Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ted Rall's experience with Swine Flu and the insurance company


"An hour passed after my doctor and pharmacist exchanged the required bureaucratic pleasantries. She returned to the counter. "I'm sorry, Mr. Rall," she said, "but your doctor is going to have to call HIP to get their advance approval. It will take him quite a bit of's complicated, especially for doctors."


I was getting sicker and sicker, just sitting there. My head reeled; an invisible C-clamp tightened behind each ear. I could barely breathe. It felt as though there were shards of glass stuck in my lungs. Every breath hurt. I barely had enough energy to stand up and take a step. My fingers were bluish-gray (an early sign that breakdown of the cardio-pulmonary system is imminent.) I coughed and caught a ball of phlegm in a napkin. It was soaked in blood.

Four hours and 12 phone calls after I arrived at the pharmacy, I went home empty-handed. HIP's approval still hadn't appeared in the pharmacy's computer system."

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