Rants and Ramblings

I had a month off before starting postdoc. The plan was to leisurely get some work done, submit a paper, and slowly start prepping for it. What ended up happening was a whole hodge podge of stuff.

My big rant of the last month — I hate incompetent people. Ok so here’s a list of things that were/are on my plate:

  • Car (resolved): The short version of the story is we got rear ended, insurance made us drive out over an hour to inspect the car and then refused to repair an old car, cut us a low ball check instead for the cost of the car, decided to buy a new used car, ran around researching/looking, bought a car, took out my first loan in my life (and trying to stave off panic attacks from the thought of the loan. But the loan leads us to the next thing…
  • Credit (ahh!!): So our credit rating was low. Specifically, my husband’s. Why? Well, as much as we could trace/remember/work out the story: He thought he hadn’t applied for a credit card but he did (well, more like he started the application and then ditched it but it somehow went through?). Never received the card, never activated it and never used it. Two years later (this is like 3 years ago), somehow got a mail about an annual fee payment due, worked out what had happened, called the company, canceled the card and was told that they’d take care of the fee (since you know, we never even saw the card). Fast forward to current day, surprise!, they didn’t take care of it. So apparently they dinged his credit rating for non payment. I mean note that in the intervening years, we’ve received no notice about this. Inspite of them having all the ways to contact us. 3 phone calls, 1 in person meeting and about 5 hrs later, its still not resolved. Also got called liars, delusional and irresponsible (for not checking our credit rating every month). At the end of the day, it’s a relatively small amount but man oh man, am I pissed that (a) they didn’t take care of it as they said they would and (b) they are so incredibly rude. 10 years of being a customer and I don’t even rate polite-ness
  • Apartment hunting (done): Found; lease to be signed this week. Compared to the other things, this was rather painless.
  • HSG (also ahh!): Scheduled for this week. Got a call from the center saying that I’m on the hook for the money for it. 4 calls to the insurance company, 2 calls to the center’s billing office and 10 emails to my nurse later, this is where I am: the procedure is covered by the insurance. My doctor is in network. The surgery center is in network. The procedure doesn’t need any clearance or pre-authorization. But because of some PPO discount, the surgery center doesn’t get paid by the insurance. So they refuse to do the procedure without my self-paying for the facility fee. Which is $1200 (so not chump change). I’m not even sure who I’m pissed off at. First off, I had to wait an extra 3 weeks for this procedure because of the center’s scheduling. Secondly, they tell me now, three days before it’s being scheduled. Thirdly, my doctor has used them before – why is this an issue that’s only been flagged now with me? Fourthly, if this type of thing is an issue, why wasn’t I given a choice about which center to use? Oh and let’s not forget how everyone treats me like an idiot on these calls. Oh and not to mention, it’s an actual procedure that I’m kinda of worried about. Why is all the onus on the patients?? [EDIT: So this type of thing is standard? If shitty? https://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/12/20/11978/hospital-facility-fees-boosting-medical-bills-and-not-just-hospital-care%5D

Mostly, I’m tired of being on the hook, financially and time-wise, for other people’s mistakes or lack of clarity. Or systemic issues. Hah, and politicians think that free market is what will solve health care. Hah! First off, for a free market to function, certain conditions need to be met:

  • Perfect competition: Yeah, medical doctors/clinics aren’t interchangeable unlike say, toilet paper.

  • Perfect information: Umm, there’s such a ridiculous opacity in information on the part of the consumer. And to be fair to the industry, on the part of most of the components of the health care system. Clearly my doctor/nurse doesn’t know what are the costs to the patient of different things. The billing department has only parts of the puzzle. The insurance company knows either only the member side or the provider side (this one sounds dumb to me)

  • Perfect mobility of resources: This one should be obvious.

  • No externalities: Ofc there are externalities! Duh. Poor health in communities leads to other issues. Other issues lead to poor health.

  • And so on…

All this is from an intro econ class too. Anyways, I didn’t mean to get political. Just frustrated at an opaque system with invisible moving parts that I end up getting charged for. In spite of coloring within the lines, I’m finding that the lines are constantly being redrawn and then I’m penalized for going outside those. And then being treated like an idiot when I don’t see then.

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