On to the fun:
I made an appointment on Monday to see the optometrist who I've been going to since I was seven. I'll be twenty-six this year, and I've never had an eye exam from anyone else. I have some odd issues with my eyes, so I've thought that it was a good idea to stick with the person who has been monitoring me all these years. I went through a long period from 2005 to last summer where I had no health coverage, and happily paid for an exam and new glasses in '07. When I discovered that my (very cheap) eye insurance did not cover this particular office, I never considered going elsewhere - I saved up about eight hundred dollars and made the appointment. I was told that the appointment would be 200.00 plus another 158.00 for a certain test that I need. (Eye dilation to check various marks and oddities behind my eyes.)
CG: Counter girl
Crunk: Good morning! I'm here for a 9:15 appointment!
CG: No insurance, right?
Crunk: Well, I do have insurance, but you don't take it here, so I'm just going to pay...
CG: Do you have health insurance?
Crunk: Yes but it doesn't pay for eye exams...
CG: Well it does if you have PROBLEMS, like blurry vision or *odd spots and enlarged things*
Crunk: I don't think it will, I'll just write you a check like you said I could...?
CG: If you have insurance and don't use it, its INSURANCE FRAUD, you have it use it! GIVE ME YOUR CARD!
(yes, she did raise her voice at this point)
Crunk: No, it isn't covered, I'm just going to pay for it.
CG: Fine, fill out the (medical history) forms...
Notice that apparently paying for things out of pocket is considered insurance fraud by this woman. At this point I'm irritated but fine, I'm just excited to have my exam (again, I've known the Doctor since I was 7! I typically enjoy seeing him.) I filled out the forms and was whisked through the preliminary eye charts and things, and found myself in the main exam room.
D: Blah blah, random stuff about my insurance, asks to see my medical insurance card. I reluctantly give it to him.
Crunk: Its health insurance, I have separate vision insurance that doesn't cover this office, I really don't mind paying, etc etc...
D: Blah blah, you have a medical condition, I think it will cover it even though I've never read though your policy, but its a PPO, it should cover it, let's run it anyway.
Crunk: O...k... I guess.
The doctor took my card out to the girl in front to copy, and comes back and does things as usual.
At the end, he did an extra test without explaining that it would cost extra, and recommended that I schedule another appointment for MORE testing as soon as I can.
He also told me that my eyes were basically fine, and that I had such minor changes in two years that I didn't even NEED new glasses. Despite this, he insisted that I needed more tests to monitor my oddness.
I went out, and wrote out a check for the co-pay. The following conversation put me over the edge:
Crunk: So if the insurance doesn't pay this, how much will I owe you?
Crunk: O.o. That's WAY more than you quoted me.
CG: Well I only quote a base price. The other stuff you had him do costs more.
Mind you, I did have another test that I wasn't expecting, but no one had asked if it was ok to add to the bill. I shrugged it off (I can afford it, but the money I have saved up was supposed to cover the appointment, new sunglasses, and hopefully two new pairs of glasses [work and casual])
Crunk: So I need to schedule an appointment, I guess, but I need it at least three weeks in advance for work scheduling. Alternately, I can call on a Monday with that week's schedule and try to do something that way.
CG: We're scheduled three months out.
Crunk: Ok, so? Schedule me for an appointment in three months? (At this point wondering if she's just kind of... dull? Three months is much further than three weeks, so wouldn't you think that would work out for me?)
CG: Fine, we have ONE appointment on such-and-such a day in September left. I guess you can have that. *hands me postcard* Write your name and address on this so we send you a reminder.
At this point I think I just stared at her for a second. I work in retail - commission-based retail at that. If a customer needs a date remembered, I grab a pen, grab a card, and take the five seconds to scribble it down. Husband forget the grocery list and is headed to my store? Call and I'll write your list out and make sure he gets it when he comes it! On the phone with someone and need some scrap paper? Then I'll hand you paper and a pen. That's the only time. Maybe I'm making too much out of this, but isn't it part of her job to fill out reminder cards? They have my info on file. It hasn't changed in nineteen years. It isn't that hard!
Overall it was the worst experience I've ever had there, and one of the worst medical experiences of my life not because of the actual physical treatments - that wasn't a big deal - but because of the insane attitude of the girl and the obvious money grabbing tactics of the entire office. They also had a sales girl trying to sell me glasses despite knowing that I have insurance that will cover at least one pair elsewhere.
I called maybe twenty minutes after I left and canceled the appointment. I also told the girl that due to her rudeness I wouldn't be returning as a patient to the office. She (of course, I would have said the same thing at that point) denied that she had been rude - meanwhile giving me the same amount of attitude she had all morning!