Monday, August 31, 2009

Why You Shouldn't Be Me

Wonderful Goals! I love to hear them. So this week, I'm going to continue to post my daily goal, and anyone can feel free to contribute their goals. It definitely helped me.

Monday: Today, I'll *only* eat my 2 safety foods no matter what's offered to me.


So, yesterday I was moping around. This month, I've been spending a vast amount of time applying for private insurance now that my school health care has run out. I looked through every single plan until I thought my eyes would burst, wrote and re-wrote the application (you had to do it by hand), and spoke with several people on the phone. I even had a woman who would bug me every 2 weeks to make sure I hadn't forgotten about it or died.

I got my first premium in the mail on Saturday. The plan I picked out wasn't a hugely inexpensive plan, but for people like me... you need to make sure a lot of things are covered (doctors visits, severe/non-severe mental illness, prescriptions, hospitalizations). Originally, about a month ago, the plan I chose was quoted at about $88 per month with a $1500 deductible.

What was my first premium going to be? Due September 10th?

$500.00 per month.


Don't go crazy in America. Even if you can get insurance, they'll make it so high that you can't afford it and thus get weeded out of the system. Woo, I have no insurance! I just have to remind myself not to do anything destructive until I get to England.

Gah, by the way... I totally don't understand the NHS or whatever. Someone needs to explain it to me because I get that I'm supposed to pick a "GP" (totally cute by the way) and apparently the "chemist" (I'm really not being condescending, I just think these are way more awesome names and useful than our equivilents) is the person who *writes* perscriptions. The GP is free? How much do perscriptions cost?! And where are the psychiatrists? What the hell do they do?

And does anyone know anything about the "personality disorder services" because we definitely don't have one of those on every block like London apparently does.

eek, I look like such a tourist! But it's really not my fault. If anyone's seen the news, the US government is officially in anarchy as far as health insurance reform goes... I can't watch, I get scared every time. And who does it really affect? Not the old people (even though they are targeting them because they're the freaking huge voter demographic) but people like me with chronic or terminal illnesses... those of us with pre-existing conditions WHO ARE FUCKED.

Bottom line, if you want to be crazy, because it's cool ala "Girl, Interrupted" (which Paula D. keeps referencing to me to try and scare me straight, like I haven't seen worse in real life)... it's not worth it.

It might be kitch at first, but then you're down a rabbit hole and you realize you aren't living in a novel or piece of fiction. You can't just close the book and go back to your life.


I promise I won't be preachy like that again :)


Ophelia said...

Sorry for the long absence I'm in the middle of a big catch up!
Hmm I dunno if the NHS system is the same for non British citizens? But as it stands yeah you sign up to a GP, he writes the prescriptions, you take them to the chemist and they give you the drugs! At the moment it costs about £7 per prescription, but you can send off for a certificate to get them free (I do because I'm still in full time education).
With psychiatrists and the like theres always a really long waiting list on the NHS... and they are pretty abismal, crappy councelling and groups are the standard things you get sent most go private (of which there are loooaaddss in London yay!)
ok back to my catching up :)
x x x

Flushed said...

Haha, yeah I am NOT looking forward to being 25 when my mom can't cover me anymore :( thank gawd that's another year away!!

Best of Tourist! When you get back to LA you gonna be nicer to em now?! Haha ;)


Flushed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
throughraindrops said...

dno bout nhs for non british citzens but its yeah GP is free just go into one and ask if you can register prescription price is £5 something but thats in scotland so Ophelia will be right im still free cause still at school
they wont prescribe you stuff you dont really need like ive heard american ones do and usually the GP (general practioner incase you wondered) writes the prescription and you take it to the chemist then they give you the medicine

Anonymous said...

I think i'm RATHER well placed to help you with this...

You dont really 'choose' a GP. Normally you have to go to one in your area. The problem is that NHS doctor's are often short of places so it can be a pain to register. Usually universities have their own GP services allied to the campus but i'm not sure what the exact situation is for the london universities which are more spread out. But your sstudent services should give you the name of a doctor to go and register.

The chemist does not write your prescriptions, the doctor will do that. You then take it to the chemist where you pay for it (or not) there. Contraception is free, many other prescriptions are not, unless you are on benefits. But your visit to the doctor IS free. (this may not be the case for non EU citizens so i'm sorry if i'm wrong.)

As far as prices go, 30 fluoxetine capsules cost me £7.20 which is about $10. So its not particularly cheap after all. Its actually emergency care which is free, or if you are above/below a certain age or on benefits or disabled etc etc.

As far as pyschological services go, you must go to your doctor and ask for a referral. As far as NHS pyschiatry/therapy is concerned, its probably better to be paying. They are hugely oversubscribed and you will likely wait a long time to get a short amount of sessions, after which if they think you really cannot go without it they will continue, but my mum is a therapist and really private is a much more feasible option. Then again letters of attestation of ongoing pyschiatric monitoring and previous hospitalisations will likely make it much easier for you to convince someone that you really do need the service. Basically you have to do a lot of convincing to make the NHS work for you.

Let me know if you have any other London/UK based questions, i'm more than happy to advise! xx

Anonymous said...

(oh and free prescriptions in full time education is only for those 18 and under with regards to ophelia's suggestion. Again, student services will be a lot of help sorting all of that out, generally counselling services etc are pretty readily available to those enrolled at university...)

PeriAdot said...

People seem to forget when they teach the Lemons Model and the problems inherent in the current insurance system that REAL people are involved, REAL lives are affected and there is real pain involved.

God I wish there was some way I could fix it for you.

Pasco said...

The American healthcare system completely shocks me. In Australia we are even more liberal than in the UK, and pretty much everything is free.

I can't believe you find words like "GP" and "chemist" cute. They are so routine in my life at the moment. I just spent a month BEING a GP :).

The downside to the Australian system though, for those of us on the inside we get paid FUCK ALL. dang.


PrettyWreck said...

No, you're right. It doesn't just end. You can't just pick up and go back to your life. You are forever haunted by it.

I was in an institution when I was in 6th grade. Attempted suicide. The taste of charcoal in the stomach, and the feel of the tube shoved in was enough to make me hate life. Being inside that place was horrifying, and even now...years later...over a decade later.... still comes back to haunt me.

"Oh...we can't cover you for that. You had a pre-existing condition when you were a preteen."

Yeah. It's called a shitty life, out of control hormones, and a cry for help. Sorry I didn't think about what that would do to my premiums. Kind of wasn't on my mind when all I could think about what how dirty I felt for missing the man who abused me, ya?

I have migraines. I have to pay $25/pill because my prescription insurance ran out after my first refill of that shit. When I first got my own insurance through a job, I wound up going into anaphylaxis. I made it to the hospital on my own before collapsing in the waiting room when my throat swelled to the point where I couldn't get enough oxygen. They had to intubate me (shove a tube into my throat to let me breathe) and stood by after injecting me with a massive dose of benadryl with a set of paddles and a crash cart next to me, waiting for me to go into cardiac arrest.

I didn't. The benadryl worked.
But the insurance denied the claim.

They said the intubation was an extraneous procedure. That if I still was able to breathe (even if it was only a few gasps that were leaving me with a low enough O2 level to potentially damage my brain or organs) then they should have done the benadryl first to see if it worked, because it could have saved money.
No joke. It was the real argument from some idiots who had bachelors degrees in business from University of Wichita. Not even doctors. They said that the doctors had done too much.

I wound up owing $5000. I still owe them money that I'm paying off.

My current insurance is trying to deny every claim I've ever made.

Because, even though I had insurance for a year before hand...I had a pre-existing condition that I saw a doctor for.

They're denying me
for insomnia.

Because I went to the doctor for pnuemonia, and on the way out, asked if I could get a refill of my ambien, and she gave it to me, and now they're saying that because I got treated for that on their dollar, it voids my other claims.

Almost a year and a half worth of doctors visits.

It's going to kill me if I owe that much.

And I pay nearly $200/month in combined doctors visits and prescription costs out of pocket, just to get my ADD meds.

So yeah. You're right.

Don't ever even get a god damn cold in the USA. And if you get attacked? God help you. They'll treat you and put you back out while you're still hung over from the sedatives and in a hospital gown. They've done it to way more than one person that I personally know. They put one guy out ont he streets who had been beaten so bad over the head he had amnesia, and we had to escort him to a police officer because he was so disoriented he couldn't even remember where he was. The hospital didn't even give him his god damned shoes. Just stitched him and threw him out, completely disoriented, in a bad part of town, without shoes, wearing a pair of $300 Armani pants, with no money, no phone, and no way to find a way home.

All they fucking care about is the money.
This country is DISGUSTING right now with it's healthcare.

nothing_tastes_as_good said...

hey there. The availability and quality of personality disorders services in the UK are vastly different. Its a bit of a postcode lottery. Me and my partner are lucky enough to live at the north of Scotland where there is a fantastic theraputic community. My partner has BPD. He had to wait almost a year on a waiting list, before he was accepted into the 2 year programme. Its worth doing some googling to see what services are available where youre moving to. Im in therapy for anorexia at the moment, and services are great in my area, but its again varied dependant on where you are.(Were both on NHS treatments, not private)

Its fantastic its free here. For me and my partner to both do the amount of therapy to keep us going would cost more than we could dream of affording in the states!

Find me at if you have any questions!

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