Just inside the door of the Senior Center are a couple of wire racks that are always full of various publications from Rains County and surrounding areas. One is a free advertising and humor paper called Giggles & Grins. I “borrowed” the following list from their latest issue:
You can tell your healthcare is in trouble when:
- The only 100% covered expense is embalming.
- Your anti-anxiety medication comes in colors and has little “m’s” on each pill.
- Preventive care protocol includes “an apple a day.”
- Your primary care physician is wearing the pants you gave to Goodwill last month.
- The Lone Star Bar and Grill is an approved pharmacy.
- The only approved proctologist lists Roto-Rooter as his former employer.
- The tongue depressors taste faintly like Fudgesicles.
- Directions to the doctor’s office include “take a left when you enter the trailer park.”
- The annual breast exams are conducted at Hooters.
- Your “male enhancement” prescription consists of a Popsicle stick and duct tape.
These are good for a few laughs, but some of the healthcare conversations at the Center aren’t quite as humorous:
- Gal A has a condition that causes her to become weak and sometimes pass out because her body doesn’t produce enough blood. In the past, she has received a series of injections that helped her function normally. New protocols require her blood levels to be lower before she qualifies for treatment.
- Guy A has chronic back pain that is managed with medications that used to cost $7 per
month. Last month he was informed that his medication has been moved to a higher tier and now costs $90 a month.
- Gal B has a brother-in-law in rehab, and some of his medication has been shut off because he is 75 years old.
- Guy B has a medication situation similar to Guy A. His prescription that used to come with no co-pay now costs him $70 a month.
- Gal C can’t get an appointment with her doctor because her insurance hasn’t paid for the last four visits.
- David recently called in a refill for a prescription he has taken since before we married almost 13 years ago. He sees his doctor regularly and has regular lab tests done, but he was told the protocol has changed and he now has to have special blood work before he can get a refill.
- When I reached Medicare eligibility last year, I opted for Part D (medication coverage) even though the premiums were more than twice the cost of the medications I take. My reasoning was that, although my current meds are inexpensive, I have a couple of conditions that, at some point in my life, may require some very expensive medications. If you opt out of Part D for a period of more than 60 days, a penalty based on a percentage of the premium begins to accrue. If you decide later to take the coverage, you pay the accrued penalty for the rest of your life, or at least that part of it during which you keep the Part D coverage. This year my Part D premium went up almost 30%, so now I’m paying over 3 times more for the coverage than I would pay for the medications.
In my article titled “Healthcare – Then and Now” I talked about how, from the time since I was a child until now, healthcare has evolved from a minor part of our lives to a subject around which our lives seem to revolve. Unfortunately, most of it isn’t very funny.