So I learned something new again today about how health insurance works in this country with the shittiest health care ever. I finally got around to calling my doctors office about a line item on my bill that said "you needed to get authorization" (i.e. from Blue Cross for them to cover this expense). It was for 90 bucks. I kinda had an idea what this was and I was right. After I got my mole removed and biopsied and all that stuff I had to get the stitches out and the area checked. In passing I asked the dermatologist if those freckle creams you get at department store counters and drugstores really work. He looked at my face for a half second, checked off a box on my patient file and without asking me, wrote up a prescription for some prescription strength freckle fade cream...and his doing that costed me $90. Seriously, all I fuckin wanted to know was if freckle creams work. I did not ask that he look at me or write me a damn prescription. But you cannot undo his looking at my face. That "examination" was the part filed under "preventive care service" which is not covered.
Incidentally, I took the Rx to the drugstore just to see how much the cream would cost anyways-- $129. I figured I really was not rich or vain enough to pay for it and threw out the RX, but at the time I didn't know I had already paid $90 for the examination of my 3 or 4 freckles. Fuck.
In Canada the last thing the doctor always said (Dr. Angie Hutchinson the best doctor in the world ever), do you have any questions you want to ask me? Here, do not assume it's OK to just ask questions because they might cost you $90 each. Costs me freakin 4.5 hours to make that much money tutoring.
Something tells me it's time to go home to that place where mat leave is a year long, health care is dirt cheap, public schools are good, the leader is intelligent, the citizens are generally liberal and people don't run around with guns. Shitty weather is starting to sound not so tragic afterall and those high income taxes are feeling like they actually paid for worthwhile stuff, like schools and healthcare.