Story Blog

Codine's off for the moment, but if you haven't read 'Turning Stones' it's still up there - free read!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saturday 18th June 2011

Blogger is gettng REALLY annoying. Well it was annoying before but I thought I’d semi-licked it. I guess I’ll have to get into the habit of logging into Google Chrome on here if I want to post any comments on blogs. It even refuses to let me post on my OWN, the snub-nosed swine.

Two houses viewed today and neither of them hopeful. One of them (unbelievably) already had a deposit on it by the time we got there for the open house – and SO overpriced! I don’t know what they’ve agreed to but it’s on for 575 and I wouldn’t part with a cent more than 499 for it, it’s just not reasonable. Here it is. The other one was much better presented, for the same price, but still not geared to what we wanted at all, and wouldn’t be worth it. Here. Anyway, that was disappointing. Plus there’s one we’re quite interested in, here, that didn’t advertise the open house on the net so we missed it, despite the fact that I’d emailed the guy earlier in the day to ask about it. Mind you I guess it is a Saturday. We’re going to see that on Tuesday morning. Oh damn, just remembered – bang goes my yoga. Why does everything always have to pile in to Tuesday? Anyway, pound still cheap, houses more extortionate than ever, we’re going to end up living in a cardboard box.

Talking of finances and general tedious administration, I came to the end of a long rigmarole with a healthcare peripherals saga yesterday. Now, you’ll have to take this from the top.

  1. Went for regular screening, and at the docs signed a paper that said yes, I was happy for them to send the bill for the lab tests straight to Medicare without passing go. That is, without passing by me.

  1. A while later I get a bill for lab work for $59. Huh? Phone the lab. Ah, your Medicare refused the request because the card had run out. Ah.

  1. (interlude while I update Medicare with the details of our new visa, resident status etc etc. All fine.)

  1. Take the bill to the Medicare office. Well you can pay it and then reclaim from Medicare, of you can post it to Medicare and they’ll send you a cheque, which you have to then send to the doctor. They won’t post direct to the lab? Nope. So I send it off to Medicare.

  1. Several weeks later, I get a cheque (made out to the doctor, as promised) for $23 odd. Hm, why is there a difference? Phone Medicare. Well, they say, some labs bulk bill straight to Medicare and you don’t have to pay a gap. Some don’t. They can charge what they want. So how can I make sure that I use labs that bulk bill, I didn’t choose the labs. Well, they say, you can ask the GP to send it to a bulk biller. And are they obliged to send it to a bulk biller, I ask. No, they’re not. So in short, I have to check with the doctor BEFORE I ever make an appointment whether they use bulk bill labs for that particular item if I want to get away scott-free. Pretty much. I ask whether they can tell me what doctors/ labs go down this path. No, they can’t give out the information, I have to find out myself.

  1. OK, well information duly noted and I get out the chequebook to top up the payment with the remaining $35 dollars odd, but can’t find who to make it payable to so call the labs (again). Yes, pay to blah blah blah. Thanks, quoth I. Just before I hang up they say wait a minute I’ll just check you account while you’re here. Check check check. Ah, you don’t have to pay the gap on that. We’ll accept the Medicare payment as full payment. Oh? Quoth I, well that’s great but why do I have a bill for $59 instead of $23 then? Well that’s just the bill, what happened in your case was the doctor asked us to run this on Medicare, and we’ll accept that request. But how would I have known that, had I not happened to call you? How would I know for the future? (And here’s the punchline…) Well, said the nice lady on the other line, I guess it’s just gut feeling. If you want to query something there’s always an accounts number on there, call it.

GUT FEELING? What happened to just invoices and payment? Perhaps I can go up to a house agent and say, Well this one’s on the market for one and a half million but I’ve got a feeling I ought to pay just 500K for it. That cool with you? Maybe that’s how it works round here, maybe that’s how people can afford all those nice houses. Get out your guts. I don’t know, the whole healthcare system’s a complete mystery to me. Seems to expand and shrink like random cyberspace.


  1. Like the veranda on house no 3

  2. I always always use chrome. Why not?

  3. No favourites on chrome, plus I simply don't like being coerced into it. If they could make me think it was all my idea I'd probably be using it already.