Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Medical Insurance

Today the finance department of my doctor's office hung up on me.

I saw a doctor here (no worries, nothing is wrong), and the doctor's office billed my insurance company TWICE. For the same amount. So of course I got a slip in the mail from the one that was denied. So I called my insurance company and they said they paid one and denied the other. And then they told me the amount that I needed to pay the doctor's office. And that the rest would be "written off" by the doctor's office, which I seriously don't understand. It like, "let's bill them x amount and see if they pay. If not, no worries, we'll just take what they pay and forget about the rest."

So I called my doctor's office, told them there must be a misunderstanding, that my insurance company had been billed twice. The finance lady, on the other end of the phone, told me that she had no record of the payment from the insurance company, that the amount she had billed had been denied and that the denial meant they didn't cover my visit - which wasn't true, they had simply already paid the office for the first bill. She also told me one of the bills must have been for lab work - which is rubbish - as they were both for-the-exact-same-amount.

So I tried to explain this - over and over again - to the finance woman. And she kept telling me she would re-submit the bill. And I kept telling her it wasn't about re-submitting. It was about the fact they had already been paid. And that I wanted to pay her the difference. So I told her she needed to figure out who billed the insurance company (twice) from her office, and she said "okay, ma'am" and then hung up the phone abruptly. Didn't even let me pay.

I was livid. I wanted to walk over there, track her down, look her in the eye and tell her that's no way to treat another human being.

But instead, I'll take her hanging up as a sign that she must have realized the billing error was on her side, otherwise there would be no reason to be so defensive, right?

A New Baby

No, I'm not pregnant again.

Chase's word of the month is "baby." Of all the words in her baby sign book, she liked the word "baby" best. She's been saying, over and over, every day. And so I decided this was a (not so subtle) hint to me that she needed to have a baby doll.

I thought I found one at Costco (I didn't set out to look for baby dolls at Costco, I just stumbled across one that seemed good - she came with a stuffed animal, a blanket, a bottle, a pacifier, a bassinet and diapers - aka hours of self entertainment, I hoped). But when we got her home, we found the baby's eyes didn't close and her arms looked like she had been lifting weights - they didn't hang at her sides - they were completely overstuffed. And so I decided we'd return it and keep looking.

Yesterday I was at TAR-JEHY, and decided to take a look at the baby dolls on offer. I have never seen SO many scary dolls. There was one that was a sick baby - and it came with bandages, a thermometer, and cheeks that turned red - and on the packaging it said, "Mommy will make it better." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

And, while we were looking at baby dolls, I passed another mother, with kids who must have been about five years old. They were looking at the older dolls saying, "Mom, can you believe how ugly she is?"

At that point I really wanted to turn around and say, "You know life isn't all about looks. That doll probably has a great personality, is super smart and might even go on to be the first female president of the United States."