Health Insurance tested, Physician approved

I got a little magnet in the mail from my health insurance company the other day, with a “Nurse Line” phone number on it. I’m supposed to call the Nurse Line when I’m sick to find out if I should go to the doctor. Or, as the card says, to help decide if the “doctor’s office, emergency room, or just self-care is needed.”

Suuuuure. I’ll call my insurance to ask whether I should accrue costly hospital bills for them to pay. Or not.

I’m sure it might depend on whether I had paid my full deductible yet, but I imagine the call to go something like this:

Me: Hi Nurse Line? I’m having some chest pains?
Nurse Line: Chest pains are more common than you think, don’t worry.
Me: But it’s kind of [gasp] stabbing? Oh boy. There it goes.
Nurse Line: Have you considered self-care?
Me: Tingling . . . in my . . . left arm . . . [thump]
Nurse Line: Advil should clear that right up.

The information I can get by calling Nurse Line, the card assures me, is “physician-approved.” How do the physicians know what the phone operator is going to say? Does a physician come in and bless the phone with a wave of his or her stethoscope first?

In other health insurance news, I also found out that I could get $50 from my health insurance comp by filling out an online questionnaire. Woo-hoo! right? The questions were a wee bit personal though. They moved from my diet and exercise regimen, to my mental health and family history, right down to the nitty gritty: height and weight please, marked with the dreaded red asterisk — required.

So I lied my suddenly-smaller-on-paper ass off, of course. Just because you’re paranoid don’t mean they’re not raising your premiums . . .

But even after I added a full inch and took off 20-25 pounds, the interwebs still said I was fat! Which almost scared me enough to call Nurse Line to see what I should do.

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