2010—“Health Insurance” horrors
…Previous medical event: The Coda

As I mentioned back in 2006, we signed up with Regence and stuck with them through 2010, despite chronic annoyance at their reliably-arrogant, bureaucratic behavior. We have to be grateful that they paid for my hip replacement in 2006 and my first spinal fusion in 2008. But in 2010, their snottiness exceeded all limits. As I described the episode in an e-mail to Doctor Mike Kirkham:
Dr Mike Kirkham
…my masters and betters at “Regence” seem to have decided (hours before the scheduled operation at the hands of Bob Svagr, then twice more on appeal) that I didn’t hurt enough to make them willing to pay him to fix my neck and right arm. At my age… So, said neck and arm still hurt, tingle, and go numb, in no particular sequence.
Dr Bob Svagr
The operation was all set up. I’d gone through the obnoxious admissions procedure, and had arisen early, fasting, to cleanse my neck and shoulders with that nasty germicidal stuff they hand out, when the phone rang, and our kindly “insurers”* announced that they had declined to approve the procedure.

In 2020, the neck and arm are still foci of my continuing pain experience.

We dumped Regence at the end of 2010 and, on the (eventually regrettable) advice of a broker in such things, went with their competitor that marketed under the warm and fuzzy handle of “Humana;” they remained as our “insurer”* through 2014. Getting ahead of the tale just a bit, we sincerely hope both enterprises have been terminated with extreme prejudice, by this time.
*If you’re wondering about the “scare quotes” in this text, they reflect my understanding that “health insurance” isn’t and never really has been insurance, in the usual (and sensible) sense of the word. Permit me to refer you to the extensive literature on the subject that is available, on the Internet and elsewhere.
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