I know; the title alone makes you want to run away screaming! It does me too. *sigh*
This is not a post about the health care system. It is what it is. It's broken, yes, but I have no idea how to fix it and am not even going to pretend I have a clue!
This post is about a stupid insurance policy or rule. (Wait...aren't most of their policies stupid? But I digress...) This particular rule is pretty dumb.
The Boy and The Girl both need physicals for sports and school. Sports begin this summer. Last year, when I called (in June) to make their appointments for their physicals, the earliest they could be seen was THE END OF AUGUST! Whoa! I was pissed, but what could I do? They started school (and sports) with a note saying they had an appointment scheduled.
This year, I decided to call in May to make their appointment. I was told by the receptionist they cannot come in until AFTER August 20! When I pressed for a reason, she explained the insurance required 366 days to pass before they could have another physical. The stupidity of this rule is immeasurable. I explained that with this sort of rule, there would be a time when my kids would have to wait until October to get their appointments! The receptionist seemed to understand that, but, alas, there was nothing she could do.
I offered to pay out of pocket for the physicals so we could get them in July, hence getting the kids back on track. The same receptionist first warned it could cost as much as $200 or more per child. I told her neither needs shots. She said that would be the cost without shots! Then, she said she wasn't sure there was a physician on staff who would even *do* a physical prior to the 366th day...they don't like to do that.
WTF? Seriously?! What is the reason behind this? Aren't we told over and over that preventative care is the most cost-effective health care? If that is the case, why can't annual physicals be given less than a year apart? I understand the desire not to have too many 'check-ups' I guess, but to open the window just a little bit and say you can have a physical ten months after the last one makes a lot of sense...especially when we are talking about school-aged children.
And so, both The Boy and The Girl will have to wait until the very end of August this year for their physicals. Next year, they will have to wait till September, a month after school starts!