Posted by: Deanna | August 28, 2008

Trying to stay calm…

…it’s just not working too well!

I’m really fed up with doctors and co-pays and sly ways they have that they think we don’t see.

I realize they’re trying to make a living. Business is business, right? I just don’t appreciate being treated like an idiot.

Last week we had Mary’s eyes examined. Doctor was great! Business sucked.

We have insurance. They cover up to $115.00 on frames. They pay for lenses. They don’t pay for any coatings on lenses. Okay. That’s fine.

The bill for the glasses Mary picked out pretty much left me speechless last week and I used the ol’ stand-by, “I need to discuss this with my husband.” to get out of the office without going balistic and screeching, “Are you out of your ever-lovin’ mind!” at the woman behind the counter.

My intention was to go home and pull out the encyclopedia size benefits folder that Bill got with his new job and see if I could find written proof of our benefits for eye care. I told Bill about the conversation I had with the ‘eye’ lady.

‘So,’ I start. ‘ The frames are $40.00 more than what’s covered. I get that. The lenses are covered. There’s a big zero in that column. Where did the charges come from?”

I’m told in her suedo-professional tone that because they’re glasses for kids, “we always perscribe these super break resistant lenses that can stand the pressure of superman’s temper tantrum and not break. They won’t scratch, shatter, splinter, and can be used to tunnel your way out of an avalanche in case of falling rock.”

Cool.

They’re for reading.

She won’t be mountain climbing, fighting with Superman or training for the Olympics with these suckers on.

“Oh, well, I can work it up with regular lenses and give you a price on that.”

Hunky Dorey. Give me a call and let me know.

I didn’t hear from her until Monday afternoon, where she rattled off a bunch of information over the phone that I really didn’t pay attention to after I heard the word ‘hundred’ included in each of the new prices. I told her I’d come in on Tuesday and take a look.

The bill is still a lot more than it should be. I look it over and tell her to explain it to me.

She continues. “Well, I changed it to regular lenses!”

“So where is all this other money coming from?”

“Well, we have to use THEIR lab, so they charge for beveling and mounting.”

So the 60 bucks that covered as ‘lenses’ doesn’t cover beveling and mounting. In other words, they don’t smooth out the edges and put them in the frames, they just throw them in an envelope and ship a do-it-yourself eye-glass kit.

I just looked at her and said, “I’ll just be taking the perscription.”

We left, perscription stuffed in my purse, Mary following behind me, not quite sure what was going on. Once inside the Explorer I exploded.

“The nerve of these people trying to charge for things we don’t need and try and smile sweetly to cover their intentions!”

Mary just sat and listened. She’s a good listener. I checked myself and then explained (nicely) why I was upset.

Off we went to another place that Bill told me about over by the hospital in Savannah. We found it will little frustration and a quick call to information to get the phone number. I forgot to write down the address, but knew what street it was on.

We walked in and was greeted shortly after. I explained the reason why we were there and he said,

“Oh, we don’t take that insurance.”

The look of clear confusion was probably very evident and he continued with,

“Unless it’s with Gulfstream.”

Ah, relief.

“But we don’t fill perscriptions written outside of our office.”

Ah, crap.

I run through what has happened, trying to keep the temper concealed and the whining out of my voice. The guy says,

“Hang on. Come back here. I think we can work something out.”

He came up with a way to get what we needed without going through the insurance.

Then I glanced at the perscription he still held in his hand.

“Is that the strength they perscribed? That’s just reader glasses!”

She had told me that she would be giving Mary a very low strength, but I hadn’t looked at it as I left the other place. I was upset. I just wanted to get out of there.

Now, I’m even angrier! They were trying to soak us for all that money for temporary glasses that were only to be used when Mary had a lot of reading to do, to excercise her focusing. Not a long term, permanent condition.

I questioned the guy there asking him if there was really any difference in having glasses made with that strength or buying some glasses at the drug store for Mary to use. He assured me they would be the same. I thanked him for his time and information. He said if we couldn’t find anything, to let him know, he would still make the glasses for her. For about $60 bucks.

So off we went. On our way home we stopped here and there to look for some readers. Mary was a bit disappointed at not getting the cool, pink frames she found at the first place, but was content with the fact that her Hannah Montana glass case could be used for whatever she had to wear. What a kid.

The next visit to a doctor would be Bill’s. I wouldn’t have to deal with it. He had an appointment on Wednesday. He asked when he got there if he could pay his co-pay on Friday.

“Sure! But just to let you know, there is a ten dollar late fee if you pay on Friday.”

What kind of crap is that! It’s a co-pay! A token we’re forced to pay on behalf of the insurance company granting us permission to use their services. A late fee?!

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Responses

  1. Deanna there is a pretty good eye place over there by Best Buys and Office Depot in Savannah close to the Ogelthorpe Mall…Iris Optical!! I know you don’t need it now for Mary but you might want to look into it for some later use. We went there and Mike got glasses for a better price plus they make them right there. i go to Dr. Fries when I go. I know this is all aggravating!! I completely understand.

  2. My son has a weird eye condition that requires him to wear contacts. By the time, we’re all done the bill is around $700, half of which is covered by insurance. Insurance rates and fees for services stink in this country. I hope some reforms in health coverage come with the new administration. Wishful thinking?

  3. Hi Deanna , it is very up setting to get insurance to cover things that we need..and all of the money we pay them monthly… My first pair of reading glasses I got from Wal-Mart and they served the purpose until I needed stronger glasses.I don’t know if Mary could use them or not??

    I will be thinking of Mary tomorrow with her foot surgery and wish her well..My blessings to Mary and you.. keep us posted…
    Hugs, Baba

  4. Ugh I hate that this happens!! Exactly why we buy our glasses from zennioptical.com for just 8 bucks! So we can afford it if superman things happen to them LOL.


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