck and they are playing me against the system. Then they have to go using words like cancer…. So, yeah it begins anew. Sorry you are not feeling well, my colonoscopy and upper GI got me a round of prednisone and so far nothing more sinister than non specific inflammation has been spouted. Both are something doctors and insurance companies like for you to do and with United Healthcare you can get a gift card for Subway or Appleby’s anywhere from $5 to $25 when you do these important tests. I might lick my wounds and treat my hubby to Appleby’s this month. Good luck

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