Thank you for featuring our lovely town of Edenton through your blog/ social media campaign. I am so glad that you feel confident in your choice of employing someone to kayak and travel around our lovely state snapping pictures of things. What a kind benefit to provide; I wish I had know you were in town. You may have seen me as I am often traveling the brick sidewalks with with my old chocolate lab, Clarke and my youngest son, Amos.
Amos is two and a half years old and he is somewhat of a celebrity in our small town. He is crazy cute with white blond hair and glasses that usually match his outfit. He has been covered by BCBS since he was born and I have had coverage with your company too for the last twenty years. Yes, I have dutifully paid hundreds of monthly premiums and for the most part, have been fairly content. That is, until you made changes to your private plan choices.
As I carefully scrutinized your plan options for this year, I was struck with the fact that they all were exactly the same. Gone was my chance to pick and choose what services our family may need and what was most affordable. Nope, everybody gets the same coverage, regardless if you want it or not, and plans only differ in monthly premium amounts, deductibles and out of pocket costs. Hmmm, my tubes have been tied but I get maternity. Even better, my husband and I are both entitled to sex change surgery and if I read it correctly, also to change our mind and switch back (no need to get into details). Wow, my ten year old son is now old enough to be deemed eligible for the appropriate and fully covered counseling so that he too, may soon take advantage of this $100,000 plus benefit. Yippee.
Now, back to Amos. Amos is not old enough for a sex change and truthfully, our family has bigger fish to fry than figuring out who thinks who is who. Yes, what we most want is the ability to purchase a plan based on need. In this case, we need one that offers therapy services based on need for our youngest son. It shouldn't be too much to ask. I'm willing to give up mine and know my husband and three other kids will gladly do the same thing. We are each entitled to thirty visits this year; that's a total of 180 for our family but not surprisingly, it doesn't work that way. There is no such thing as a family share option. There is no such thing as a plan with more than thirty visits, not even an appeal is allowed. Unfortunately, the thirty visits Amos is allotted just aren't enough. Our developmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, pediatrician, and oral motor specialist all agree he should have speech four times per week. You don't have to be a statistician to do the math on that one, but I'll help you. Four times a week and 52 weeks equals 208 visits. Thank you for the 30. They lasted almost three months and in January of 2017, we can begin again.
I really appreciate your sharing the pictures of the town I adore. Please come back and next time, come over and meet my Amos. We are the first house on King street, built in 1760, and it is quite charming. Bring your camera and maybe, just maybe you would like to capture the portrait of a real family living an insurance nightmare, even though they live in a lovely town that you were kind to capture. Thank you, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for offering a benefit that does nothing for the boy who longs to speak.
Adrian H. Wood, PhD
Mother of four, BCBS Customer, and Author of my own blog, Tales of An Educated Debutante