06 Jul

Here’s the thing:  I’m terrified of going to the dentist.  This has nothing to do with the drill, the blood, the pain, the guilt, or the loss of control that people normally associate with the dentist’s chair.  I’m terrified that, whatever’s wrong with my teeth, my insurance isn’t going to cover it.  Because the insurance I have, in the year and four months since I got it, hasn’t covered a goddamn thing.

Now, my parents owe me a huge “I told you so,” here, because they thought my choice of health plans was a bad idea, but I went ahead anyway.  See, they’re actually paying for it.  I’m 28, by the way, and I honestly can’t tell whether I’m pathetic or my country is.  I am nearly 30 and my parents are paying for my health insurance.  It should be noted that I’m a radio personality who, by virtue of being a part-timer hired after a certain date, doesn’t get benefits from work.  Sucks to be me.

I had Fallon (FCHP), which I liked, but as they kept doubling their monthly premiums, it soon became necessary for me to seek out other options.  I settled, out of desperation, on Healthmarkets/ Mid-West Life.  I would highly recommend that anyone in a similar position, when contacted by anyone from Healthmarkets, not only refuse their services, but do so in the rudest way possible.  I suggest screaming obscenities at the top of your lungs into the phone at whatever clueless shill tries to sell you their “health plan.”  It doesn’t matter what the obscenities are; if your religion forbits such things, you can shriek “fiddlesticks!” until your throat gives out.  Just so long as it’s ear-splitting and annoying.

These are fiddlesticks, by the way.  Just looking at this makes my molars ache.

They don’t cover psychiatric drugs, so I was sort of forced off Adderall by the price.  That’s fine, as it turns out people prefer “moody and stupid Andy” to “workaholic jerk Andy,” but the principle still sucks.  What if I had clinical depression?  What if I was epileptic?  They don’t cover doctor’s check-ups for the first year, for reasons that escape logic.   Particularly disgusting is this: they don’t cover STD or AIDS tests.

And now, with definite tenderness in the right side of my mouth, receding gums, bloody spit in my sink when I brush, and over-sensitive to cold, I need to go to the dentist.  I’m not dying, though, so Healthmarkets probably isn’t going to cover shit.  I called their hotline a while back to see if I could score myself a trip to the dentist, and they said “oh, just go to any dentist, and they’ll send us the bill, and we’ll see how much we cover.”  This wasn’t very reassuring, and no matter how much I prodded or asked, the clueless stooge in customer service wouldn’t or couldn’t go into further detail.

So: going to the dentist is for rich people.

Now, granted, I did just get a new computer, so I should quit my whining.  True, I can use my new one to work on projects that may one day make me rich enough to see a dentist (this is very unlikely).  True, my old computer would occasionally shut down and restart in the middle of stuff for no particular reason.  True, it also had two faulty cd drives, and wouldn’t boot up unless you had the XP startup disc, and we can see where this is going.  I obviously did not have to spend $799 on this computer, plus whatever the “Special Care” plan cost, plus the cost of a snazzy new case to keep it in.  Instead, I could have spent that exact amount of money on one dentist visit.  Apparently, I’m the irresponsible one around here, as you can clearly see by this snapshot of my little cousin Beppo.

Andy and Beppo: Adventures in babysitting.

So, I’ve got to go see the dentist, and my health plan isn’t going to cover anything, I just know it.  Sure, they sent me a big ol’ book detailing exactly what I get and don’t get, and I’m sure somewhere in there is something about dentistry.  But here’s the thing:  according to their website, some dentists are covered by their plan, and some aren’t.   According to their customer service person, all dentists are more or less covered by their plan (at least, as much as anything else.)  Every local dentist I’ve found on their website, by the way, either doesn’t exist or hasn’t worked at that office in years.  It’s getting pretty silly.

So, in conclusion:  my teeth hurt, my media conglomerate doesn’t give a shit, and Healthmarkets is pretty much a scam.  If anyone can recommend a low-cost health plan that actually provides preventative care of any kind, I’d be very happy to know about it.


Posted by on July 6, 2008 in bios, politics, self-deprecation


2 responses to “odontophobia

  1. Lauryn

    July 7, 2008 at 1:15 am

    Oh dear…

    Urgh. This reminds me I need to go floss. Seriously….I’m actually having my own dental back-and-forth right now, though it sounds as if I’m having a bit more luck.

    I hadn’t been in two years (since before I moved to FL), and finally went last week. Thankfully no new cavities, though I do have to have an old filling fixed….but apparently my gums are scary. The dentist actually went “eeegh” when he saw them.

    I feel your pain, little brother….I feel your pain.

    Oh, and I’d try Delta Dental and/or Assurant….I’ve had them both and they’re both pretty good. Delta was what I had in grad school, and I seem to remember that they had some lower-priced options because they were (at least partly) geared towards students…

    All the best in toothy health!!

  2. fruit flavor

    July 7, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    well, it won’t help with the price, but this’d take care of your worries while you’re there:


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