I am one fortunate gal. Because of my husband’s hard work and employment history, and because of the country we live in, we have what I believe to be good health care. I suspect with present and imminent health care changes, that may not remain the same.
I, like most people who have had MS for awhile, battle symptoms that have the potential to torture me. MS and modern medicine have teamed up to allow me to live my days medicated, but reasonably comfortable. I periodically see my doctors to have the requisite appointment, blood work and get prescriptions renewed. Then the pharmacies and insurance companies do a regulated and necessary negotiation to settle payment. I contribute my check for co-payment. I take weekly inventory of the containers holding different sizes and shapes of little white and colored miracles, Then I count and organize them into daily reminders and regularly administer them. My body is good at reminding me if my brain forgets.
There’s one more step to this whole process. It comes in the mail and is called the Explanation of Benefits (EOB). On this piece of paper it shows the charged amount for the medications, the amount insurance agreed to pay (usually significantly less), and the amount I paid. This is sent for our records, but on rough days I am certain it is sent to induce guilt. Each number representing a medication is impressive. When I add them all up, as I am compelled to do, the amount is overwhelming. Sometimes, when the state of the world and my physical condition feel oppressive, I have wondered if the whole routine is worth the trouble.
Recently, I have decided to take a different approach to viewing the medication process. The companies that charge the impressive amounts for medications must fund the research and development of new and better drugs for a multitude of ailments, so part of what is paid for the wonder drugs goes toward that area of the industry. Therefore, I can safely conclude that, together with the insurance company and pharmacies, I and my progressive illness contribute to making the world a better place. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I do appreciate thinking I am making a contribution to the pharmaceutical industry rather than sucking funds from the insurance industry. It may even be the dollars from my prescription order that pinpoint a cure in a lab somewhere!
So now when those EOB’s arrive in the mail, I quickly look them over and smile about the part I play in economic development and saving humankind from death, destruction and disease. Okay, that’s an exaggeration too; but it’s working for me.
Got MS symptoms? There’s a pill (or 20!) for that! Take a pill and save the world!!