Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Get (or Stay) Well with MinuteClinic

Monday, October 28th, 2013

This is a sponsored post on behalf of MinuteClinic, but all opinions are my own. 

WINTER IS COMING. The temperatures dropped a good 25 degrees almost overnight, I had to turn on the heat and my poor littlest ginger has her first cold of the season. I added “giant boxes of tissue” to my shopping list, since I’m pretty sure the snot levels between now and April are going to reach Defcon 1. With both kids in school – DIFFERENT schools, so two times the germs! – I’m pretty sure we’ll all end up sick at one point or another.

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My one and only post on the subject ever

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I am not a particularly political person (besides that one time my boss ran for mayor and I was his technology campaign manager – Hi Mayor Allyn!) so I try to stay out of the angry online discussions. I try even harder to stay out of angry IN PERSON discussions, because never in the history of the world has yelling ever changed anyone’s mind about politics. There is zero chance that just because I can give my opinion LOUDER THAN YOU CAN you will suddenly realize your belief system for the last 30 years is wrong and happily sign up for mine.

But after watching my Facebook feed split straight down the middle on health care reform, I wanted to share my thoughts. And since this is my blog and I have 100% control over what gets published here and what doesn’t, please believe I will DELETE any impolite or combative comments, although feel free to disagree nicely.

As a military dependent I enjoy a number of benefits, from discounts on clothes, tickets to Disney World and food to tax-free shopping on base. But in my opinion the absolute best part of my dependent status is my Tricare insurance coverage. 99% of the time I pay nothing (zero, nada, the opposite of some) to see a doctor, fill a prescription, get a referral, or have a baby. That’s right, although prenatal care and a hospital birth can cost tens of thousands of dollars (see this post over on His Boys Can Swim for their breakdown) the entire cost of my pregnancy was $14 for a giant bottle of Tums and a tube of Preparation H. Which I’m pretty sure I could have gotten a prescription for if I had asked. Which I then could have gotten filled at the base pharmacy for free.

I get most of my medical care on base from a combination of corpsmen, active duty doctors, and civilians contracted through the military – although I did get to see a local civilian provider for my OB care. I’m not saying Tricare  gets everything right.  Getting a same day appointment at the Navy Ambulatory Care Clinic means waking up at 6 am to talk to the regional call center and agreeing to see whatever doctor is on call instead my primary care provider. Sometimes the doctor on call talks on his cell phone through my whole appointment and then tells me I might have strep but he’s not going to order a test for it or write me a prescription so have a nice day! Then there was the bureaucratic hell that was trying to get my 4 day old jaundiced son in to see a pediatrician who was retiring in two days even though the baby wasn’t yet in the Navy’s computer system because HE WAS 4 DAMN DAYS OLD. But besides the totally free health care for myself, Tricare offers a very low cost (yearly cap for out-of-pocket/co-pay spending before they cover everything: $1000)  plan that lets us see the pediatrician right down the street any time Baby Evan falls on his face. Our total bill for the OMG EMERGENCY trip to the Children’s Hospital in Hartford? Less than $40. My complaints about one lousy doctor, a lot of paperwork and a long wait at the pharmacy pale in comparison to people who have gone bankrupt (or worse) over health care.

If my insurance coverage sounds sort of like – GASP – socialized medicine, that’s because it pretty much is. I hope one day everyone gets to enjoy what I take for granted. I’m shocked to see opposition to the health care bill among my peers who I know enjoy the same Tricare coverage I do. I’m pained that anyone would try to take the restrictions on unfair insurance practices away from people who desperately need them because of a misconception of a single line item or bit of wording. I’m thrilled my elected representatives managed to get something so huge accomplished and proud it happened during my lifetime.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.