My nutritionist & surgeon appointments went great today. My date is tentatively either March 5 or March 8, because the doctor does surgeries on Mondays & Thursdays. Her office is submitting to insurance, and then it’s a matter of hearing from them in time for the surgery. If they don’t come through in time, I don’t know when I’ll get to have it done since I really can’t see myself being able to miss a whole week of school, especially during “testing season,” i.e. that magical time of the year where I am Sisyphus’ Soul Sister. Curious as to what I’m referring? Here ya go: Watch this.
Whew! Huge sigh of relief to have this much accomplished. There was a minor snafu–and I suppose it’s my fault for not being able to decode insurance text better than I did:
at the outset of this endeavor, when I read the note in my policy about bariatric surgery, it said that my insurance has a $5,000.00 copay for it. SILLY ME, I assumed (you know what they say about assuming, right? Ass? U? Me?) that $5000.00 was included in the high deductible I have–after I meet $6,350.00 out of pocket in-network (and I’m only 702.13 away from that after everything I’ve had to have done leading up to this procedure, plus having an unplanned breast biopsy), so I’m thinking this: I’m through paying out of pocket. Right?
Wrong. I was checking out today, and the secretary sucked in her breath and informed me that the type of insurance I have has a 5,000.00 copay for bariatric surgery.
I reacted like this: “WHAAAAAAT? That is stupid as hell.” Because I’m nothing if not genteel.
To which she responded that she would have the insurance person/scheduler in their office verify that this is true and call me tomorrow, but me being the poster child for High Anxiety, as soon as I arrived home this afternoon, I called my insurance myself, and it took the very nice woman, Patricia, quite a while to find the small print in my policy, but she finally did, after following the equivalent of Hansel and Gretel’s bread crumb trail (y’all remember they ran into a witch with an oven, right?)–and Patricia confirmed that, yes, indeed, I have to pay FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ON TOP OF THE MONEY I HAVE ALREADY PAID SO FAR.
I told myself not to get ahead of myself, because the insurance might not come through in time and then wouldn’t I feel stupid if I freaked out then there was a delay and I didn’t have to come up with 5 grand in a month’s time?…And, because I am a multi-tasker, I also began researching the black market value for a kidney since I figure if nothing else, I could sell one; it’s just a matter of deciding which one. (I’m kidding of course. The fact that I thought of this as a joke at all is no indication that I thought of it. Do you believe me?)
My Beloved told me not to freak out; that we’d find a way to make it happen, but my mind was going 90-to-nothin’ trying to think of a way to pay for it without going into any more debt than I have already incurred thus far. THEN, I remembered that for the past few years, I have been squirreling away money every month and that I have a little more than I need to do this–it’s just a matter of getting it from where it is to me. I’m pretty excited about finding a solution that allowed me to keep all my organs so I can pay to have 80% of my stomach removed (that’s called irony, children.)
Here’s where things stand now: if the insurance approval comes through in time to do it the week of March 5, I will start a liquid diet on February 19th to shrink my stomach and liver and give my body a weight-loss jump start. My surgeon said if the approval does not come through in time to have it done by that date, it just means I may have to do the liquid diet more than once.
Fingers crossed that Aetna is prompt with their response. I am hoping I can have it done March 8. That’s my birthday…