Hooray! We have made more plans: We are heading out to Indonesia for a couple of months and will be spending a three and a half week chunk of that time on a tour of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. This is all so exciting!
Warning: the following blog is full of obnoxious and unresolved tedium. I may be ranting rather than blogging.
In preparation for travels, we are following the CDC recommendations for vaccinations. We are all up to date with regular vaccines and were easily able to acquire the oral Typhoid vaccine as well as the Malaria meds for all of us and the Hep A for those that didn’t have it yet. Yay.
We are so blessed to have amazing health care coverage. Wait for the “but”…
But…it was all smooth sailing until we tried to get the vaccine for Japanese Encephalitis.
This is an illness that is considered endemic in many Asian countries. It is carried by mosquitos and incidences go up when the rains come down and more so away from cities, especially in and near rice patties. As we will specifically be in these areas at the beginning of the rainy season (the beginning of peak season for the disease) we and our doctors thought it would be good to get this vaccination in addition to the others. No biggie, right?
OK, seriously, I have spent over twelve hours on the phone over the last three days trying to obtain this vaccine in a way that is covered by insurance. We have been through four different pharmacies, multiple phone calls to our medical practice, and many hours on the phone with insurance. Each time I speak to the insurance company I think I have been helped and guided in the right direction, only to find out that isn’t the correct information once we have contacted the next pharmacy location! Then I get further info, with a more restrictive set of directions to follow and repeat the process again. This pharmacy isn’t covered, that one is. That pharmacy doesn’t carry that vaccine at all, oh, that pharmacy that has the vaccine in stock isn’t actually covered for this item as it has to be billed through medical, not prescription, and they aren’t allowed to do so, oh that pharmacy is covered but not really, now you have to go to a certain kind of clinic, wait, that clinic doesn’t take insurance at all (wait, why are they on my preferred provider list then?), and so on.
Gah! This is ridiculous, people!
Why don’t we just pay for it out of pocket? Because one shot is almost $300. Ouch! Besides, isn’t that why we pay to have insurance?
And, as I said earlier, this is not a solved issue yet. I will let you know what the end result is later. Sigh.
Rant over for now.