Aug 8, 2008

high deductible health insurance sucks (TMI post)

I've been having these pains in my stomach for the last month, and as they haven't gone away, I want to go see a gastrologist about it. I already spent $65 + $25 to see a gynecologist for a UTI I had earlier + antibiotics, and I'm not even sure my UTI has gone away. Meanwhile, this pain is getting worse. Yesterday, I took laxatives to see if it would help. Maybe I just have IBS and the doctor will say "eat more fiber, stop eating sugar" and that will solve everything. I had the worst pains ever after taking that stimulent laxative and was up all night grabbing at my stomach.

I don't think my problem is constipation. There wasn't much to get out (sorry, TMI, I warned you in the title.) So what IS my problem? It's not gassiness, it's not dihareea, it's probably not constipation. But there's still a pain, that seems to go back and forth between my lower left abdomen and my upper left abdomen. Occassionally, the chest area on the left side also hurts, I get a burning sensation, so maybe that's heartburn. The pain in my chest is rare, but the weird tight aching feeling in my left abdomen is constant.

So my boyfriend convinced me it's time to go to a doc. I called and made an appointment. I can't even see the actual doc because he doesn't have an opening until Sept 24. So I made an appointment with a nurse practitioner. The lady in the billing department convinced me she's just as good as the doctor. We'll see about that.

So the nurse practictioner costs just as much to see as the doctor does. It's about $300 for the appointment. Well, it might be $150 at the lowest, but they can't tell me until after the appointment. If it turns out it seems serious (which, for the sake of getting my monies worth, I almost hope it does) then they'll prob have to do a more thorough exam, which will cost the $300. But with that, they'll need to do tests, and lab work, and I have a feeling it won't be long before I reach my $3000 deductible.

I really need a job with health insurance. :(



9 comments:

Abby said...

Eh, I'm all about TMI (though thanks for the warning) since I've had a whole lot of icky stuff (to use the technical term) happen -- and thanks to my husband's recent bouts with MRSA I think I'm just about immune to the site of pus.

Annywaaay, you should definitely look up the whole IBS thing and see if there are eating habits recommended, while you wait for the doc appt. But I've never heard of it being localized quite that way.

Obviously you know not to take any more laxatives. But given how much pain that caused, it's definitely not in your head.

My completely non-medical guess is that the laxative maybe caused your intestines to squeeze (to help move food along and get the colon to move waste along) which could have caused extra acids to form and caused the pain? It might be extra acid (which would also explain the heartburn-y feeling) because with all that stomach pain you might not be eating as much.

At any rate, my lack of knowledge won't help but definitely high deductibles do suck. My main advice is that if the nurse is too blase, keep pushing, politely but firmly. And maybe ask if this has anything to do with the UTI or could it have been misdiagnosed and those symptoms were actually part of it.

when's your appt? If it keeps getting worse, please find some place that will take you sooner. Because you're young, sometimes medical professionals will think you're just making a fuss. (I was 19 and kept being told I had the flu. Less than a week later, I was on full life support and the doctors were rather sheepish -- and fascinated because I had a rare illness.)

The point is, you know something's wrong and it's your body. So if they're not taking you seriously, it's worth the annoying amount of money to find someone who will.Take care,

Abby

Frugal Babe said...

I feel your pain. We have a $3000 deductible too, and my husband had knee surgery in January, so we had to cough it up. We also had a baby, and wanted a homebirth, which isn't covered by our health insurance. That was another $3000. Feeling a bit health-care poor at the moment. Good luck - I hope they figure out what's going on and that you're feeling better soon.

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eking out said...

Could it be a gallstone? IBS does sound like a possibility, but a frustrating one since it's a diagnosis of exclusion. Could it be that the UTI moved north to your kidneys? Do you have a fever?

I can't recall for sure if you said you had PCOS, but if so, have you ever had a ruptured cyst? I've only had 2, but they both started out with pain/a bloated feeling in my pelvic area on whichever side it was that had the cyst, and when it burst, over a 2 week period, I had pain in my lower, middle, and upper trunk on that side, and it moved to my back. I actually thought I had a back injury, but my doctor friend explained to me that anytime there's fluid where there shouldn't be, your body responds with pain, and since the fluid tends to pool behind your pelvis, you get back pain. I sort of went on a tangent there, but anyway, good luck, and I hope they can figure it out (especially since you're paying out of pocket!).

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David said...

And remember, your deductible does not really mean that is all you will have to spend. Insurance companies don't pay for many tests, and don't pay a percentage of most everything you need, so even if you meet your deductible, you will probably still have to pay alot. I have health insurance but have still paid over $10K in costs this year...and my deductible is $2500. Go figure, and good luck.

Mike Miller said...

We've had group health insurance for the last 20+ years. In the last 4 years we've had to actually use it and it has been pure misery. Sure, everything is covered when you buy the policy but things change when you start using it. In-network / Out-of-Network, sheesh, seems like you don't stand a chance. If something is out-of-network then standard/customary doesn't apply so everyone can try and get you for everything they can. WHAT A MESS!

I pay nearly $6,000, and growing, in premiums every year. We've had 2 out-patient surgeries in our family in the last two years, and have maxed out the rest of our insurance requirements but still paid more than $5,000 out of pocket. The basic math says we paid more than $11,000 each year for health coverage protection. Initially, you would think the insurance company took a hit on us because of our expenses but since they only pay the medical community a reduced amount called "Usual and Customary", I am sure they still made a considerable profit at everyone else’s expense.

So, why do I have insurance?

Complaining hasn't done me or anyone else I know any good in this arena so I'm proposing a new PUBLIC outcry. Please visit my website http://www.stoprapingme.org and get involved. There are images to send to people that they might send to others, and they . . . Hopefully we can mobilize a public outcry, determine some stop-gap solutions that will start a reform action.

How do you eat an elephant?

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