Christine Co, Tree Nut Allergy, United States discussed on Selfie with Kristen Howerton and Sarah James


I am chatting again today. With my friend Christine Co she and I chatted on introversion and self care about a month ago. Christine is very much like me she kind of came out of a therapy and neuroscience background then wound up as a writer and blogger logger an and has since written a book and now does a podcast called edit your life which is fantastic about kind of minimizing in your life so but what I had Christine on to talk about today what I wanted to talk with her about she and I had gotten into conversation about some of the limits midst of self care when you have insurance constraints and how insurance and self care don't always play nicely together so Christine. Thanks for coming on and talking about this with me yeah. I'm so glad to be here again. Christian and I have a new theory about us is that even though you're blonde Asian that maybe maybe we were separated from birth because we really do have sort of shockingly similar paths. It's really funny. We've we have talked about the so many times. We're like twins. You're not it's so weird life twins who don't look like it happens does it totally. I know what's funny is I. I love love that you and I are talking about this because neither of US really have any authority to talk on this other than life experience but we have life experience in spades bates right and that's what matters yes although actually did you take insurance when you were a therapist no so I was was never actually in clients in that way because I was. I was on an NIH grant. I was in a lab it was it was different so yes so. I haven't seen it from that side. Although my husband is a therapist and I've definitely seen him from from that side I've only lived it from the very painful consumer side to Italy really yeah and it is painful so you know one of the things that we were talking about with a friend is the fact that you know self care is all finding good and we we all went have great self care but when it comes to you know I mean a lot of a lot of self care and a lot of the advice that we get even from the show when we have experts on as you go and get this kind of testing go have your doctor run this test or ghost go see a natural path or go Zia therapist and those those things are not super easy to do for most Americans in a very odd healthcare system yes I agree and ah I often basically anytime I need to get on the phone to talk to anybody related to healthcare. I think to myself okay. I I am somebody who has a PhD and also postgraduate training and I am finding this exhausting to the point of rage and my is bleeding and how is the sort of everyday human being. How are we supposed to tackle this. I mean it feels it feels a little impossible and I sort of cry for all of us it. Just just it just feels so hard. I mean even right now. I'm almost like embarrassed to say it but I have. I am well overdue on a mammogram because we switched insurance Ernst and I have been getting the run around from both the doctor's office and you know the health insurance about whether about where you know whether the place where I was getting my breast care will still be covered on under my new plan and it's shocking to me that this isn't just kind of in the details of my plan but it's not yeah yeah everything's hard everything is hard and you know it's interesting because I did take insurance when I was a therapist and there were many times that I felt that the forums and the things that were asked us to do were intentionally difficult like this weird subterfuge so that we would just give up asking for Reimbursement and I'm here to help peak buying their curtains. There are many therapists who actually do that. They we'll just give up. They'll take the copay like maybe your maybe your session should have been one hundred fifty and the and the insurance pay one hundred and you have to pay fifty there. There are a lot of therapists who just don't even get paid back by the insurance companies because it's so annoying it is actually fifty and call yeah yeah and figure okay well that one hundred wasn't worth all the hassles. I see that with my husband I mean he. He's decided to sort of cut off certain insurances because it's too complicated or just do exactly what you said and it's it's challenging. I've told him before him. I said I feel like you need like take a bookkeeper or Adleman just to handle insurance and the billing and all that stuff you do and then the other thing is there's also many providers providers who think that they arbitrarily deny every first reimbursement request and I have seen that to be true and it's interesting there was a presidential debate like at towards the end of July and they were saying that from the stage there they just they insurance is basically making it confusing and difficult in the hopes that people will just give up. I know right you you do have to be unbelievably persistent assistant in order to get anything done yeah you do and as you said it's like you and I both have graduate degrees and we've worked somewhat in the medical field and we're still finding it difficult call tonight often think you know it's both money but also educational level can have a real effect on the care. People are able to get and for sure yeah how much you're willing to wade through yeah absolutely absolutely and it's funny. I'm just thinking now in in terms of the conversation that we had about introversion that it's no wonder I'm so exhausted and full of rage after I'm like trying to be on the phone dealing with all of these different touch points because like none of them are feeding my I soul you know bad. There's nothing that will put me in a worse mood than having to be on the phone with medical insurance. Yeah I mean I. It seems like it's a guaranteed thirty minute wait because somehow they can staff the phones. Yup Yup and then yeah the quagmire. I mean you mentioned your yes my daughter. Shoe and then yeah you with your daughter as well yeah. She says she has this. I feel like this is something that tons of parents deal oh with allergies food allergies so she has a tree nut allergy and I was like the post that we were going back and forth on this was a little while ago but I was all like okay so I knew she had her three year mark from her very first new patient visit so if we booked another appointment before that three or mark than it would just count as a follow up versus the whole whole like rigmarole of a new patient visit so I was like patting myself on the back so my oh it's like three and a half months before this deadline. I'm going to book an appointment and I. I can't believe I remember to do this. I'm crushing it parenting. I call your totally and I called and they're like yeah. There's one appointment within that time period period and it's like she named a town and I was like where is that. Is that in Massachusetts now I had to Google it so it was an hour away and I just took it and I said well. WHEN'S THE NEXT APPOINTMENT IN BOSTON. You know which is where I wanted the care because it's really close to home and she's like. Oh yeah not till like a couple of months after that I and I was thinking. Is there only one pediatric allergist on how how can the system be like this and I actually do think there is a shortage of pediatric allergists but I just felt so like there's no winning like even when you think you're winning. You're not winning. Oh totally I my kids are insurance. Has this this weird thing where if you can get an authorization the authorization generally lasts for three months now you can get an appointment within three months but then what happens is like it takes a while for you to get the authorization in the mail and then you've got a call and often you'll call and they'll be like we don't have any openings for four months and okay then. I won't be authorized but then they won't make the appointment if it's not within the authorization window it's it's crazy making it is hair pulling yeah yeah every now and then. I tried to like be positive and think to myself because I did my PhD in Canada so I lived in Canada for three years where it was like socialized medicine. I I kind of think well well you know back then like if I had a friend who needed an MRI like they would literally wait for ten months like I mean it is better than that but yeah I mean these days. It doesn't feel like a ton better yeah. It doesn't and you know psychiatric. CARE is whole other issue here to you know if you've ever had a kidney to get in with the psychiatrist those wait times are astronomical five to six months wow and then and what's happening and you mentioned this with your husband to and my ex was a therapist and I was for a long time was happening in mental health is that therapists circuiting so fed up with insurance policies that most many not not all but many good therapists refuse to take insurance at all all because they're just it compromises care. It's just it's a major hassle. you know they are requiring us to give diagnoses. ABC's to people that may or may not fit and so that's frustrating too because if you have a child and you wanna use the benefits that you have for therapy chances are that list of therapists that you're GONNA get may not be that good or the good ones are full up for Mama. Yeah yeah so it's really hard to get health care with insurance which is man which it is it that is crazy making in itself just because it's like if you think about key you know ultimately prevent your preventative live. I mean some of that is seriously preventative for other situations. I mean it just feels like something. That should be readily available so I do think that I'm genuinely curious. Do Do you think that similar to the allergy situation that there is a bit like a shortage of all the things we were talking about. It's the difficulty of Insurance I guess I'm wondering like why. Why are we in this situation. We're in will no. I don't I in in the case of therapists. I don't think it's a shortage of therapist. I think we're actually oversaturated with okay. At least where I live. It's oversaturated. It's just a shortage of therapists that will play the insurance game because people really sick of it it there. I really sick of it and you know what's hard to as you know in our. MFT programs people are going through as a therapist you don't learn at any point and how to deal.

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