Sunday, August 17, 2008

Insurance can be a Hassle at Times

I suffer with severe eczema - a skin condition that had my face inflammed for a few weeks with redness around my nose and under my eyes. One morning my right eye was swollen almost shut due to the spread of the rash.

It is not easy to go about in public taking care of errands with a face that one day looks like you were attacked, and another day skin peeling. Try putting makeup over the areas to tone down the redness and you have a pitiful looking face.

Depression was setting in with my face not getting any better over the days that turned into weeks. I had one clerk at Rite Aid ask if my autistic son who was having a fit at the moment was the one who had scratched my face. I then had to explain my skin condition and felt even worse than before arriving at the counter to pay for my ointments and lotions.

The problem was that I had changed insurance plans, and have yet to make my first appointment at the new primary care physician's office. I probably will not be doing that any time soon. I reside in Los Angeles and only go to areas I know are safe and that I have been to in the past.

Prior to the change I was on the State of California's Medi-Cal plan with Blue Cross as my chosen HMO. Once I became a home health care worker for my nonverbal autistic son my income took me to the transitional plan until I no longer qualified. I chose the Insurance Plan with the Home Care Worker's Union.

The problem with this Insurance Plan is that they make the initial choice for the Primary Care Physician and then you can change to one you would prefer. The Hospitals affiliated with the Plan are County run, an option I am not thrilled with having always utilized the Adventist Medical Center where my children are also affiliated with through their Pediatrician's office.

The Doctor chosen for me is located near USC, an area I have never driven to and do not feel comfortable doing so. This Insurance is basically used only for the Prescription Plan, although that benefit is not as good as the Medi-Cal program. I cannot even pronounce the name of the Physician and would have to get a referral to see a Dermatologist.

All of this takes time, and when you need relief from an ailment, condition, etc you do not have this luxury to wait for medication. I went to a walk-in urgent care clinic and paid $40 to see a Physician within ten minutes and received a prescription for a Cortisone cream and Prednisone. I even got the name and address of a Dermatologist to consult with.

I had been avoiding going the Prednisone route, a medication I have nicknamed the "nasty pill". Even the side effects state this has mood and personality changes, which I can attest to. The last time I used this medication was the summer of 2003 to prepare for a court battle with my ex. I wanted my face to look decent during that stressful time.

I am now comfortable in my own skin after having been on this medication for three days. My face looks better, a slight redness in a few areas on the face. I can get on with daily living instead of wanting to hide inside my house.

There are times when it is so much easier to bypass the Insurance steps needed to take to see a Physician and go get it done on your own and pay out-of-pocket.

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