pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

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The Hidden Costs of Poison Ivy

I received a statement yesterday from my first trip in to the doctor's to identify/treat the most recent rash outbreak of the summer -- from 8/25.

Today is one of the "some 20/20 vision" days, meaning I could read the 12 point or less print on the statement without hunting down one of my two hand-held magnifying glasses.

I note that the co-pay has jumped from $10, which it has been for years, to $20, probably when the new year's premium took effect sometime in July. I was still on the school's policy until Oct. 1, but had not attended any of the insurance meetings, etc. they would have held to tell people what changes could be made to make the insurance stay more affordable, but did get the new amount and keep mailing in my checks on time.

This morning I called the doctor's office to see if I had paid the correct co-pay. At first, the receptionist was going to have the lady who handles the billing, a former student, check and call back, but she decided to see if it had been posted (I'm sure most of her inquiries are for MUCH MORE RECENT material.) She was silent for an extremely short time, then announced that I had indeed paid $10, and again on 8/30, when I'd gotten the shot.

"We'll get it from you the next time you're in."

That didn't strike me as fair. I might not get something I have to go in for (the superstitious knock wood here) for quite a while.

"I'd just as soon not get the reputation for an around-the-town paper hanger," I comment, thinking about my three visits this past year to date: Wild Parsnip rash that wouldn't clear up, and two bouts of poison ivy; with no little sneezes and coughs in my face ten or twenty times a day, I haven't been catching my usual bronchitis, and regularly take my flue shot. I tell her I'll put a check in the mail and hang up.

But, now I've moved on to a "gee, that phone book print shrank again." I don't know if the eyes degraded that fast or the difference is in the type face and setting style of the two -- although both are rows and columns, the phone book looks more like 6 point type with no rule lines boxing in the tables and has cramped columns, while the bill is boxed and has white space on all sides, being printed horizontally to allow for easier reading. Grabbing the bill, I nearly began copying the HMO's address onto the envelop before I realized the money didn't belong in Washington state, but Iowa. I pick up the phone and request the mailing address from a laughing receptionist, resisting the urge to explain that I couldn't read it out of the phone book for myself accurately.

So, now the check, while not yet in the mail, is at least in the envelop, awaiting my morning walk down the hill on what appears to be another glorious fall day.
Tags: pangs of aging

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