Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hitting a Nerve

If I ever suffer from writer's block, I just have to call my insurance.

My middle son has a deep cavity in a permanent tooth. It requires a root canal. The problem is, he's nine.

We've been to the family dentist, the pediatric dentist, the endodontist,and the orthodontist. I've called dental clinics and oral surgeons. None of the pediatric dentists want to touch a permanent tooth. None of the dentists for adults want to do surgery on a kid. Those that do root canal aren't on the provider's list.

Finally, in frustration, I called my insurance "help" line.

"I've seen four different specialists and called fifteen more." I explained.

"My computer shows there are sixty three in the twenty-five mile radius of your home."

"Yes, but I've called a quarter of them and had no takers. What do I do if I get through all 63?"

"We can expand the radius to 75 miles."

"You mean I have to call all 63? I was sort of joking..."

"If you want a provider in network, I'm sure you'll find one before you get through them all."

"Wait. You have the list right? And presumably, I'm not the first human being to call you to ask for a specialist who will do a root canal on a permanent tooth on a minor with sedation, not laughing gas."


"Then can you check your records and give me some names of those people?"


"Why not?"

"I'd have to have the social securirty numbers of those people."

"No. No. All you'ld have to do is call whoever cuts the checks for the benefits and have them do a search of payments to oral surgeons for root canals and then check to see if they were done for minors. I can't believe it's this inaccessible."

"Well, I don't have access."
"Who does?"
"Look, just start calling...."

"No. I want to know when we hit critical mass. I want to know at what point can we say I fought the good fight and just find someone?"

"You can do that, but it will be out of network."

The circle conversation had started again so I hung up and started dialing.

"We do root canals, but your insurance doesn't pay for the anestesia."

"But it's a root canal surgery. You have to have anestesia."


"I'm wondering at this point which is more painful, a root canal with out medication or trying to set this damn thing up."

"You could call your insurance and ask."

I may start self medicating soon.

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

oh babe, that's rough.

be thankful you have 63 to ask. I usually have 5 to ask and then the none of them want to treat us....then the insurance says..."well, if you have to drive over 100 miles ONE WAY we'll reimburse you some gas money."

100 miles?? are you KIDDING me? I live <30 miles from Dallas, Tx....medical mecca of the South West.

but THAT'S military insurance for ya.

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