Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why I hate Blue Cross of California

So...a couple of months ago I hurt my foot. Eventually I went to the doctor because it continued to hurt. During that office visit did I consider any monetary concerns other than the $10 copay and the $25 boot to go along with my soft case? No.

Well, I should have.

A month or so after that I get a bill from the doc's office for $102. Hmmm, I think to myself, this is probably just an oversight on BC of CA's part. I ask the HR guy at work who suggests I call them to get this sorted out. So I do.

Nope, everything is in order they say, the $102 is all mine to pay. Yes, indeed the SUCKAGE of Blue Cross of California has increaded ten-fold or more. It gets better (by better I mean worse).

While I have the BC of CA customer service rep on the phone I ask her to explain how this works then. You see, I didn't used to have to pay for anything besides the copay, so I am quite curious as to why now I am paying $102 plus I am wondering what other crappy things are to be expected. She explains that now, due to BC of CA changing our health plan (changing here means "crapifying") instead of NO charges for office visits there is a $250 deductible per person per year. And it resets every December 31st at midnight.

My next question to the rep is "What happens after I have satisfied the $250 deductible?"
Her: "What do you mean?"
Me: "Well," I say, "say I go to the doctor's office and have some procedure that costs me $250 and I have to pay the whole thing..."
Her: "OK..."
Me: "Then say I go back to the doctor in another month and have a procedure which costs $100; that's fully covered, right?"
Her: "I don't understand..."
Me: (frustrated) "OK...I have completely paid the $250 deductible in the course of a year. After that, then any other office visits, etc., are paid for since I have already paid me $250?"
Her: "Oh, no, after you have paid the $250 you ONLY have to pay 10%!"
Me: "Wait. Let me get this straight. After I pay $250 I STILL have to pay 10% of office visits?"
Her: "Yes"
Me: "Wow. This plan sucks worse than I could ever have imagined."
Her: "..." (I obviously can't see her but it is the verbal equivilant of a blank stare)

At this point I thank her for her time and get off the phone. After all, it's not her fault the plan sucks so bad. She did seem a little bit slow, however.

So that's it. Blue Cross of California used be really great; I never had to worry about costs and money when I went to visit the doctor. Now, I am very hesitant to go. If I feel the need to go to a doctor now I think "Can we afford this?" and "Is this really going to be worth paying $XXX for?" I know my company is paying tons of money for me to have this insurance, thousands of dollars a year, but the way things are going, Blue Cross of California will basically pocket that money. Yes, I know that they will pay out far more per year for other people, but it still sucks for me and anyone else on my plan. I almost feel like getting really really sick just to teach them a lesson. But I won't.

Someone at Blue Cross of California is getting rich and it really ticks me off. Bah.

Update: Palm Pilot

Well, I finally broke down and got a new battery for my Palm IIIc which I wrote about a year ago. I got it from eBay for like $12 or so and installed it. I had deleted my old palm sync files so I had to rebuild it from scratch but luckily I had saved the install files for most of the Palm apps I used, plus got a few new ones. One I like is called Today - it is like the "Outlook Today" page in Outlook or the startup screen on WinCE devices - it has all of the pertinent daily information in one Convenient place. If you have a Palm PDA you might wanna check it out. Or you might not. It's your choice.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Welcome Baby Ethan

Congratulations to Kristen and Pete who became first time parents on September 13, 2005 at 3:02 PM to Ethan Peter Fleming, weighing in a 8 pounds and 13 ounces and 21 inches long (takes after dad). Welcome to Baby Ethan and congratulations again to Kristen & Pete.

Momma Kristen, Big Daddy Pete, and Baby Ethan
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Friday, September 16, 2005

I'm going to be an Uncle!

So my brother Rus and his wife Erin are going to have a baby! Which makes me going to be an uncle. Yay! I view it as a "practice kid" which I can do/tell things to and see how it turns out before I try doing them on my children (who aren't here yet and not for a little while).
Congrats to Rus and Erin! We're really happy and excited for you guys!

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The soon to be Mommy and Daddy. Here, Rus is trying to figure out how to get his hamburger back.

Strawberry Monkey Kid

Erin's doctor told her that her baby is now about the size of a strawberry (mmmm....Strawberries...ggghhhh). Given that I'll be a monkey's uncle this is one artist's conception of how the baby looks right now. I expect future ultrasound tests to confirm this.
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I'll be a strawberry monkey kid's uncle!!


Lately I have been geen a lot of spam comments in my blog. Crap like this:
It is not too early to start your Christmas shopping! Find sapphire jewelry at our online shopping mall. We have a great jewelry department with a full range of fine jewelry and a GIA jewelry to answer your jewelry questions. (With links which I removed)

So unfortunately I now have to turn off anonymous posting, and also add a thing where you have to type in the letters of a graphic to stop this spam crap. I apologize, and hope it doesn't discourage the 3 or 4 of you who have ever posted from doing so again. Stupid spammers. I sent them some nasty mail which made me feel a little better but I don't really think it will help anything.

Also I'm pre-dating this post so that it appears below the more important "Uncle" posts.