A Foreign Experience (Posted 2-25-2012)

At the beginning of January I (Julie) embarked on a journey to have a medical test done here in Spain.  Yes, it literally has been a journey, and although the end is in sight, I have not come to end of this road.  The good news is that the test is done and the results were normal.

Here’s the timeline:

I went to the first appointment to discuss the test in early January.  At this appointment I learned that the first step was to get approval from an anesthesiologist because I was going to have to “go under” for the test.

I made the appointment and went to see the anesthesiologist, who was not comfortable with some minor blood issues I have.

So, I went on to the hematologist to get approval from them so that I could have a test which requires anesthesia.

With the blood report in hand, I returned to the anesthesiologist to receive my papers stating that I could have the test.

With these papers, I returned to the first doctor to schedule the test.  At this appointment, he gives me a sheet a paper for the insurance that requires that I get approval from them.

I call the insurance company and learn that they want a report from the doctor in regard to the test.

I call the doctors office to request the report and they tell me that I have to go to the office.  I take the trip the next afternoon and politely 🙂 push my point that my test is in three business days and that I can’t wait until the doctor is in the office in two days.  I wait and leave with a report, which I promptly scan and email to the insurance company.

The next few days consist of a couple of phone calls and a couple of trips to our local insurance office.  We are told that they have not yet made a decision.

We go in the day of the test prepared to pay in cash.  1500 euros?!?!  Wow, okay.

The next day we receive a letter in the mail requesting another report from the doctor.  Back to the doctor’s office I go.

Did I mention each trip to the doctor involves at least 40 minutes one way on the metro and walking?  At least I can read a book.  🙂

At least six phone calls later, I learn that I cannot receive the results of the test until I pay the doctor for his services.  600 euros.  Fine.  I want the results.

The day after I pay the final bill I receive a wonderful phone call saying that the insurance is going to cover it.  Yipppeeee!  One more trip to the insurance office and then off to the hospital and doctor’s office to collect my cash.

Well, almost.  I went to both places today and was told to return tomorrow “por la mañana” to talk to the right people.  The good news is that I’m not questioning whether it’s worth all of this to get my money back.  No doubt in that. And hopefully only one more trip to each place will be required.

Don’t hold your breath.  Now, what is it I’m supposed to be doing here again?

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