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Ahhhh Insurance.

So I have to pick a medical insurance plan. My sister has been involved in medical billing for over ten years now so in trying to decide which of these plans to go with, I asked for her help.
I never go to the doctor. For anything. Ever. The last time I went to the doctor, it was because I'd passed out and they couldn't wake me up so I got taken to the emergency room. The time before that, I was taken there against my will because the constant dizzy spells were getting to a point where I was *never* not dizzy. I thought I'd just adapt, but I was falling over a lot.
And both those were about 2 years ago.
I thought I might take the high deductible plan considering I'd probably only use this insurance if there were a big emergency. Then I started thinking about all the things that I've got wrong that I could use medical assistance for. The migraines, the horrible joint pain, maybe even talking to someone about my insomnia would be a good idea.
My sister actually reccomended an HMO.... one that she's not fond of. Becuase it was really the better plan. But you have to choose a primary care physician.
So I was going through their site and their doctor listings. Some of the internal medicine doctors list a specific interest. One was Nephrology. And while kidneys are great and all, I was very tempted to pick the guy who listed Endocrinology as a specialty just because well... that's freaking neat and freaky weird stuff right there.
But alas, he's in Portsmouth. So that's not happening.
Then I came across this guy...

Balakrishnan, Sivaramalingam, MD
Internal Medicine - Board certified
Sees patients over the age of 18
Hospital Privileges: Sentara Leigh, Sentara Norfolk • Additional languages: Sinhala •

The name is SO impressive. He actually has 'penis' right there in his first name. I wonder what sivarama means. Maybe his name is Mighty Penis. Then there's the additional language. He speaks a language I've never heard of. I think he made it up.
Mister Mighty Penis speaks his own language.

Speaking of penii... today I saw Neil coming out of the bathroom and had a mental flash of him taking a leak. It was immediately and horribly repulsive. Not the act of elimination... but the thought that super shiney headed, uptight, ultra proper Neil has a penis.
Kind of like how you'd react to the idea of your mother voiding her bowels or something.
Not that I think of Neil in the same light as my mother. Just saying. He's not supposed to have genitals. He's Neil. He's as neuter as a Ken doll and twice as plastic headed.

but on a completely different note, This is the BEST. THING. EVER.
Thank you so much kaeren for pointing it out.

I am *mesmerized* by The Space Lady's version of Major Tom.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 3rd, 2003 06:21 pm (UTC)
Heh, I never liked that song, but The Space Lady is the shit!

How's you Holly?
Jan. 3rd, 2003 08:20 pm (UTC)
I work with insurance companies all day long (I'm a medical secretary working on a nursing degree). If you don't plan to use your healthcare very often, an HMO is your best bet. The important thing to know about most HMOs, though, is that if you need to see a specialist (ie orthopaedist for joint pain), you will need to get referrals, and that can be a pain. PPO's don't require you to have a referral, but you may be surprised by a bill afterward.

As far as sleep aids go, I take Ambien and have for 2 years now. They discovered a while back that I don't make enough melatonin to put me to sleep for more than 2 hours, so I kept getting sick from not having enough sleep. It's non-addictive, doesn't mix badly with other meds, and doesn't cause funky dreams.

Anyway.. you probably don't need that info, but I wanted to share it :).

Have a good night.
Jan. 4th, 2003 10:27 am (UTC)
Heh, I got the speech from my sister earlier. She's had, as I said, about 10 years experience with insurance policy,HMO procedures and the specific doctors in this area. This particular HMO isn't one she'd normally reccomend simply because they're so strict that many doctors have recently dropped out of the plan. However, of my options, it's the better choice and she knows some doctors in the plan that she thinks wouldn't make me run screaming.
"If you need the emergency room, call your PPO. If you need to see a dermatologist, ask your PPO first, otherwise you're screwed."
Becuase it covers nothing out of network.

I don't want sleep aid medication. I've done that before and I feel drugged during the whole time I use them. Sure, I sleep fine. But never really waking up isn't exactly desireable either. I've been an insomniac since I was about 12 or so. For the most part I've just adapted to what it is I need in order to sleep, But hey, a girl can dream about 8 hours sleep, eh?

Jan. 3rd, 2003 10:32 pm (UTC)
yep, gonna agree with tactile on this one (me being in the same field and all)... Even the referrals aren't always that bad -- if your primary care physician knows you or is cool, you can get your referrals right quick. In Smellaware, the best physicians have joined HMO's anyway and this seems to be the trend in the last year or so just about everywhere -- the system itself may still suck in the long-run when you consider the future of healthcare availability, but the stigma assigned to it is no longer relevant to the insurance holding individual... The only problem is finding a good primary care physician starting off -- the only way, it seems, is to ask someone that you REALLY trust that knows who the doc's are -- not always easy -- good luck, there -- don't hesitate to dump 'em if you don't like 'em and move on -- it's worth it... Some people spend a year finding the right doc -- once you find 'em though, it's smooth sailing.

Jan. 4th, 2003 10:34 am (UTC)
The HMO was honestly the better set up from a patient's point of view. Her main iffy concern with it was the number of doctors who've recently left the plan.
Working in billing and having dealt with a large number of doctors and their staff (their staff is veeerry important) she's got a pretty good idea of who I'm to stay away from.

And she decided a while ago that the perfect job for her (and one she'd love) is to provide a service to people who cannot figure out their medical bills (especially the elderly or those in the midst of a catastrophic illness). She'd explain, organize, and work as a liason between the family and the insurance companies.

She *enjoys* these sorts of things.
Jan. 4th, 2003 11:21 am (UTC)
i think sivarama is like an exaltation of sorts. towards shiva. :) his whole name is quite impressive - krishna there in his last name. hail shiva mighty mighty penis bala-krishna-nnnn. OMMMM

space lady is my new muse LOL
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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