Tuesday, June 07, 2016
Thoughts on Obamacare, my $7,000 bill from Freeman, Trump and Hillary
That wasn't always my approach as those who have known me for a long time can tell you. There was a time when I became upset about things like people holding up traffic to make a left turn or driving at 35 miles per hour when there is no place to pass.
At some point, though, whether it was because of maturity or just reaching the realization that there was nothing I could do to prevent these things from happening
My more mellow older self was put to the test yesterday when I opened the mail and received a bill for nearly $7,000 from Freeman for the anesthesia that was used during my recent triple bypass surgery.
I have insurance. Why wasn't it taking care of this?
I immediately picked up my phone to call Freeman and get to the bottom of whatever was going on. It was at that point, I discovered that my phone (landline) was not working. It had a dial tone, but it cut out every few seconds and I could not place a call.
I used my cell phone to call the landline phone and it did not ring, but then I called the number to pick up my messages and apparently, my voice mail was working and I had a message from the accounting office at Freeman asking me to call.
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A few moments later, I did and was put on hold, being told that five callers were ahead of me. I waited patiently until it was down to two and then I was cut off. I called back immediately and was told I had five callers in front of me.
I surprised myself by patiently waiting as the countdown to a conversation with a real human being took place. Finally, a pleasant-sounding woman told me they thought they should let me know that my insurance company, which shall remain nameless, but which rhymes with Loventry, had told the hospital that I had not paid my premiums.
I found that interesting, since the payments to my insurance company are automatically deducted from my checking account. I thanked her for letting me know, finished the conversation, then called the insurance company.
I only had to wait 10 minutes to talk to a real person and a polite gentleman called up my account, and said, "I can't figure out what's going on here."
He quickly confirmed (as my bank statements already had for me) that I had not missed a single payment. He promised to take care of it for me.
I had a call from a woman at my insurance company today, but unfortunately, the call was to my landline phone, which won't be repaired until Wednesday, according to AT&T (at least, the problem is on AT&T's end so I won't have to pay for that). I called the number and dialed the extension, and of course, reached the woman's voice mail, which promised my call would be returned in an hour. That was 3:30 p.m. and I am still waiting.
And for some reason, I am not upset about it.
Some background on my insurance company
As some readers may recall, I was one of the first wave to enroll in Obamacare in 2013 and for one year received my insurance for $3 a month.
For the second year, my insurance company, which has a name that also rhymes with Doventry, increased my premium to $68 a month and when it came time for this year, it was increased to close to $200 a month.
So I decided to return to the Health Exchange and go through the Obamacare enrollment once more and I enrolled in the same package which the same insurance company was poised to charge me nearly $200 a month for $26 a month.
I would have had a better deal the previous year if I had re-enrolled in Obamacare, but for obvious reasons, that is not something your insurance company feels obliged to tell you.
About Hillary Clinton's victory
I am not terribly excited about the nomination of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, but I am excited about watching history take place as a woman finally receives the nomination of a major party for president.
Why did it take so long?
I grew up with names like Golda Meir in Israel and Indira Gandhi in India, strong capable leaders, and it has been more than two decades since Margaret Thatcher was in charge in Great Britain.
I find it sad that there are many people out there whose hatred runs so deep that they cannot appreciate the importance of this nomination. I imagine most of them are the same people who have never been able to appreciate the giant step forward this country took in electing its first African-American president eight years ago.
Repeating a one-liner
I already said this on Facebook, but since it received a positive reaction, I thought I would try it again. With Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic nomination, does this mean that the general election will pit It Takes a Village against It Takes a Village Idiot?
Back in Joplin
I posted this on Facebook, but failed to mention on the blog that I returned to Joplin for good Sunday after spending six weeks in Newtonia while I recovered from the surgery.