Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tired Eyes

I was reading into the early hours of the morning. Well, you might think, of course, you're an English professor! You were probably reading some Shakespeare! Or Jonson! Milton! There's an inexhaustible load of texts you must always be reading.

And that would sort of be true, but not about last night's/this morning's reading.


Because it's ENROLLMENT TIME for health plans here in the northwoods. Yeah. It's not exactly a page turner, but I've been reading the book, trying to figure things out.

The insurance plan I've had for the past couple of years no longer covers care at the clinic I've gone to (for my basic and happily boring needs /knock wood). So I'm trying to figure out the way things work with another plan that covers care at that clinic. BUT, under the old plan, if you got really sick, you went 80-90 miles in the one direction. (Everyone I've known who went there felt pretty darned good about their treatment.) Under the new plan, you go 60 miles another direction. (And with a different plan, you go 90-100 miles in yet another direction; no, I don't find it comforting that all the plans basically advertise based on sending you out of town if you get sick...)

Does that matter? Only if I get really sick. (Or crash my bike badly.)

Then there's the uniform plan coverage, the basic coverage that all the plans offer as part of the state dealio. Yes, some things I can understand, others, I really hope I don't ever have to try to understand. For example, there's a list of things that they cover heart transplants for, and that list leads me to believe that there are things one might need a transplant for but not have it covered? I really don't have much clue what any of those things are, either way.

And what does it matter? If I need a heart transplant, either it will be covered (yay), or not... the plan I choose doesn't really affect that aspect of coverage.

I don't normally spend a lot of time worrying about needing a heart transplant, but reading a health plan coverage book filled with coverages and exclusions gets you thinking, you know?

If that weren't enough to make me cranky, there's dentistry. I went to the dentist for a cleaning this year after not going for longer than I'd care to admit. (The dentist was highly recommended by several friends, and after I'd been, I understood why.) I liked the office and the folks there. It was partly covered by my old insurance.

Under the new insurance, a dental visit is covered, but only at a specific practice in town (not the one I went to), and I've heard mixed reviews about the practice. So I'll probably go on my own dime, which is fine, except that I'm paying for my insurance (both directly and indirectly), so I'd rather be covered at the dentist office I like.

Have I mentioned pharmaceuticals? There's a whole separate thing for pharmaceuticals.

Eye care? Basic exam. Contacts? Not a chance. I can live with that; nothing new there. (Though, why are hearing aids covered but not lenses of any sort? They both help someone cope with a sensory problem?)

I hate this legalistic stuff.


  1. I'm surprised your plan doesn't cover glasses -- even my grad student one subsidizes a pair per year. Contacts, no, although a pair of glasses per year isn't necessarily cheaper.

    But dental insurance? Please. Who needs teeth when you're living the life of the mind?

  2. (laughing at kermit!)

    I hear you... the last time we changed insurance plans, I ended up sobbing in frustration over the ten pounds of paperwork I had to go through, all of which indicated that we had to spend ghastly amounts of money for very little protection. I can handle it when the money just invisibly slides out of my paycheck, but when I have to face what we actually pay for and how much we pay for it, it just twists my guts into knots. (Which isn't covered, of course.)

  3. Kermit, Right! Besides, eating takes time away from grading! We should all just get a tube shoved down our throats!

    P/H, Every month I look at my check and see how much comes out for health insurance.

    I wonder at the profit based system we use for health insurance; I'm planning to move to a non-profit cooperative this time.