For those wondering, I’m not cured yet. I am still hobbled by pain in my leg caused by a pinched nerve. It is being pinched by a herniated disk.
Sounds (and is) complex!
The busted parts are in my back. The pain is in my leg. I’m still having difficulty coming to grips with that.
I’ve seen three doctors, had an X-ray and an MRI. I’ve also had two epidurals–all the fun getting an injection in your spine should be!
My journey has not ended.
The medical bills have started to dribble in. I will have a significant responsibility just with my co-pays and deductibles.
Without insurance… well I just can’t imagine.
I am appreciative of my employer’s insurance plan, but this is just one more reason we need a national single payer insurance system¹.
Costs from an illness like mine can easily grow beyond anyone’s ability to pay. How many thousands of dollars have you put away for a random rainy day? I am thankful this will not be my problem, but I get it.
My main concern is getting better. As I’ve discovered, pain is no fun.
I am hoping my insurance company wants me well too, but I know that’s not their only concern. For instance it would be great for them if they didn’t have to pay my claim. That’s the reason for the letter I got today.
The letter has my insurance company’s name and logo on the top. They didn’t send it. It comes from “a leading independent provider of outsourced insurance subrogation, claims recovery and cost containment solutions for the healthcare payor and property and casualty industries.”
“Subrogation,” that’s the operative word. Subrogation means my insurance company would like to find someone else responsible for paying my bill. If my pain was caused by an auto injury or some on-the-job accident the cost wouldn’t be their responsibility.
I cannot blame insurance companies for exploring this option. No one… no company wants to pay a cent more than they owe! Mitt Romney’s, “I pay all the taxes owed. And not a penny more,” works here too.
Here’s the problem, subrogation isn’t free. Sure individual insurance companies will save money on individual claims, but subrogation itself costs. Subrogation doesn’t reduce how much money is paid, only who pays it. It could save my insurance companies money.
Oh, cmon, who’s kidding whom? My boss and I pay for subrogation. It’s part of my insurance bill and it provides no coverage or care.
If you’re insured it’s a cost without a benefit.
I called the subrogation company tonight. “Unusually high call volume,” so I tried their website. I went back to the phone after I realized all the options on their webform were aimed at finding my pain was caused by an accident or injury someone else could pay for. The questions were written in a way that made it difficult for me to answer honestly.
My phone call lasted under five minutes. Case for subrogation closed.
I wish the woman on the other side would have said, “I hope you feel better,” as we parted. It isn’t part of her concern.
I’ve come to the conclusion most people opposing single payer healthcare have had little interaction with today’s for profit system. If we had national healthcare this defensive cost would disappear and the money could be spent on getting people well… or lower premiums.
¹ – Go ahead, call it socialized medicine. That’s fine with me.