Thursday, October 8, 2009

New Health Insurance

I signed the papers today to change my health insurance. There are not a lot of providers accepting my current plan, at least not in the immediate area. I am tired of being frustrated with administrative complications with my current insurance company. Its is so complicated, I don't even feel like taking the time to blog about each issue. Let's just say, I am in need of a change.

Every year I think about changing health plans, but it never seems like a good time. I am always in the middle of a treatment and it's not a good time to make the transition. Last year it was sinus surgery; the year before was my back. By changing plans, I will have to get all new doctors. Even my CF doc. That is probably the hardest transition to make. I have been with this doc for almost 10 years. He knows me and my case; its hard to start that relationship all over. But my insurance has become so complicated that I cannot do any PFTs at his office. He is in San Francisco, about 60 miles from my home. The insurance company will pay for the visit with him, but no tests. They will only pay for test that are done closer to my home. So, I can only do PFTs once a year at the local hospital. I feel like I am being deprived of some basic CF stuff that should be part of every visit. Same with any labs the CF doc orders. I have to go back home, have the PCP order, arrange for testing. The results never make it to the right office. We spend more time at CF clinic tracking down test results, when we really should be focused on what the results reported.

With the new insurance, this will all be eliminated. I am switching to Kaiser, which is like the "all inclusive" health care provider. Its is still an HMO and I am sure it still won't be perfect. But all the services are provided within the system. My CF doc can order tests, I can have them done in his office, and all of my doctors will have access to the results. I guess I really don't know how to explain how Kaiser works, it is just a simplified HMO. Hopefully. If I don't like it, I can always switch back. But honestly, I don't think it can be any worse than what I have experienced with my current plan.

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