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Insurance Terrorizes People


Maggie, from my insurance company called me Thursday to say that the MRI has been approved.  Lovely.  Just great.  I managed to get it schedule for Wednesday even though the scheduler said, “it doesn’t look like it’s been approved”.  I said, “it has, and it doesn’t matter at this point, I’m having it”.  So, it’s scheduled for Wednesday next week and I know that it has been approved because the Radiation Oncologist scheduler saw that it was. 

It turns out I am really impatient when it comes to insurance.  For some reason I believe that once I had a malignancy confirmed we could move things along rather quickly.  Why would it possibly take five days to approve a PET scan?  How could it take four days to approve an MRI? I don’t understand.  I feel like I could approve those for people from my cell phone.  Using emojis.  “malignant tumor? need a Pet scan?”  Thumbs up!  It’s. Not. That. Hard.  But insurance companies have made things harder and more complicated for doctors and patients.  The last deadly administration helped them do it, too.  

I’m sure the stress of dealing with my insurance company is bad for me.  I know that.  The despise I feel.  The anger and frustration.  There is NO way that is good for my body.  I’ve complained so they have my number. I tweet at them for being idiots and then Maggie calls me. I guess she’s been assigned to this disgruntled customer.  I feel bad for Maggie for working at such a horrible, awful, heartless, wretched place.  She does her job well.  Honestly, she does.  She doesn’t get upset when I’ve been really upset.  She listens and tries to understand.  I guess.  The last time we talked, she called to tell me that the doctor screwed up and that’s why they couldn’t approve the MRI.  The conversation went like this:

Maggie:  “Hi Anne,  I wanted to let you know that your doctors blah blah blah

Me: “I don’t care, Maggie. I couldn’t care less.  Why aren’t you calling the doctor for the information you need instead of calling me?” 

Maggie:  Well I wanted to let you know why…

Me:  Maggie, do you know how stressful it is to have cancer.  Do you know the last time I had cancer it was three weeks from diagnosis to start of treatment?  It’s been four weeks, Maggie, and I can’t get a freaking MRI.

Maggie:  I understand, and it has to be stressful.

Me:  Why are we talking Maggie?

Maggie:  I want you to you know why it was denied. Because your doctors… blah, blah, blah

Me:  Maggie, how does that help me?  In fact, it feels really pathetic.  Premera blaming my doctors.  I talked to the doctors; they believe they gave you everything you asked for so clearly Premera is making this pretty complicated for the ONCOLOGISTS to get an MRI approved.

Maggie:  It’s standard practice.

Me:  Maggie, have you ever had cancer?

Maggie:  No.

Me:  Do you have kids, Maggie?

Maggie:  Yes.

Me:  Four times, Maggie.  Four times I’ve had to tell my kids that one of their parents has cancer.  Four times I have terrified my kids.  Four times they lived with uncertainty and had to believe me that everything was going to be “fine”.  It’s getting harder for them to believe me, Maggie.  And this time, I can’t say, this is what is going to happen and then I’ll be good.  Do you know why?  Because my doctors can’t get the test they need approved by my HEALTH insurance company I gave 20K for said insurance.  Plus, Maggie, I have a 15K deductible.  That’s 35,000 dollars I’m spending to have this cancer treated.  I need an MRI, Maggie.

Maggie:  I understand you do, but we need your doctors blah blah fucking blah.

Me:  Maggie, nothing you are saying matters to me.  Nothing.  Can you just approve the MRI, Maggie?

Maggie:  Our doctors need blah blah blah

Me:  Do better, Maggie.  Do better.

I hung up.  Then I tweeted that I liked Maggie.  That she was good at her job.  But that their stupid policies put her in a horrible position.  She seems like a nice person who doesn’t get to be kind because she’s chosen to work for an organization that gets to legally hurt and terrorize people.  Does that sound extreme?  It’s not.   It really isn’t.  It feels like being terrorized when someone is playing with your life.  For profits.  Yuck.

Man, we made this awful racist, capitalist, white supremacist system and its white people who need to take it the fuck down.  More on that another time.  Maybe.

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