Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Half naked

Made you look, didn't I? :)

Unfortunately, what I'm writing about is the sad fact that most American health insurance plans provide only partial coverage, if any, for dental, vision, and hearing care.

I've had the dubious privilege of acquiring two crowns--and the royal-sized dental bills to go with them--since this past October. Insurance covers only the basics--cleanings, x-rays, and fillings--at the dentist's office. Once you go for something more "exotic," such as a crown or, heaven forbid, root canal, you can pretty much kiss your coverage goodbye. I've paid my dentist well over $2,500 in less than six months, and expect to receive, at best, only a few hundred dollars in reimbursements from our insurance.

Now you know why I'm walking around in glasses with scratched lenses and chipped-finish frames. It doesn't help that there's no coverage for refraction, as if the patient is expected to figure out what strength and type of lenses she or he needs without any professional assistance. It also doesn't help that the insurance company tends to balk at paying in full for "fancy" lenses, such as "blended" trifocals with a scratch-resistance coating and protection from ultra-violet light. I suppose I should give up on buying frames of my choosing and learn to live with the frames for which the insurance gives a financial break. It's either that, or I can affix the lenses to my face with tape. :)

As for hearing aids, all I can say is "What?" Rare, indeed, is an insurance policy that covers more than half the cost, if it provides any coverage whatsoever.

[Off topic: Let's not even discuss the non-existent coverage for nutritional supplements, even when they're being taken to help alleviate such serious medical conditions as osteoporosis.]

And I'm one of the lucky ones--I actually have health insurance.


Anonymous AliasJoe said...

I can relate... We lost my health insurance in Dec. 2009 when my state job was eliminated for budgetary reasons (which is ironic since the state has gone MUCH further in debt since then!) I paid for private health insurance for several months, but that became too expensive.

Thu Mar 01, 09:44:00 AM 2012  
Anonymous AliasJoe said...

And it was very mean of you to use that title just to get me to look! ;-)

Thu Mar 01, 09:45:00 AM 2012  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Ouch. I hope you and/or your spouse land(s) a job that offers health insurance benefits, and the sooner the better.

As for the title, at least *that* part of the post was fun to write.

Sun Mar 04, 01:06:00 PM 2012  

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