Choosing the path of most (insurance) resistance

The results of my cognitive tests could definitely have been worse, but they weren’t normal, either.  I’m sure I’d be second-guessing my own judgment anyway, but that doesn’t help.

I have now had two visits with my new naturopath, and in that short time she’s already helped me quite a bit.  At the first visit she gave me an elimination diet to try.  This was a good, free way to figure out if I was having reactions to food.  I have had surprising improvement on this diet, so I know there are food issues.  (We’ve done other things too, but these days I’m focused on the food aspect.)

At the second appointment we discussed food testing.  The blood tests are expensive but they would be much faster and more definitive than continuing the elimination diet.  She encouraged me to continue the diet and hold off on testing if money would be an issue.  That made sense until I read through the many foods, additives, colorings, chemicals, molds, etc. that would be tested, and I immediately had my heart set on finding answers. Imagine, I could have answers!

That was a week and a half ago.  Since then I have called my health insurance company several times.  I have called all of my doctors and gone in to see one who I thought would order the test.  She did order it, but her practice wouldn’t request an “out of area authorization” from the insurance company.  Instead, they want me to try their standard test (which I don’t have faith in) and then maybe, if they feel like it, they might request the authorization.  If they request the authorization and the insurance company approves it, the cost to me for the test would be $15.  If not, the cost to me would be $1100. Big difference.

There are different ways I could pay for the test out of pocket and I’ve been considering them all.  I could win the lottery.  Sure.  Someone could click on the “Donate” button on this page and help out.  Maybe.  I could set up an indiegogo page.  Too public (but not entirely ruled out yet.)  I could ask the relative who’s paying for my lawyer.  I hate to ask for more.  He’d give it, but I hate to ask.

Now, if I had just gotten sick last year for the first time this would be easier.  I’d follow the doctor’s request and get the “standard” test done and hold off on the other.  But after all this time, my thinking is colored by years of improper testing and treatments, and lack of testing and treatments.  I simply can’t think objectively about this.

And to add insult to injury, so to speak, there’s a ticking clock hanging over my head: I will lose my health insurance in 6 weeks if I don’t sign up for COBRA.  I’m certain Medicaid won’t cover this test.  So in 6 weeks, my only option to get this test would be to pay out of pocket.

My emotions are high and my thinking is rattled.  I don’t want to make the same mistakes that I’ve made for so many years.  I don’t want to hold back on something that could give me answers.  For years I was told to ignore symptoms or to take an inferior test or to try a lesser treatment.  Thanks to that and so many other errors, I am sicker now than I ever had to be.  Following conventional medicine has gotten me to this point.

What if I’m at another turning point? What if I can avoid getting worse by doing this now?  Then again, what if I’m over-estimating the potential benefits of this test?  What if I’m throwing a lot of money away for no good reason.  Maybe I should ignore all the tests and just stick to the diet, even though that could take a year or two and might not catch everything.  Like I said, my emotions are high and my thinking is rattled.  And that means just one thing: get another opinion, one I trust, not from a doctor.

After getting advice from a lot of family and friends, I have decided to get the “standard” test done because it can’t hurt and it might help to appease the important players.  Insurance will cover it and the doctors will be happy.  Then I’ll try once more to get the test I really want covered by insurance.  And I can try for a less comprehensive version of the test, and hopefully only pay closer to $800 (did I just say ONLY?!?)  I’m anxious to do this test right away, but for $1100, it’s worth waiting a couple more weeks if that’s what it takes.

I trust the people I’ve spoken to, and I hope we’re all right.  I hope that waiting for this test is the right move.  I hope that when I do it, it’s useful and not a waste or a disappointment.  Most of all, I hope it leads to better health.

What do you think?

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