Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Frustrated, Inc.

Nothing like billing and insurance to make one completely frustrated.

Last night I received the claim forms from the clinic’s billing office that I’m supposed to send in to my insurance company for reimbursement. The claims total $7,050. I paid $8,900 up front – so shouldn’t I expect to get claim forms s totaling $8,900 to submit for reimbursement? I left a message this morning before I left for work, but of course haven’t heard back. Maybe there are more forms coming to me in the mail, but I’m worried that this is going to be just the first hassle in getting any reimbursement.

And then there’s my acupuncture. I sent in some forms to my insurance company to see if they’d reimburse any part of it. I didn’t expect that they would, but the longer I waited the more I got it into my head that they would. Of course, today I got the rejection. But it wasn’t a complete “no” – the claims were denied because they don’t have enough information. Apparently if I submit peer research on why acupuncture is beneficial they’ll reconsider my claims. This should be great news considering that I know there are many studies out there that validate this – but how do I get my hands on them? Anyone out there have any ideas? Just in the journal Fertility and Sterility there were at least ten – but I don’t want to shell out $30 a pop for something that my damn insurance company should be doing the research on. The whole point in getting this stuff in the first place is to save money!


I’m also a little frustrated by my vacation plans. Trying to choose a hotel is driving me mad. Here are the details – and I welcome any input and itinerary advice:

I promised D for Chrismakah that he could go to the Skip Barber Racing School and learn to drive Formula One race cars on the famed Laguna Seca. We haven’t had a non-family vacation since 2003 (coincidentally, right when we began this ttc stuff) so a few days in Monterey seem like a good plan. Then we could drive down the pretty, scenic PCH (although, I gather it’s not officially PCH in Northern CA) to Los Angeles and visit D’s father and some friends. So that’s the plan.

We’re flying into San Jose Airport on 3/26 and will drive to LA on the 3/30. But where oh where to stay and what will I do while D’s racing laps?

Here are my thoughts, and honestly, I welcome everyone’s two cents.

At the moment I have 2 hotel reservations – 1 in Monterey at the expensive Monterey Plaza Hotel and 1 in Carmel at the much more reasonably priced Carmel Valley Ranch. Ideally, we want a room with a pretty, pretty view and I’d love to be able to indulge in some spa treatments while I’m there, as well as maybe a few dips in the pool and a pilates class or 2. I’m also thinking about driving up to Santa Cruz (I think it’s about 45 minutes north?) and partaking in some surfing lessons ‘cuz I really had fun doing that during our last vacation. Other than that, I guess I’ll just spend my days wandering the streets of Carmel and/or Monterey – so I don’t know whether I should be within walking distance of the cute, quaint shops or not.

And D is, as always, content to leave all the vacation planning to me, so I'm left feeling the pressure of possibly ruining the holiday by choosing the wrong place. That's overly dramatic, but I do want this to be a good time for us. We deserve it.


Anonymous Jenn said...

Have you tried Pub Med? I'm not sure if you can get the whole article, but at least an abstract.

February 28, 2006 10:14 PM  
Anonymous korin said...

I was just gonna say that.. Pub Med.. or maybe webMD? then I'd ask your RE if they have any studies, or the Acupuncturist. You might check the Resolve Website also.

February 28, 2006 11:03 PM  
Blogger Larisa said...

Yeah - I would search PubMed and then see if 1) your RE has the journal with the whole article or 2) if there is a medical school in your area that has the journals.

I had my own insurance headache yesterday...we'll see how long my "fix" lasts. BTW, thank you for your very generous offer of meds, but I'd already ordered, and you should use them for your next cycle.

I hope you have fun on your vacation.

March 01, 2006 8:02 AM  
Blogger P. said...

Sorry about your insurance headaches - I can relate! I hope your vacation is fantastic.

March 01, 2006 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Lori said...

Ugh - insurance can be so frustrating. I've been waiting on a refund since October after being incorrectly billed. I'm sorry you're getting the run around as well.
As for the vacation - I LOVE planning vacations so J always leaves it up to me. Both hotels look lovely so I'd think either way you go you won't be disappointed. You definitely deserve a fantastic getaway.

March 01, 2006 4:53 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

If I had to pick I'd go with Carmel Valley Ranch. You aren't that far from downtown Carmel or Monterey, and if you have the use of a rental car it shouldn't be an issue. You're a little further from Laguna Seca in Carmel Valley than if you stay in Monterey, but even the Plaza can't hold a candle to the CVR view and grounds. You MUST let me know when you will be in Santa Cruz, I will take you to lunch, my treat, I'm about 15 minutes away. Seriously, email me!

March 01, 2006 7:49 PM  
Blogger Pamplemousse said...

Talk to Julianna at My Eggs are Cooked as she is up that way too and I am sure she could give hotel advice. Have you tried TripAdvisor?? A holiday sounds like just the thing for you guys.

March 02, 2006 12:16 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

i hate dealing with insurance crap. what is the point in payiing so much for insurance premiums and ALSO having to do their work for them???

as for the vaca, i personally prefer carmel. and Mr. M leaves all the planning up to me too, which makes me crazy. like on this past trip he questioned some of the times of flights and stuff and i calmly (yeah right) told him that if he had taken an interest in planning then and only then could he question any of my decisions. whatever decision you make will be great, hey you will be on vacation!

March 02, 2006 2:27 PM  
Anonymous kittylover said...


I'd go the the Plaza hotel...right on Cannery row. You can walk to the aquarium, and down the beautiful bike path. In carmel valley you can't really walk to anything. I guess you will have a car...so you'd have to drop D off anyway...so maybe it doesn't matter so much...carmel is lovely for window shopping! I don't know much about sufing lessons, but the water is not nice and warm like in Hawaii! I'm sure they provide wetsuits, but not sure it would be as pleasant! But Santa Cruz is also a cool place to walk around also.

Let me know if you want any more tips...you know where to find me ;)

March 02, 2006 4:22 PM  
Blogger Thalia said...

I don't have any holiday advice, but I can sympathise on the insurance front. My insurance co never did anything until I called to hassle them. Luckily eventually the peons got sick of me and transferred me to a manager, who sorted it all out bar one claim in a matter of hours. Good luck!

March 03, 2006 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Meramoo said...

Your public library probably has database access. Try looking up abstracts on http://scholar.google.com/, then go and look for the full text versions at the library (or online, if they offer access that way).

March 04, 2006 11:41 AM  

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