I have had a flu vaccine. This involved spending a bunch of time on line at a drug store, and assuring the tired nurse that I had paid her. After which she put away the forms (which collect name, address, age, and a bit of information about vaccine history and allergies) and told the pharmacist that the line was closed (meaning she'd take people who already had forms and were in line, but that was it). The vaccination was almost painless.

I also have another bill from the surgeon who removed my gall bladder. This means it's time to call the health insurance company again; two months ago they said to give it one billing cycle to get sorted out, so I ignored one illegitimate bill. I suspect the next course involves a letter to Dr. Geller stating that I do not owe him money, because he signed a contract with Cigna agreeing to accept their check as full payment; that I have no intention of paying him money I don't owe him; and that a copy of this letter is going to the state attorney general's office.

It's a shame: as far as I can tell, he's a good surgeon. But he bills separately from the hospital, so illegitimate balance billing is clearly his policy.
I have had a flu vaccine. This involved spending a bunch of time on line at a drug store, and assuring the tired nurse that I had paid her. After which she put away the forms (which collect name, address, age, and a bit of information about vaccine history and allergies) and told the pharmacist that the line was closed (meaning she'd take people who already had forms and were in line, but that was it). The vaccination was almost painless.

I also have another bill from the surgeon who removed my gall bladder. This means it's time to call the health insurance company again; two months ago they said to give it one billing cycle to get sorted out, so I ignored one illegitimate bill. I suspect the next course involves a letter to Dr. Geller stating that I do not owe him money, because he signed a contract with Cigna agreeing to accept their check as full payment; that I have no intention of paying him money I don't owe him; and that a copy of this letter is going to the state attorney general's office.

It's a shame: as far as I can tell, he's a good surgeon. But he bills separately from the hospital, so illegitimate balance billing is clearly his policy.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (food)
( Nov. 7th, 2008 10:11 pm)
It was worth a try, but it didn't work.

I've been having trouble with spice—specifically, with capsicum-based hot foods—since I had the surgery last spring. Periodically I try something, and once in a while it works (the best results have been with the orange-flavored chicken from a local Chinese restaurant, but even that isn't 100% safe).

I used to make a shrimp curry for myself and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude; I did it fairly often for a while, then less frequently as we started getting almost all our fish from the Greenmarket (shrimp aren't local, so we don't find them there). I'd been thinking that I could modify the recipe a bit, using a milder curry powder and less of it, balanced with more ginger. I got some of that curry at Aphrodisia a couple of weeks ago.

This evening, I stopped off on my way home from the gym, and bought a half pound of cooked shrimp, because they're less trouble than raw shrimp I'd have had to peel (and I had a shrewd suspicion that if I bought raw shrimp, they would go to waste). I mixed up some spices, the aforementioned curry and ginger, a bit of extra turmeric, a couple of cardamom pods, and some flour to extend them (that's in the original recipe). Defrosted some chicken stock, chopped apple and onion, made rice, made the curry.

It was fairly mild as these things go; Cattitude confirmed this. But the bite was enough to make it less appealing, and not entirely comfortable, for me. At least he liked it. It wasn't as bad as some spicy meals have been in the last few months: I did eat it, but with more stops to buffer things with mango nectar, and less enjoyment than I'd hoped.

I think I need a good, not too complicated shrimp recipe that isn't a curry. Ideally something creamy, like this. And more recipes that make use of ginger, garlic, horseradish, and/or black pepper.

also, here are gym numbers )
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (food)
( Nov. 7th, 2008 10:11 pm)
It was worth a try, but it didn't work.

I've been having trouble with spice—specifically, with capsicum-based hot foods—since I had the surgery last spring. Periodically I try something, and once in a while it works (the best results have been with the orange-flavored chicken from a local Chinese restaurant, but even that isn't 100% safe).

I used to make a shrimp curry for myself and [livejournal.com profile] cattitude; I did it fairly often for a while, then less frequently as we started getting almost all our fish from the Greenmarket (shrimp aren't local, so we don't find them there). I'd been thinking that I could modify the recipe a bit, using a milder curry powder and less of it, balanced with more ginger. I got some of that curry at Aphrodisia a couple of weeks ago.

This evening, I stopped off on my way home from the gym, and bought a half pound of cooked shrimp, because they're less trouble than raw shrimp I'd have had to peel (and I had a shrewd suspicion that if I bought raw shrimp, they would go to waste). I mixed up some spices, the aforementioned curry and ginger, a bit of extra turmeric, a couple of cardamom pods, and some flour to extend them (that's in the original recipe). Defrosted some chicken stock, chopped apple and onion, made rice, made the curry.

It was fairly mild as these things go; Cattitude confirmed this. But the bite was enough to make it less appealing, and not entirely comfortable, for me. At least he liked it. It wasn't as bad as some spicy meals have been in the last few months: I did eat it, but with more stops to buffer things with mango nectar, and less enjoyment than I'd hoped.

I think I need a good, not too complicated shrimp recipe that isn't a curry. Ideally something creamy, like this. And more recipes that make use of ginger, garlic, horseradish, and/or black pepper.

also, here are gym numbers )
It's been six months since I had my gall bladder out, and just over five since my first serious post-surgery workout. This evening, I went to the gym, and did a bunch of stuff, and it feels like I'm back to pre-surgery levels (in terms of the number of different exercises, amount of weight, and number of reps). There were times in there when I thought I might never get all the way back, but I persevered, because the goal is strength and flexibility, not arbitrary numbers.

It hasn't been a straight-line process, and next week I may be thinking "you aren't all the way back yet," but this episode and progress seemed worth noting.

However, here are your arbitrary numbers. )
It's been six months since I had my gall bladder out, and just over five since my first serious post-surgery workout. This evening, I went to the gym, and did a bunch of stuff, and it feels like I'm back to pre-surgery levels (in terms of the number of different exercises, amount of weight, and number of reps). There were times in there when I thought I might never get all the way back, but I persevered, because the goal is strength and flexibility, not arbitrary numbers.

It hasn't been a straight-line process, and next week I may be thinking "you aren't all the way back yet," but this episode and progress seemed worth noting.

However, here are your arbitrary numbers. )
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 23rd, 2008 11:00 am)
I just got a call back from a woman named Ginger at Cigna. She told me that the negotiation department has confirmed that Dr. Geller signed an agreement to accept the smaller total, and that they will be "following up to educate him" on this. I owe nothing. Allow one billing cycle for them to get that cleared up, and then call Cigna back if there is further trouble.


I don't think I need to call the doctor's office again right now; if I receive a future bill I will, and explain all this. And possibly, as mentioned last week, tell them that I will be contacting the attorney general's office.

This is no fun. Then again, nothing else about the gall bladder surgery has been either. Why should this be any different?
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 23rd, 2008 11:00 am)
I just got a call back from a woman named Ginger at Cigna. She told me that the negotiation department has confirmed that Dr. Geller signed an agreement to accept the smaller total, and that they will be "following up to educate him" on this. I owe nothing. Allow one billing cycle for them to get that cleared up, and then call Cigna back if there is further trouble.


I don't think I need to call the doctor's office again right now; if I receive a future bill I will, and explain all this. And possibly, as mentioned last week, tell them that I will be contacting the attorney general's office.

This is no fun. Then again, nothing else about the gall bladder surgery has been either. Why should this be any different?
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:23 am)
Another billing/financial update: I just called Cigna, and talked to another helpful woman, who again assured me that I do not need to pay the $1275 the surgeon is asking for. She got their billing office phone number, and said she's giving the information to a specialist, who will explain to the doctor that I don't have to pay them anything. She said it would take about 48 business hours, and that if I don't hear back from them in that time (which I'm going to treat as end of day Wednesday) I should call again and give her the confirmation number, which is surprisingly short: 4382. I gave her my office telephone number, because my cell phone was acting up over the weekend (though it seems to be okay now).

ETA: Even that sort of phone call with the insurance company, about large amounts of money, is stressful.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 22nd, 2008 10:23 am)
Another billing/financial update: I just called Cigna, and talked to another helpful woman, who again assured me that I do not need to pay the $1275 the surgeon is asking for. She got their billing office phone number, and said she's giving the information to a specialist, who will explain to the doctor that I don't have to pay them anything. She said it would take about 48 business hours, and that if I don't hear back from them in that time (which I'm going to treat as end of day Wednesday) I should call again and give her the confirmation number, which is surprisingly short: 4382. I gave her my office telephone number, because my cell phone was acting up over the weekend (though it seems to be okay now).

ETA: Even that sort of phone call with the insurance company, about large amounts of money, is stressful.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:03 pm)
More insurance stuff: the automated system says that the $8,000 claim for the surgeon has been processed. Specifically, they paid $6,725 and I am not responsible for any additional amount. This is all well and good, but the payment date given is July 25. That, I think, is the date it was processed the first time as out-of-network at a much lower rate. I didn't want to sit listening to hold music, and am going for now to wait until I get the paper statement, or have some time earlier in the day.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Sep. 2nd, 2008 03:03 pm)
More insurance stuff: the automated system says that the $8,000 claim for the surgeon has been processed. Specifically, they paid $6,725 and I am not responsible for any additional amount. This is all well and good, but the payment date given is July 25. That, I think, is the date it was processed the first time as out-of-network at a much lower rate. I didn't want to sit listening to hold music, and am going for now to wait until I get the paper statement, or have some time earlier in the day.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2008 09:41 am)
I just got off the phone with Cigna. This time I spoke to a woman named Kimberly.

She agreed that the certificate of credible coverage had been received on May 30. Oddly, she said there was no record of my second phone call, after I got their second letter, or of any activity on this particular claim.

The current situation (in addition to her apologizing for the confusion) is that I have a service request number, 1-2108647621. That service request is her attaching the information about the certificate of credible coverage to this claim. I also stated that this was not a preexisting condition and asked her to include that information.

She told me that I will receive correspondence within 15 business days (that's by August 20) about their review and, I sincerely hope, payment of this claim.

Also, there are no other outstanding claims: everything else related to the hospitalization has been paid.

ETA: I have been to the post office, and sent a certified letter explaining the situation, their stupid form on which I also state that I had never been treated for the condition before, and another copy of the certificate of credible coverage. The post office was pleasantly uncrowded: my wait in line was a few seconds longer than I needed to fill out the certified mail and return receipt forms.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 29th, 2008 09:41 am)
I just got off the phone with Cigna. This time I spoke to a woman named Kimberly.

She agreed that the certificate of credible coverage had been received on May 30. Oddly, she said there was no record of my second phone call, after I got their second letter, or of any activity on this particular claim.

The current situation (in addition to her apologizing for the confusion) is that I have a service request number, 1-2108647621. That service request is her attaching the information about the certificate of credible coverage to this claim. I also stated that this was not a preexisting condition and asked her to include that information.

She told me that I will receive correspondence within 15 business days (that's by August 20) about their review and, I sincerely hope, payment of this claim.

Also, there are no other outstanding claims: everything else related to the hospitalization has been paid.

ETA: I have been to the post office, and sent a certified letter explaining the situation, their stupid form on which I also state that I had never been treated for the condition before, and another copy of the certificate of credible coverage. The post office was pleasantly uncrowded: my wait in line was a few seconds longer than I needed to fill out the certified mail and return receipt forms.
I am well exercised, and came home to an annoying letter from the insurance company. It's to do with one of the bills for the gall bladder surgery. Tomorrow they get one saying that (a) they've already agreed that I sent the certificate of credible coverage*, and this is sufficient; but (b) I had in any case never been treated for gall bladder anything, so it is not a pre-existing condition. Andy has advised me to send it certified mail.

One of the odd things about this is that they have already paid large amounts of money toward the surgery, hospitalization, and such; there's just this one bill they send this letter about, and this one says "third and final." After the second letter, I spoke to someone who agreed that they already had the certificate of credible coverage on file, and said he'd sort it out for me. I really had better ideas of what to do with my lunch hour than go wait in line at the post office.

so, some gym numbers )

*a certificate of credible coverage is proof that you had insurance from some other company immediately before signing up with this one; with it, they generally have to cover pre-existing conditions.
I am well exercised, and came home to an annoying letter from the insurance company. It's to do with one of the bills for the gall bladder surgery. Tomorrow they get one saying that (a) they've already agreed that I sent the certificate of credible coverage*, and this is sufficient; but (b) I had in any case never been treated for gall bladder anything, so it is not a pre-existing condition. Andy has advised me to send it certified mail.

One of the odd things about this is that they have already paid large amounts of money toward the surgery, hospitalization, and such; there's just this one bill they send this letter about, and this one says "third and final." After the second letter, I spoke to someone who agreed that they already had the certificate of credible coverage on file, and said he'd sort it out for me. I really had better ideas of what to do with my lunch hour than go wait in line at the post office.

so, some gym numbers )

*a certificate of credible coverage is proof that you had insurance from some other company immediately before signing up with this one; with it, they generally have to cover pre-existing conditions.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (apricot)
( Jul. 24th, 2008 10:31 pm)
I decided to chance a moderately spicy dinner tonight, so we had a Chinese restaurant deliver orange-flavored beef (and a dumpling appetizer).

I think I mentioned here that, since the surgery, spicy food hurt my mouth: specifically, the capsicum spiciness was a problem, though ginger, garlic, black pepper, and horseradish were all okay. For better or worse, I was noticing this on the first bite. A few weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] cattitude got wontons in hot oil, and I tasted a bit, thus confirming that it was still a problem.

Tonight, I tasted a bit of the beef, and it was fine, so we shared the dumplings. (Had it been a problem, I'd have had all of them, and then probably eaten fruit and white rice.) I ate a reasonable amount of the beef (and bits of orange peel), and white rice. After a while, I got to a point where the spicy was moving toward unpleasantly sharp, so I stopped, and had a little more rice. I may have milk and cookies before bed.

I'm going to be a bit cautious for a while, I think, but it's good to have my repertoire back, as an eater and (though less so) a cook. I think there's a shrimp curry in my, cattitude, and [livejournal.com profile] julian_tiger's near future.
redbird: closeup photo of an apricot (apricot)
( Jul. 24th, 2008 10:31 pm)
I decided to chance a moderately spicy dinner tonight, so we had a Chinese restaurant deliver orange-flavored beef (and a dumpling appetizer).

I think I mentioned here that, since the surgery, spicy food hurt my mouth: specifically, the capsicum spiciness was a problem, though ginger, garlic, black pepper, and horseradish were all okay. For better or worse, I was noticing this on the first bite. A few weeks ago, [livejournal.com profile] cattitude got wontons in hot oil, and I tasted a bit, thus confirming that it was still a problem.

Tonight, I tasted a bit of the beef, and it was fine, so we shared the dumplings. (Had it been a problem, I'd have had all of them, and then probably eaten fruit and white rice.) I ate a reasonable amount of the beef (and bits of orange peel), and white rice. After a while, I got to a point where the spicy was moving toward unpleasantly sharp, so I stopped, and had a little more rice. I may have milk and cookies before bed.

I'm going to be a bit cautious for a while, I think, but it's good to have my repertoire back, as an eater and (though less so) a cook. I think there's a shrimp curry in my, cattitude, and [livejournal.com profile] julian_tiger's near future.
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 19th, 2008 02:01 pm)
The stack of bills for this week includes two related to the gall bladder surgery. One is for $8000.00 from the surgeon, with a note saying "if you have insurance we will help you file" and a space on the back for giving them my insurance information. They should already have it, but I have filled it in again and sent the paper back, trying not to fret. The other is for $322.00 for something to do with the ER, and labeled "previous balance". I thought I remembered writing a check for that already. A quick look online showed that they cashed the check on July 3. This bill is dated July 10. That one is going back with a polite note saying that it was paid with check thus-and-such, from account whosis, cashed July 3, and not adding "so stop wasting my time and stamps."
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea, in a friend's kitchen (Default)
( Jul. 19th, 2008 02:01 pm)
The stack of bills for this week includes two related to the gall bladder surgery. One is for $8000.00 from the surgeon, with a note saying "if you have insurance we will help you file" and a space on the back for giving them my insurance information. They should already have it, but I have filled it in again and sent the paper back, trying not to fret. The other is for $322.00 for something to do with the ER, and labeled "previous balance". I thought I remembered writing a check for that already. A quick look online showed that they cashed the check on July 3. This bill is dated July 10. That one is going back with a polite note saying that it was paid with check thus-and-such, from account whosis, cashed July 3, and not adding "so stop wasting my time and stamps."
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