I have been dealing with end-of-year stuff for the past couple of weeks. You know, doctor and dental appointments and such, before my insurance changes. For the most part, I’m pretty healthy for my age. I have one little issue to resolve that could require additional coverage—and even that “coverage” will be sketchy.
I have a touchy tooth that’s been a problem for a while now. Long story short, a root is causing sinus issues. Which means almost constant headaches from the pressure. Now, before my dentist removes the tooth, he wants to make sure that I’m infection-free, which, of course, is complicated by my allergies to the standard antibiotics.
I had a choice. I could spend (out of pocket) about $650 for the most effective medicine I can take, or settle for the one that works slower and costs only about $10. I have insurance, but it won’t cover the best medication for the job, just the cheapest. So, instead of being able to take care of this issue promptly, I need to wait while the cheap stuff does its thing. Such is the state of “health care” in the United States.
In the US, Open Season… er, Open Enrollment, occurs during November and the first part of December. In addition to the fun times around the holidays, many Americans are subjected to the added stress of trying to figure out what kind of “health care” they’ll have to pay for over the next year. This year was especially entertaining with everything that happened over Thanksgiving.(link to aftermath)
Here’s how it went down for me.
I got on the Internet to look for insurance through my state exchange. As soon as I added my (required) contact number, my phone was spammed with calls of “let me help you get health insurance.” Which, of course, I ignored. I’m sorry, but if you are calling me and expecting me to give you my personal health and other information, you are sadly mistaken. Most especially when your English is broken. I was born at night, just not last night.
After looking at the web and about losing my mind with the constant phone ringing, I ended up back at the place I contacted when I was first “retired.” I put in my information, and when I was ready to talk to an agent, I received a pop-up message that I could expect a phone call from the number on my screen. Indeed, a couple of minutes later, an agent called me from that number.
I talked to the same fellow I contacted a couple of months ago and was able to get a minimal plan to cover the basics. I’ll have to pay close of $150 a month for practically nothing. My out of pocket expenses for the year will probably exceed my annual payments. And gods forbid if anything significant should happen.
At the end of 2020, we’ll do this all over again, only I’ll have a better idea of how our future finances will shake out, so I’ll be able to make better choices. My goal for the new year: stay as healthy as I can.