medical ping pongWritten by John Teas

Healthcare needs some serious attention by the news media. Yes reading about healthcare can be akin to watching paint dry but we the people need to have a voice that can be heard above the din of congressional inequity. In my case I had employer supplied health insurance. And I ended up being the unwanted child in a bad divorce between the health insurance company and workers comp insurance.

Let it be clear that I did not file for workers comp, the claim was filed by my employer because their health insurance company was trying to avoid paying my medical bills. Plain and simple, insurance companies, well at least this insurance giant, will do anything it can to NOT supply coverage even though the coverage has been paid for.

What is my health issue you ask? It is not life threatening at all, but acute carpal tunnel sure does limit what one can do or not do. Now the nightmare begins because my job is not the type that would cover carpal tunnel syndrome. My surgeon told me that workers comp would not pay the claim and after seven months of pain and limited ability to work with my hands here I sit.

Paid for health insurance won’t cover it because it is on the paid-for workers comp’s plate. Workers comp won’t pay for it because it is not a covered claim. But until workers comp completes their painstaking, pun intended, due-diligence, I continue with pain, numbness and loss of strength. It has become more debilitating as it advances into other nerve damage and reduced range of motion in my elbows.

Remind you that heavy insurance premiums have been paid to both insurance companies. Yet until the insurance companies quit fighting amongst each other, nothing is can be done unless I pay for it out of my pocket and then “go after” the insurance companies; another long and drawn out process with no end in sight.

More money has been spent on third, fourth and yes fifth medical opinions than it would have cost to simply perform the surgery. That included a workers comp paid for flight to Salt Lake City for a fifth opinion, to come to the already establish contention that workers comp will not cover the claim.

Who is the loser in all of this? Primarily myself, but we all have lost a something, we have lost control of the needs of our own bodies. Your insurance premiums go up and up to cover all of this fighting. We as insurance consumers pay for all the opinions, travel and litigation that come from the ineptness of the healthcare system.

We have lost control of our own healthcare with a do-nothing congress and avoid-at-all-cost insurance system that wants to insure only that they are profitable. The vast majority of doctors and nurses do care about their patients. Here in St. George Utah all I can say to my excellent care providers is that I am sorry they got caught up in this mess.

“The system” have advised me to get an attorney. The attorneys don’t want to touch it because they all have conflicts of interest or there is just not enough profit for them in the end. Profit trumps patient care. Never mind that the costs have been paid for with the premiums that have been paid. Just like a conman, the system says, “Give us your money and we will take care of you., Trust us because we know what is best for you.”

What would have been a relatively simple procedure on my wrists has digressed into a debilitating health issue with long-term consequences of potentially ending up on limited disability. And that is another bureaucratic bowl of spaghetti.

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