Tuesday, January 26, 2010

kaiser scorecard

26 days in

i've been having weird heart palpitations for the past few months. i've attributed them to stress, but i have mentioned them to doctors and been told it's nothing and not to worry. so i haven't worried.

i went to kaiser and was talking to the asthma doctor re: my medicines. she said, "now you know the warnings about advair?" "no, please fill me in." well, apparently advair is an old drug- qvar, with an extra ingredient for god knows what. the extra ingredient causes heart problems in some people, and has caused the FDA to put it on their "black list" ( or something like that) as the last level of watch before they pull a drug from the market. i said, "so why don't i just take the qvar?" i've been on it for 2 weeks now, and the heart palpitations have all but gone away. double bonus- qvar - $10 for 3 months. advair - $10 for 1 month. neither of the other 2 doctors who prescribed it to me told me about the FDA warnings.

every visit has been $15 so far. and so far no follow up bills. knock on wood.

so far they only cover 5 migraine pills a month. this could be a real problem. granted imitrex has gone generic now and if i have to shell out $150 for an extra 9 out of pocket, maybe i can, but it won't be fun. my last insurance covered 18 pills a month.

it can take awhile to get an appointment. i started trying to get an appointment with a neurologist (to get migraine medicine) at the beginning of the year, and the first available is feb. 11. this is when i can talk to someone about re-evaluating the number of migraine pills i get, and also whether i can get botox covered. if i can't, i'll get my dermatologist to do botox. i'm actually not excited about my face being frozen. but i've had at best a low level migraine 60% of the time (i'm attributing it to stress) for months and something needs to be done.

so right now they're at zero.

but when i think of the $1200 asthma doctor bill i still haven't paid off, i feel like they should be at plus 40. i was going to start saving money for a trip to ireland, but i feel like i should put that off til the $1200 is paid off.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

in memoriam

dear ren,

you were a good phone, but you'd taken a beating. two and a half years of being dropped and sat upon took their toll on you.

it was time to send you to live with a nice family in the country.

Monday, January 4, 2010

this will be interesting

i'm switching to kaiser.

i've got my first appointment set up for thursday and will see how it goes. i need to get switched over to kaiser, because a) they don't fill prescriptions that other doctors have written. b) they don't cover all my drugs so i have to get my drugs switched over to something they do cover.

i feel like this could be interesting. it seems like a good premise... if it works. if they treat the people like patients and really act as though they care about their health, this system will work. if all they are looking at is the bottom line and how to make as much money as possible, it won't.

it all started because of a $1200+ bill i received from going to the doctor for asthma. i had no idea my bill would be that high, and fighting it is frustrating. i feel like kaiser will eliminate all surprise medical bills. i called to make my appointment today and the guy flat out said, "your co-pay will be $15." and then said, "do you have... and listed off health conditions- so that he could get me in to the system as needing further treatment.

the next thing that led me to switch over was the cancellation of my old policy and the shockingly high price of the next available PPO. i just couldn't afford it, and the other HMO available didn't seem as organized as kaiser.

this is an experiment for a year. if i don't like it, next year i can go back. but i'm giving it a shot. i'll still be better off than millions of other americans.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

two weeks peace from work

my two weeks of peace from work-

visiting family
ice skating

mr. gatti's
homemade soup
schweppes ginger ale

sherlock holmes- fun
avatar (3d) - pretty but pointless unless you're going to see it in 3d
nine- so boring
the young victoria- beautiful and a near perfect movie

new tv show addiction- dirty jobs with mike rowe (thank you netflix for having back episodes streaming online)

new years eve- party in valley then drinks at bar

new years day- japanese barbeque with good friend, and long drive to and from listening to:
karl pilkington guide to : law and order (funny)
karl pilkington guide to : the future (flat out hilarious)

books: a brief history of the dead
started: down and out in paris and london
started: sherlock holmes collection

and relaxing watching lots and lots and lots of online TV and old DVDs. please don't make me go back to work tomorrow.