I was moderately pissed off before now, when I discovered that you reimburse my prosthodontist one-hundred and fifteen percent of Medicare reimbursement, or approximately a thousand bucks for each prosthetic. You don't allow appeals, and you've ignored letters from my surgeon and the prosthodontist.
Now I'm *really* pissed, because this is what I found out today:
The lowest reimbursement for an oral prosthetic offered by any of the insurance companies with which Dr. Elf deals is fifty percent.
BCBS in other states covers between 60% and 90% of prosthetic costs. Even BCBS Oklahoma.
BCBS Texas covers close to all of the cost for limb prostheses.
BCBS TX, you are in deep, deep shit. See, when all this started, with me running up bills that I will never, ever be able to pay off (even at the competitive rates offered by the pleasant people at the credit card company, when they found out all these charges were for medical expenses), I was determined to blow into your offices like a bulldozer and make something change. If it didn't change for me, I reasoned, I could change it for the next poor bastard who lost part of a palate to cancer.
Now, a year on, I've lost energy for the bulldozer approach. Instead, I've decided to take the poppy-seed-under-the-prosthetic approach. A poppy seed doesn't do much, at first, but then it becomes annoying. As it digs into the mucosa left behind by a palatectomy, it gets painful. After a few hours, you're dealing with outright pain, runny eyes, a swollen set of sinuses, and--worst of all--the tissue around the poppy seed has become irritated enough that you have to use commando tactics to get it dislodged.
My finding out about differing reimbursement rates coincided with your sending me the same polite form letter you sent me a year ago: "Since we have not been successful in reaching you by phone" (even though the first letter had my diagnosis, Subtotal Palatectomy, right there in the header) "we invite you to call us to help us resolve any issues you have in your care. . . ."
Oh, Blue Cross, *never* ask me what you can do to make my life better. I'll tell you. I'll give you printouts, even, with diagrams and charts with circles and X-es on the back.
Strangely, darling BCBSTX, something very interesting has started to happen in the media, as well: Bigton's local paper has started doing an expose series on practices within Giganto Research and Development's operations. This follows a comparable expose done by Local Paper's sister paper north of here. Given that Giganto Inc owns Sunnydale, and that Giganto is the subscriber to your insurance, and that I am a paying member of BCBSTX's insurance pool, wouldn't it be interesting to have things like your reimbursement rates made public? I mean, things like oral prosthetics aren't even covered in your brochures' fine print. It might be nice, what with oral cancer rates on the rise, for the general public to know exactly what you cover and what it means for the people who pay for your service if you don't cover something they need.
Don't get me wrong, Blue Cross: I'm grateful that you covered the majority of the cost of my surgeries and follow-up. Without you, I'd be declaring bankruptcy. Still, it seems a little unfair that you'd cover the prosthetics necessary for a person to, say, walk, yet not cover the prosthetics necessary for her to maintain her own airway. If I needed an AFO or a hook-hand, you'd be at the plate. Now that I need something that lets me talk and not choke when I drink, you're bowing out.
And that sucks. More specifically, it's sucks for you. I may not be able to keep bulldozing, but I can sustain the level of annoyance required to feel like a poppy seed forever.
It is ON, bitches.