Monday, September 26, 2005

On My Mind

It's a rainy Monday (we needed the rain, but I can still be pissy about it), and there are some things that really bother me:

1. Doctor's offices that try to screw you over by not giving you the 'discounted' price for a visit that they have agreed to with your insurance company. I've been going in circles over this with my former ob-gyn doctor (former, because I'm not going back to an office that is run like this one no matter how much the doctor knows about my guts), and now I've received a letter from a collection agency after I've repeatedly sent copies of the contracts that specify the negotiated discount fee and called on the phone about it (which is one thing that I HATE to do). I might just post copies of all of it for spite. Maybe that's illegal or wrong to 'out' a business like that, but I'm not letting them screw me over.

2. The nearest McDonald's now has Spanish on all of their signs and menus. And it's in bolder and bigger print than the English. I don't have a problem with some Spanish language on signs, but why the hell would the Mexicans want to learn English if everyone caters to their Spanish speaking? If I moved to a foreign country I would expect to learn their language. Dammit.

3. All this talk about 'urban' poverty is really making me angry. There is a lot of rural poverty too, and the poor people out in the boonies don't have a lot of the same opportunities that the city poor have like public transportation that makes resources more accessible. Nobody needs to jump my ass over this because I'm not saying what some people might want to think I'm saying. What I am saying is that more attention and concern should be directed towards the rural poor. They are truly in invisible people of this country.


DHammett said...

1. Can you bring/send the billing info to your insurance company and have them intercede for you? Once it goes to collection, it's hard as hell to get it corrected. Essentially the collection company has purchased your account and they don't normally care what you think, say or can prove. Outing the doc might be satisfying for you, but I'm not sure it will be effective, unless you out them in a forum where their patients will see it.

2. Amen. That goes for ballots and other government documents, too.

3. Yeah, but are the poor people in the boonies a member of any other protected class? Do they have a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton to lobby for them? If not, they're SOL. Instead, they get ridiculed as Deliverance rejects and made fun of in TV sitcoms. And that's OK with mainstream America.

Kristi said...

1. (I will use a numbered list too!) I hate insurance companies. We spent a great deal of time verifying that my ob/gyn and the affiliated hospital were "in network" on my husband's insurance. We even prepaid the birth in 4 easy (easy my ass!) installments. We got a bill for $627 in the mail, for the anesthesiologist, who, though she was used in the hospital and I had no choice about which to use, was "out of network. Total BS. We are contesting the bill as we speak.

2. I agree. They should adapt to our country, not the other way around. Could you imagine a hundred years ago, when immigration was so commonplace, society coddling the foreigners as our government does now? I don't think so. I work in a restaurant. Some chefs prepare dishes incorrectly because they were unable to read the ticket printed in English. GRRRR! I had to ask for a ramekin of parm cheese just last Saturday and it took 3 minutes and 4 wrong guesses for her to get me what I needed. I didn't know the Spanish word for parmesan. Is there even one? So frustrating!

3. Nobody lobbies for the rural poor. Drive through some parts of West Virginia sometime. It is really gut wrenching.

Rae Ann said...

dh, I'm going to call the insurance co. as soon as they open this morning. And you made great points about the rural poor. I guess I take it more personally because of my 'redneck' heritage. I'll do a post about that at some point.

kristi, I've been through that crap too. I think more doctor's offices than we realize engage in near-fraud, if not outright fraud, when it comes to insurance. This might become another post too. Rural TN is pretty gut-wrenching too, esp. the mountainous regions.

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

Three strong great points!! You are very intelligent and I admire you for knowing what is right and what is wrong! Why doesn't other people get it?

Assorted Babble by Suzie said...

P.S. I had a guy call the other day from a collection agency, that I dispute the bill on. I normally never answer my phone, but I did.

He threatened to expose my indentity (sell or giveaway) and made clear he knew my d.o.b., and very private info. I don't think anyone would have wanted to hear what his ears rec'd thereafter! I do not believe I will be getting any more phone calls from that agency! The rudest bastard I have encountered in a long time! AND that is sugar coating it!

Rae Ann said...

suzie, there is only one other time I've dealt with collections, over someone else's cable bill. The cable company decided to try to get me to pay the bill of the person who lived in my old house after I moved out. I hate dealing with that crap. I've called my insurance company and they said they will resolve it with the doctor's office since they are in breach of contract. Smells like attempted fraud to me. I have little tolerance for businesses that try to cheat. I'm definitely going to do a post about this.

here's a great link

Rainypete said...

I'm with you on the situation smelling of fraud. If they've been paid by the insurance agency then the account should be closed. They're squeezing you because most people just roll over and take it.

If you think the language thing is fun down there, you should try here in Canada. We have English and French to deal with as official languages. The funny part is that all of Canada has to use both, except in Quebec where the French can do as they please.

The problem with rural poverty is that the public doesn't step over them when they go into their favourite shopping malls or restaurants. If the public doesn't see it, the politicians have no desire to fix it. Even with public outcry it's so hard to get the government to do the right thing.

Rae Ann said...

rainypete, I wonder how many other people have just paid the higher price because they didn't know any better. They've messed with the wrong b*tch this time. And actually I was reviewing all the statements, etc. and figured out that they owe me $20 where I already overpaid. I never have understood that French thing in Quebec. And you explained exactly why the rural poor are invisible. It's sad.