Tilting against windmills or Heath insurance shell games

June 27, 2007

Some things in life feel like an act of futility, and other are just that- futile.

A number of immunizations over and above the usual are suggested when traveling to S. Africa, th0se being: Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid and Polio, in addition, anti-malarial drugs are also advised. This process should be started 4 to 6 weeks before traveling. I began this process 7 weeks before my expected travel date. I can now say with authority that battling windmills would be more a productive use of my time than seeking the aid of my health insurance company in obtaining these vaccinations.

Two weeks ago I did the research, set up a doctor’s consultation with my employer’s health center and began investigating my insurance coverage for the vaccines. At least 10 calls later and better than four hours spent on the phone with my insurance company and local offices that provide these immunizations and it was determined that there are no providers in the area who are covered by my insurance plan. Then the fun began…

To get these vaccinations covered by my insurance, I’ve had to request a medical pre-authorization to go out of system. The insurance company now has all the paperwork and will be reviewing everything before making a decision. If I’m exceedingly lucky I may know by late this week or early next week, which leaves just enough time to go through the series of shots required for the combined Hep A and B vaccines plus all the rest.

It seems certain that my insurance company would just be thrilled if I were to get frustrated enough to abandon my hopes of having these shots covered. Unfortunately for them, I’m patient and will plague them for updates until this is resolved. This windmill will fall-


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