Thursday, March 26, 2009

The insurance company cares!

We’re told that before this Thursday is over, there’s a chance of some rain activity. I believe the forecast. My bones and joints tell me that within 50 miles of my house a storm will erupt. Those fancy weather maps show the rain drying up as it crosses into Maine, but at least this morning I’m going to believe the forecasters. The temperatures, though, are nice right now. I’m not sure how they’ll be as the day progresses.

Thursday is also my senior fitness day and I increased each of the elements of my routine a little bit. At one point I had to stop for a few minutes to let the joints catch up with me, but today I found that darned balance ball that is such a chore for me. I had forgotten to do it Tuesday, the first day I was back at the place with no restrictions. I was surprised that after two months, I could still stand on the thing. Perhaps there’s some small hope for me after all.

I’m not sure where I want to go today. There are so many things affecting all of us from both the state and the federal governments that getting focused occasionally gets very difficult. This is one of those difficult days.

I think I’ll just take the day off.

Here’s a good thing. Today is Gator Daughter’s birthday. She’s in her 40s and I guess that’s about all I should say about that. However, she does get to choose the eating place. I mentioned earlier this month when I had one of these memorable days that it is a tradition in our family that the birthday person gets to choose the eating place. Care to guess how many times “home” has been that place?

It isn’t tonight, either. Her choice was the Texas Roadhouse so that’s where we’ll be going tonight. We like the steaks there. For many, probably most in my age range, the place does have one minor fault. It’s extremely noisy. I have an advantage over that noise as I wear two hearing aids. They both have a little button that greatly minimizes the noise.

Of course that means that sometimes the conversation involving me gets interesting. I can, however, manage the noise.

After we eat, we’ll be coming back to Gator Country for dessert. GD always bakes a cake on her parents’ days. We bake hers at a local bakery. It’s always good and she doesn’t complain. She likes to make cakes; we don’t. During this part of the celebration is when she’ll get her gifts from us.

I think I found one of the reasons health care costs are so high. Last night I got a phone call from my insurance carrier. Actually, this was the second call. The first one had come the night before telling me about a program offered by the carrier for patients with heart disease. That caller told me I’d be getting a call from a registered nurse to help me understand my disease and ways I can take care of myself. I could also ask any question I might have about the disease.

The next night, last night, that second call did come. One question she asked was if I understood what my disease was. I politely explained that I’ve been living with the knowledge of it since my heart attack eight years ago and probably for many years before that when I didn’t know I had it. I explained that I’ve discussed my heart disease many, many times with my physician. She thought that was good.

Then she went into a long description of what heart disease is, including the health signs that would indicate it. Again, possibly a little less politely I explained that living with the knowledge of this thing for as long as I have and because I diligently and regularly go to both my heart doctor and my primary care physician with any signs that develop along with very regular checkups, I was well aware of the situation.

She wanted to keep the dialogue going, but I got lucky. She had called right in the middle of the supper hour and Wife Gator had completed its preparation. I explained I was being called to my evening meal because she had chosen a terrible time for her call. I reiterated that I follow all my doctor’s recommendations and advice and all that would take a whole lot of precedence over a telephone call to or from a nurse in another state that I’ve never seen or with whom I’ve never developed a relationship.

I explained quickly that the chance of my ever calling this insurance company service was slightly less than zero. She didn’t want to let go and asked what I would like to do with this current case…set up a time for another call or close it out. “Close it out?” I asked. “I never opened one.”

She said it was opened the previous night when I got that initial call. I, still trying to be polite which isn’t my nature with unsolicited phone calls, explained that since I hadn’t initiated the call, I didn’t open anything so she had better check with the that first caller on what she wished to do. I thanked her for her concern and headed off for supper.

Just a couple days ago I got a “report” on my medical activity from the same insurance company. It listed all the drugs I take. It suggested I discuss taking Coumadin to help keep my blood thin so it would flow easier and ask my doctor if I should have a blood test. I’ve been taking Coumadin for nine years and those are the blood tests I mention here at least once a month. The report suggested I schedule an annual exam so my doctor could easily follow my health. I’ve been getting an annual exam every year for so many years I can’t remember when they started.

I’ve had this same insurance company for at least 30 and probably more years. I appreciate their newly found concern over my health, but from these two experiences with their idea of help I’ve concluded they could save themselves and me some money by dumping these “helps” and lowering my premiums.


No comments: