Friday, August 22, 2008

No Guarantee

Doing something on behalf of the MS always feels like a staggering achievement. After finally calling to schedule my first MRI in the States (the crowd roars!), I thought it would be wise to phone the insurance company to double-check my coverage (roar gives way to murmurs of general approval and agreement). I felt very responsible. I was, in fact, being very responsible. It only takes a single expensive insurance mistake to turn you into one of those people who's always running back in the house to see if the stove is turned off.

"Do you require prior authorization for an MRI?" (The MRI place had told me to ask this; I don't really know what it means.)

"No."

"Okay, great." So why the niggling feeling? "But MRIs are covered under my plan, is that correct?"

"We don't guarantee coverage. If it's medically necessary it should be covered."

"Uh... I think it's necessary. But you can't tell me for sure?"

"We don't guarantee coverage."

"You can't give me an idea? This is the difference for me between five hundred and five THOUSAND dollars."

"Ma'am, I don't know what you want me to tell you."

She actually laughed at me a little here, a chuckle that landed on the 'don't' and skidded a bit through the 'know'. Her laugh seemed like a pretty good summing up of multiple sclerosis as a whole. After first being diagnosed I was so rageful for so long, it's somewhat of a relief to now have that feeling contained to only a handful of sharp moments.

I try to deal with MS issues during class break so that any emotions they raise will be necessarily elided. It's not so much that I wish I didn't have MS as that I wish I didn't have to always be navigating other people's hurdles for it.

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