Grumpy rant

Maybe it’s just having an early morning appointment, but the office manager at my dermatologist really ticked me off this morning…

She’s normally pretty insufferable and rude but normally I’m pretty good at weathering a storm.  I like both of the dermatologists I see and for some horrible reason, I’ve grown used to really horrible people working at the offices I visit.

My vet’s tech/receptionist was such a bitch to everyone that he hired a new receptionist and now the tech doesn’t work with the public at all but just takes care of the animals in the back…so at least he figured out she was a problem.  One of the gynecologist’s office ladies was super rude and would huff and puff under her breath, even if you were just giving her your name to check in.  The gynecologist has joined another practice, I just received a letter about it last month, so hopefully she wasn’t able to follow him there.

…but the office manager at the dermatologist.  Ugh.

She screams at the old people who can’t see the sign about where to stand in line.  You can’t see the sign from either of the doors that you enter the building from, it’s facing the reception desk instead of the doors.  She can see it and points it out while screaming, but you can’t read it until you’re in the line that nobody is ever actually standing in.  She screams at the other people working the desk for being too loud.  She listens in on everybody’s business and butts in…which is where the issue came up today.

I was checking in and I was told I owed $75.

Uhhh, what?

It wasn’t even 8 a.m. at that point, so way too early to throw anything like this at my brain.  I stood there looking like a complete idiot and asked the lady if she could repeat what she said.

You owe $75.

For what?  I paid my last bill and my insurance doesn’t require a copay.  I was super confused.

In steps the office manager, by screaming it from across the room, after having just screamed at the receptionist I was talking to for talking too loudly to me.  Irony?

New policy.  If you don’t have a copay, you have to pay $75 to cover part of your insurance deductible before seeing the doctor.

…but my deductible isn’t $75?

They’d just bill me for the rest I owed them after they ran it by insurance.

My deductible isn’t $75 as in it’s less than $75.  I’d be overpaying.

Oh no, she handles all of the billing.  Everybody pays at least $75 by the time insurance is done.

I don’t.

Cue the eye rolling and the exasperated sighing from the office manager….and the extended argument that I pay at least $75 out of pocket every time I see them.

Brief side note:  Until I reach my deductible, I pay what my insurance deems acceptable as their “discounted rate”, which is currently $71 and some change.  After I reach the deductible, the insurance seems to get sick of doctors over-billing and lowers the discounted rate because then the insurance has to cover 90% of the cost while I have cover the remaining 10% until I reach my maximum out of pocket.  Our deductibles are considered “high” at a little over $2,000 but between the low cost of our insurance each month and having a low out of pocket maximum, it’s by far the better value.  We also have worked out our HSA so that between our contributions and those of Logan’s employer, we have zero taxed out of pocket expenses to reach our annual deductible.

I’m normally not argumentative (which I’m sure certain people that piss me off would disagree) but once she got me rolling and started her eye rolling, I couldn’t stop.

She eventually spat out that they’d refund me the difference if and only if I did, in fact, overpay…which she doubted.

I, of course, didn’t like that answer because I pay my medical from the HSA and a refund would mean I would have to file that refunded difference as an unqualified distribution, and therefore taxable, on my 8889 tax form.

The fact that she chose to argue with me, when she could have easily looked up my payments and payment history (since she claimed she handled it all), made me furious.  They’ve never had to send me a bill because I pay straight from my HSA the second my insurance processes everything.  What gave her the right to be so combative and hateful anyway?  All I asked was why I owed $75 because it surprised me that they were wanting payment when I didn’t think I owed anything.  How was I supposed to know a new policy had been instituted when they failed to alert patients about it?

I pay my bills, honey.  I’ve been accused of micro-managing our money at times — not by Logan, of course, he swears up and down he loves that I take care of the monetary side of things so he doesn’t have to worry about any of it.   One of our friends routinely says I should rent out my services for finding deals and budgeting.  I check our banking and credit accounts every day; I’ve caught errors and fraud before the bank has.  I check our insurance claims daily after either of have an appointment and read the full billing, responsibilities, payments, and what we owe and why.  I file our own taxes; my mom is an accountant and has told me on several occasions that our taxes are so complicated (we receive 15 forms plus documentation, have to fill out and file 11 forms, and file in multiple states) that the firm she formerly worked for would have charged quite a lot to process them.  I’ve even caught mistakes on my mom’s taxes when checking them.  I know what I pay.


^  From my HSA’s claims, from my last visit to the dermatologist.


^ From my insurance’s website, from my last visit of 2016, after my deductible was met.

Are either of those $75?  Nope.

I refused to pay the $75 today — and I got by with it because they hadn’t given me advanced notice on the policy change and charges.  Suck it, hag.


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