Mar 4, 2008

On Being Screwed and The Symbols of Screwing

Let's take the second one first...

Ok, I did better at the show this weekend than I'd initially thought. I only lost 88 cents so I essentially broke even - as long as I get paid nothing for the hours and hours of prep, set up, attendance, driving, etc. Still, as (initially) I thought I'd lost $300, it could be worse.

I am absolutely exhausted. It was good to see my sister and our display looked very nice.

But, honestly? The real show didn't feature the vendors... it featured the attendees. Who sported (*don't click the links if you are easily offended*) deelyboppers, carrying around large quantities of booze which they drank through straws ... including in rainbow colors, and, lest you jewelry wearers feel ignored, many (many) also adorned themselves with blinking pins and stickers that said "I love orgasms... don't you?" I never made it to the main ballroom but I'm told it held loud music, a lot of beer, and male strippers.

One of the women on the jewelry making forum I belong to said I should probably be grateful that my jewelry didn't sell better - any woman prone to wearing deelyboppers shaped like male genitalia probably wouldn't exactly be a good representative for my "art". I'd like to think that the weekend was an aberration for these women. There can't really be *that* many crass women around, can there?

This is not to say that there weren't classy women there too - there were and some of them were really very nice... They were definitely outnumbered though.

Alrighty, on to the second point... being screwed. Or, rather, on having Screw You Health Insurance...

For those who have been wondering, nope, we still have no resolution.

I spoke with "member services" on the 25th. At that point, Member Services had heard nothing about it. The woman's supervisor said if it's that close to when I'm supposed to have the baby, it's usually treated as still being in-network but can't say specifically because they have no word that HCC will be OON.

Ok, then the 29th, I heard from our state legislator. Her contact in the industry had come back saying that talks hadn't broken down, that they expected to reach a deal, and that I would likely be covered under a transitional care plan even if they didn't.

On the 1st (while I was gone), we received a letter from Oxford Health that the hospital would be OON as of April 1 and that "women in their second trimester of pregnancy may be eligible for transitional care and should call member services to discuss it." Note that it does not say "second trimester or later" and also does say "may be eligible" not "will be eligible"...)

So, on Monday (3/3), I called Member Services. After being on hold from 3:45 - 3:59 p.m., I learned that Member Services just got word of the hospital termination that morning. She transferred me to the medical management department who can handle the transitional care issues.

I held on the line from 3:59 - 4:19, when medical management finally picked up and thought I was a provider, then when I told her I was a member asked (with annoyance) "were you transferred up here?!" She advised that the hospital wasn't showing as terminated in her system but that she would submit the request for the transitional care for me "for the hospital only". (quoted language made me nervous - what about the OB, etc.?) I asked if there was anything else I needed to do or if I was all set for the pregnancy and she said there was nothing else I needed to do - that someone would be getting in touch with me. They have to review it and one of the coordinators will be getting in contact with me. She did not seem terribly confident and seemed to be brushing me off. I got off the phone at 5:35 p.m.

It gets worse. The medical management coordinator woman called me this morning (3/4/08). She said, flatly, "we don't do transitional care for facilities". I told her that wasn't what the letter I received said and read her the language. She asked me to fax the letter and said she'd get back to me "in a couple of days". I faxed the letter to her and tried to call to confirm her receipt (I got a confirmation but I figured better safe than sorry). Unfortunately, the number she called in from was a general number for the entire Northeast Region of United Healthcare and I don't have her last name. I guess I'll just have to pray that she actually will call back.

I have an appointment with my OB on Thursday and I will definitely be talking to him then about what he sees my options as. I'm also going to have John ask the insurance agent again about switching insurance. I've also emailed my state legislator with an update. I think it's time to get the Office of Health Care Advocate involved.

One thing I have been very surprised by in all of this is how very high a percentage of the general population loathes health insurance companies. And even more surprising? The loathing transcends political and ideological viewpoints. Liberals, conservatives, Republicans, Democrats - everyone hates insurance companies.

And my daughter (who's stayed dry the last two days for the most part) just wet her pants. Gotta go.

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Blogger LauraJ said...

I do hope tomorrow is better for you!

7:32 PM  
Blogger Brightdreamer said...

Well, I think you've just confirmed the stress/accident link, there... This really sucks spider-infested burnt toast, as my sister would say. How this kind of thing can be legal is beyond me, but I guess you get a big enough lobby and you can get away with murder. (Why, no, I'm not a fan of insurance companies, either... why do you ask? ;-) )

Oh, and your booth looked nice, even if the clientele was a bit beneath it. (And, yes, there are depressingly large numbers of exceptionally crass females out there... I mean, think about it. There have to be, or the crass males wouldn't keep reproducing to create crass offspring and raise them in a crass household.)

2:07 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

The booth looks lovely... at least you got to practice setting it up.

As to the number of crass females out there... I'm just going to say this... The Idiot has a surprising amount of friends.

Insurance companies? Yeah... it really shouldn't be a for-profit industry. It's great that you have some connections to legislators (they actually helped me once I got the Epilepsy Foundation fired up out here)

But I advise that you not wait for that chick to call you back. Call again and see if a couple of days of phone calls might have maybe gotten them to get their asses and elbows straightened out and have clearer answers.

2:22 AM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

I have to agree with Jade, I'd be calling back also, as they may not know/care how close you are to term and they need a fire lit under their proverbial group asses.

The booth was really well done, beautiful. Too bad there was such a high percentage of boppy-thingy-wearing beer-suckers. By the way I had to click the link to see what you were talking about. Ouch, my eyes, LOL....

8:42 AM  
Blogger Greta said...

woman wearing blinking dicks...are you kidding me? man where was the male strippers...aghhh yes my friend i would have been up in there...lmao

girl i would have had a field day up in there with my camera...i wouldn't have sold shit for taking pictures secretly of these women/...

i hope your health insurance issue gets resolved soon...that shit is nerve racking!!!!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Hey I'm supposed to be getting notification of your blog updates and I ain't gettin' em.

Booth looks good. You got lots of stuff in that little space didn't you? Good for you!

As for the women and their various accouterments, I think I might have been a bit embarrassed although I would have just grinned and bore it. Decency and morality are on a slippery slide in this country. What can I say? Maybe it's because I'm "old and stupid" as Mulder would say. I believe in free speech if that's what that was, but free speech should include a concern for the sensitivity of others. We live in the "It's all about ME" age. How sad!

1:42 PM  

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