December 12, 2015 (by Angela)
This past Friday I started recognizing the symptoms of a UTI. Though I pretty well knew it was futile, I spent the weekend trying to deal with the issue on my own, to no avail. This morning, I searched for walk-in clinics in the area. To my surprise, I could not locate any of the clinics to which I am used to seeing in Tennessee. There you can find some type of walk-in clinic inside or next to most pharmacies. No walk-in clinics were to be found in places like Walgreen’s, Target, CVS, etc. Once I realized that I’d have to go to an urgent care facility, I started looking for one close that had decent ratings. I called the number for one in Robertsdale, and the number was no longer in service. Finally, I chose one located in Daphne, about 25 miles from where we are camped.
When I arrived, I nearly passed out when I was told that the minimum cost to be seen for self-pay is $150. When I commented on how high that was, I was told that to the best of their knowledge (two ladies at the desk), the fees at Urgent Care are the lowest in the area. According to these ladies, they had actually called around to check out cost at other facilities. I went into walk-in clinics in Tennessee twice last year, and the last visit cost me $70 for exactly the same thing I had done today. No, that is not true; I had less care and attention today.
One reason I had not wanted to have to go to see a doctor at all is because of the flu being so rampant at present. Yes, I had a flu shot, but the vaccine is not a good match this year. I don’t want to get even a milder case of the flu. Wouldn’t you know that just as I was being called back, a man came in wanting to be checked for the flu. I walked as far around him as I could and used Germ-X multiple times while there and after leaving. Another reason I did not want to go to the doctor is because I get tired of telling the doctor what is wrong with me and what I need to get well only to pay the doctor for simply sending a prescription to the pharmacy. At least the generic of the medicine I need is free at Publix pharmacies, so that is where I had him send the script. It was when I picked up my medication that what I had already assumed was confirmed. Alabama state law does not allow for walk-in clinics in association with pharmacies, so this type of medical care in Alabama does not have the competition it has in other states like Tennessee; thus, the urgent care clinics can charge much more.
You may be thinking that I just got a good start on meeting my deductible. Wrong! As bad as that was, it is only a drop in the bucket toward the crazy deductible that must be met. When Jim decided to go 1099, we had to purchase our own insurance, and as much as I hated doing it, we had to go with what is basically catastrophic insurance through the Marketplace. The results of ObamaCare has put good, decent, affordable coverage out of reach for many in the middle class. To use one of my mother’s favorite expressions: “It’s disgusting!” Unless something awful happens, we will not meet our deductible, so it is pretty much pay as we go.
This afternoon, Jim and I were discussing the events of the day, and he asked if I had thought to check in Florida. I had not, but we are just as close to Pensacola as we are to Mobile. I did a quick search, and sure enough, I found a CVS walk-in clinic in Pensacola. I learned a lesson. If within range of more than one state, check all of my options before going to a walk-in clinic or urgent care clinic if I cannot deal with my medical needs on my own.