Health a la carte (2)

This is in continuation of my earlier post Health a la Carte.  I had ended the post with the following words: So as per plan we shipped the husband to the hospital late in the night! Imagine my surprise when I was told that he had been given a single room! Was it an answer to my entreaties or to my prayers. I do not know. But I feel a little better knowing I beat the system. How naive I was! or should I say stupid, credulous and dupable! I really thought that prayers and entreaties could work in our world. That night I went to sleep believing that better sense had prevailed and we had gotten a room where we would just have to pay the difference between what our insurance gave and the going rate! When we had shipped the husband late at night in pouring rain,  so that we all could spend some time with him, we were reconciled to him having to share a room. So when we got the news that he had been given a single room I really believed that my stratagem had worked.

I woke up before dawn and reached the hospital. I was happy to see my husband fast a sleep in his 'single' room. I sat with him and we talked about things that we often are not able to at home. Some reminiscences, some plans for a morrow we still are unsure of. A sort of bucket list of twilight years. Anyway I was happy to see him in his room, though the needles and lines made me uncomfortable. Some time later my daughter came in and as we were not sure of the time he would be taken into surgery, I decided to take a short break and be back after a few hours. I had barely reached home when my daughter called to say 2 units of blood were needed and thus 2 donors. She would be one of them. I rushed back with my son in law. By that time the husband was in surgery and it was waiting time. My daughter and I decided to wait in the famous single room as we were promised that we would be contacted on the phone by the OT when it was all over.


The phone rang and we both jumped hoping to hear that the surgery was over. But the call was from the administration and asked me to come down to sign some paper. I went to the office and was given a blank sheet and asked to write that I was willing to pay the difference in the room charges. A while later another call informed me that actually I had to sign a proforma! Wonder why I was not given the 'proforma' before. I duly went down and was given a typed letter that stated that I would pay all the additional charges that went with a single room: surgery, anesthesia and so on. The letter was dated the previous day. I signed the letter but wrote that this was given to me at a particular time one day after the date of the letter.


I knew I had been had! The time when I was given the letter was when my husband was in surgery and there was no way I could take him away. The proforma had not been produced when admission took place on the previous night. Had they done so, we would have gone for the double room option. We were asked to deposit some money and it took a lot of patience and tact to get a figure out of these people. 50k were deposited and we were told that we would be given back any money not used. But there was a rider! if the money was under 20k we would get a cash reimbursement, and if was over 20k a cheque. Would you believe me if I told you that the reimbursable amount was 20 040! I am still waiting for the cheque.


When I thought this drama was over we were in for another surprise. Another call informed me that the three days sanctioned by my husband's PSU had expired. Now the husband got there at 10pm on the 9th, so in my simple mind he was covered till the 12th morning. Not at all. The first day were the 2 hours from 10pm to midnight counted as one day. Though I got one day extension, we brought him home on the 11th.


I do not know what awaits us now. I know that we visit the hospital with the results, we will again have to go through a seduction game aimed at comforting and scaring us at the same time. But I am prepared for the onslaught of their well rehearsed spiel and have my answers ready. I have read and reread all I possibly could - God bless the world wide web - and will not be caught off cards. Come to think of it, I may not even take the husband!