Thursday, July 24, 2014

Obamacare Adventures Continue

I have a doctor's appointment next week so figured I'd get a blood test. I've been borderline diabetic for years and at the very least should keep an eye on my blood sugar levels. I got up this morning figuring I'd go back to that Occupational Health and Drug Screening place on Harris and Harrison in Eureka to get a blood draw as I have the last couple times. They do a whole bunch of tests for around $80.00. Cheapest place in town I know of.

After calling to make sure they were open, I drove down there, making sure to take my relatively new Anthem/Blue Cross Obamacare card. Who knows? It might shave a few bucks off the fee, although I had my checkbook and was prepared to just pay cash as I usually do. I figured they might not accept the insurance, but thought I'd ask.

I got there right after they opened, walked to the counter and told the gal I needed a blood draw. She asked if I had insurance. I told her I did and had wanted to ask her about it. She said she was sorry but they weren't doing blood draws for anyone with insurance. 

WTF? I told her that was fine as I came prepared to pay cash as I usually do. She said it didn't matter. If I had insurance they couldn't do the blood draw. She didn't specify any particular insurance except to say they were severing their contract with Anthem/ Blue Cross so wouldn't be doing blood draws for insurance for something like 120 days.

I again offered to just write a check and she said they couldn't. I suggested I probably should have just told her I didn't have insurance. She replied that would have worked, or to come back some time later when she might not recognize me. Oh, well! With that, I tucked my tail between my legs and drove home.

I knew there might be problems with my insurance. I didn't expect that.


At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is amazing. Why didn't you ask for the reason why they would not accept cash or checks? I would contact the State Insurance Commissioner which is listed in the blue section of the ATT directory. I believe they have a toll-free number.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

That is really weird they won't take cash. I never thought to ask for a specific reason. I just assumed they didn't want to take payment, then have someone come back months later and demand a refund because they had insurance earlier. Of course, that would depend on how the severing with Anthem/ Blue Cross goes.

I just need to tell them I don't have insurance next time.

I'm going to make sure and call Redwood Family Practice before my appointment and see if anything similar is going on there. Wouldn't that be something if they also told me they couldn't see me because I had insurance?

Strange things going on in some of these offices. Some years ago I called Quest Diagnostics to see about getting a blood draw. The lady there insisted they could not accept me unless I had a doctor's referral. I think that's b.s.

This Environmental Health place takes walk ins, but the main reason I started with them is they don't cost as much as the others.

At 3:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds to me like you experienced an ill-informed employee who can't put two-and-two together. If you're paying cash for the full amount, they're not plugging you into a system to receive a state subsidy. In fact, you probably make them more money by paying cash.

At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Obummercare debacle revealed! Thanks Fred!

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

"It sounds to me like you experienced an ill-informed employee who can't put two-and-two together."

Well, she wasn't the only one in the office and nobody else disagreed with her. I suspect it's not so much her as whoever is above her. Perhaps an office manager, billing clerk or attorney.

Then again, we don't really know the exact details. I agree that it wouldn't make sense for them not to take cash. Most providers always prefer cash as they make more money than they do if insurance pays.

I called Redwood Family Practice yesterday just to see if there were any similar goings on there. I was told there wasn't and that the "low cost blood test" place I went to didn't accept insurance to begin with.

They certainly must accept some insurance and they do more than draw blood there. If they didn't deal with insurance, why would they need to sever their contract with Anthem/Blue Cross?

Hard to say what part Obamacare plays in this. I do know Obamacare levied various requirements on insurance companies that chose to participate. It probably has something to do with that.

At 9:29 PM, Anonymous Red, White, and Black said...

Order out of Chaos. Just another wholesale "engineered" crisis to destroy more American liberty and individual independence. Enslaving more people to be reliant on the system, to rule them. Been living in Commiefornia long?


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