I seem to have pink eye. Gross, yes? Trying to be a responsible human being by sparing others from bizarre infectious childhood ailments, I stayed home from work today with the intention of going to the doctor. I have a supposedly good health insurance plan (with Cigna).
I have spent THREE HOURS on the phone trying to get an appointment with a doctor. I finally found one who will try to squeeze me in this afternoon, but it is unclear whether my insurance will pay for it. My ostensible primary care physician (whom I have not met because I haven't been sick since I got this insurance policy) said she could not see me UNTIL AUGUST, infected eyeball or no. I called dozens of other doctors' offices from the Cigna list of primary care physicians accepting new patients, and they all either (1) never answered their phone, (2) were not actually accepting new patients, or (3) said they couldn't see me until at least next week. I finally called Cigna, who suggested I might try getting an appointment with an opthamologist instead; one at Howard University finally took pity on me. Then I had to call my PCP back to get them to fax a referral form to Cigna, but they said they wouldn't do it since I have not seen that doctor before. I explained my saga to them in non-calm tones, and said if the doctor wants to see me, that's great, I would come there right away, but if not she would just have to give me a referral, since I have to go to work before August and would rather not give all of my coworkers gross oozing eyes. We'll see what happens with that.
Having not been need-to-see-a-doctor sick in a long time, I really had no idea that this was how it worked. I thought that the reason people go to the emergency room for non-emergency treatments was that they were uninsured--but it would appear that, in fact, that may be the only way to see a doctor at all.
I feel like I could be a character in that new Michael Moore movie, and that makes me very unhappy because I hate Michael Moore. :(