Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

In addition to scars, pain, angst, and potassium-benzoate-containing ginger ale (really, is that necessary?) in the recovery room, I have gotten several additional "gifts" from my surgery. I liken most of these "gifts" to the kinds of "gifts" one might receive from a cocker spaniel.

There was the "gift" from my health insurance company, that arrived, on a Saturday (as did a bunch of unrelated bills, I might add), in the form of a letter in my mailbox that basically said, "We're reviewing your claim and deciding whether to cover the cost of your surgery. We'll let you know." I guess they were thinking that it's possible that I had gotten up early for the privilege of having people to cut into my stomach and insert probes and scalpels into my uterus and vagina and scrape at stuff for purely cosmetic reasons, all while under the influence of anesthesia that might possibly have the unfortunate side effect of killing me. (I should add that I had made three separate phone calls in advance, to various individuals, and was assured each time that the procedure would be covered.)

Thankfully, they ultimately decided to cover (most of) the surgery, rendering unnecessary the will-they-or-won't-they anxiety that I had endured between the aforementioned letter and the coverage letter. Then, they sent me a bunch of checks for the surgery, arriving at various different times, so that I had to go out of my way on multiple occasions to deliver them to my doctor.

Then, I got a bill from the hospital for a few hundred dollars. I have seven years of postsecondary education and a law degree, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what I'm being charged for, or why I'm being billed instead of my insurance company. The piece de resistance is that the bill includes a line item for a "state surcharge." A state surcharge??? WTF??? It's not as if I checked into a HOTEL!!! Hotel Cooter Scrape. The rooms aren't that private, and the beds aren't that comfortable, but they do go up and down. Can you believe this? The state's making money off my cooter.

Yesterday, I got a call from the doctor's office before 8:30 am. Given that I'm childless, and that the office should know this given that the surgery was for INFERTILITY, I am rather selfish at this hour and rarely answer the phone unless it's a clear emergency. I let the call go to voicemail and, in an act of supreme selflessness, returned it this morning at 8:50.

At which point I was promptly told that the woman I needed to speak with didn't get in until after nine.

Now I'm left wondering what fresh hell is this.

They'd better be calling to tell me that, despite the big blue "-" on the Fact Plus in the trash, and the fact that I haven't been to the office at all during this cycle, I'm pregnant. Undoubtedly, though, there's some problematic financial matter that I need to deal with from the surgery.

And why can't I buy pregnancy tests by the gross, anyway?

UPDATE: They wanted to know when I would be bringing by the latest check. The one that I received this week, right AFTER dropping off the other five or so checks.

Where's the check. Give me a break. How about, WHERE'S THE BABY???


Blogger wordgirl said...

Hotel Cooter Scrape. That is too funny. Might one fashion a poem or short story from that idea? Or just a headline from the National Enquirer?

Dude, you should totally send a letter back that says, "You'll get your money when I get my baby!"

11:47 AM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

I'm with Wordgirl. Do that.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Harridan said...

I wonder what they would've done if they had gotten you on the phone at 8:30? "Hi, please call us back in a half hour to talk to someone who isn't here yet!"

Most of the people at my clinic are sweethearts, but the ones who are not sweet are REALLY BAD.

Make them wait for that check as long as you want. Only drop it off when it's convenient for YOU. That's my advice.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

Aw girl. Those miserable unfeeling bastards. Take your sweet time getting them that check. Here's to hoping for that "+" sign soon!

P.S. Bulk pregnancy tests? How bout Sams. I mean, they sell two foot jars of pig's feet. Why not pregnancy tests?

2:09 PM  
Blogger Mignon said...

I've been in that bizarre netherworld where bills and checks keep coming and I don't know which check goes where and the bill doesn't seem to relate to whatever procedure I had and it has my husband's name on it, even though he's not on our health plan... This is reason enough to become a Socialist.

Sorry about the "-" and the crap sandwhich we call insurance. (I just made some Cointreau brownies - want the recipe?)

2:48 PM  
Blogger Arabella said...

Mignon--YES. Brownies make everything better, as does Cointreau. I can't even imagine the giddiness that will ensue by combining them.

Everybody else, thank you for your sympathy. You're all very nice, even without brownies. :)

5:48 PM  
Anonymous TB said...

Arabella, I feel your pain. God, I HATE dealing with the health insurance companies on infertility and women's health issues so much. It's almost enough to deter you from seeking further treatment, which is ultimately what they want. Keep fighting. I know it sucks.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Hotel Cooter Scrape--sounds like a business concept for Paris Hilton. After all, she's got the cooter AND hotel expertise.

Sorry Arabella. Sometimes life sucks and then it sucks even more. How's that for a profound comment?

11:03 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Once I get through this house showing tomorrow I'll send you the brownie recipe, okey? Mmmmmm (and also cilantro beef enchiladas? I'll send that too.)

12:32 AM  
Blogger Brooke said...

Motherfucking insurance companies who understand NOTHING.

I am so sorry because I UNDERSTAND. If there's anything else besides brownies that you'd like, I'd be HAPPY to send it!

8:09 PM  

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