Friday, December 14, 2018

Healthy Educators Require Time

As I await a dental procedure today, I am making a number of calls regarding bogus health care bills I've received. I have literally had to wait on the phone for hours to talk to agents about these bogus bills, hours that I never have as a teacher of multiple students during a school day. So far I've learned that the bogus bills are the result of wrong codes, missing information, and other small errors which have resulted in thousands of dollars of bogus bills. What's a teacher to do?

The lack of hours to sit and wait for health care agents or others to solve errors is an issue that stands in the way of educators' financial welfare and well as physical welfare. Teachers typically have little to no phone time during working hours, and it shouldn't have to rely on a medical procedure day to figure this all out.

Some of what I've learned so far are the following:

  • Never trust the billing procedure, make time upfront to review all paperwork and bills.
  • Before getting any procedures, ask up front how much it will cost. I had to pay $500 extra for a health check-up because the nurse practitioner offered me advice I already knew. Before conversing with your health care providers, ask if it's going to cost extra and then decide if it's worth it.
  • Understand your health plans well. Make sure your employer and others are giving you the time to understand and take advantage of the plans you are paying for.
  • Challenge bills that seem bogus.
  • Use summer time well to meet the health care needs that you can, and take the sick time you need in the school year to also take care of your health while issues are small rather than waiting until they get larger.
There's definitely room for improvement in the health care system right now--it's a dense woods to navigate, and that navigation demands time, attention, and knowledge.