Acupuncture and books…

Medical insurance in this country is so outrageously out of control, they are happy to authorize me to have steroid injections in my spine at upwards of $6,000 a shot, but they cannot see their way to authorizing $80 for acupuncture in lieu.

The $80 treatment is the one that is effective, whereas the $6,000 option increased my discomfort, significantly. There was the possibility that, injected in a different spot, it could have different results. Yes, well. I cannot justify that amount of money for “perhaps” and possibly more suffering.

Of course, the medical facility does not expect to receive $6,000, or anything like. It’s probably as well I learned a little about medical billing back when my father discovered he had cancer, with no health insurance. There is a reality gap.

It was a strange experience, trying to pay cash for my father’s bills. I think no one had ever made such an attempt before at that facility. They were obviously nonplussed.

That was when I discovered the enormous gap between what was billed and the payment that was expected. I don’t know the equations or the graphs or any of the other nitty-gritty details that go into it, but I think I would have had a stroke, when I saw the bill for the one steroid shot I did accept. In theory it would be costing me some $4,000 out-of-pocket and I have “good” insurance!

Reasonably good, at least, I think.

But here’s the thing:

If I was to switch to Medicare Advantage, it is possible I could get the acupuncture treatments covered. As well as dental and vision, maybe.


There would be restrictions.

Attempting to wade through the language and make sense of it just brings me up in bumps. It is too stressful to contemplate and I have never been a good decision maker.

So I shall slog on with what I’ve got. So near to being done with the oxy. If I happen to be feeling, next time I see my PCP, the way I felt over the past three days, that man may get an earful of my opinions about the whole procedure and the callous way it has been handled.

Cruelty to old women! It shouldn’t be allowed. But many suffer much worse, I gather, and the chances that I shall speak my mind? Not good. I’m a timid woman. Usually.


I threatened you with another book list. Still animal oriented, of course:


And still long, but I’ll only offer a few right now:

Tom Cox:

The Good the Bad and the Furry

Close Encounters of the Furred Kind

Under the Paw

Talk to the Tail

Tom Cox has written several other books and I have read all that followed the “cat” series which I couldn’t get enough of.

I love his writing. I loved his cats and I love his life perspective. Be prepared to laugh out loud.

And do check out his other books


Speaking of laughing out loud:

Bob Tarte will make you howl:

Enslaved by Ducks

Fowl Weather

Kitty Cornered

Feather Brained

I was captivated by the title of this book and was so glad to find the writings of Bob Tarte who lives with his wife Linda in rural Michigan, with many animals.

It’s extremely entertaining.


If memory serves, it was Bob Tarte who drew my attention to Carolyn Jourdan and these two wonderful memoirs. There followed “Out on a Limb”, a mystery and “Bear in the Back Seat”, the adventures of a wildlife ranger in the Smoky Mountains. All highly recommended. There are more and I keep meaning to obtain them as I am sure I shall enjoy those too.

Last for now, but not least:

The wonderful tale of Homer the blind cat.

Homer’s Odyssey

My Life in a Cat House

Homer Saves the Day

The original story of Homer was my favourite but as a cat lover, it’s hard not to enjoy Gwen Cooper’s cat stories.

11 thoughts on “Acupuncture and books…

  1. When I was getting acupuncture last year, “retail” was $65. If it went through my insurance, I paid $8 (after meeting my deductible), and my acupuncturist got something like $15 or $20. Ridiculous! Plus, even though my insurance policy had no such restriction, she reported they would only pay for treatments for pain. Sometimes (usually) I was not there for pain, but for other issues acupuncture is known to be helpful with. In my state, the insurance board and companies ignores that. So much for evidence-based medicine. I got very annoyed about her having to lie about my treatment in order to get paid. So I started paying the full cash amount for those days. Of course, this was not in accord with her insurance agreements. Ugh. I hope you can get your acupuncture!

    1. Back in WA I had an acupuncturist who could get insurance to pay by calling it dry needling. Acupuncture involves way more training, I gather. It would be an insult to ask my new practitioner call her service something less than it is. I’ll put the cats on short rations! (As if!)

  2. Can sympathise with the insurance issue, it is a frustrating and infuriating problem. Loved the book list Tom Cox is an author who has been on my radar for a while but I have yet to read any of his books you have reminded me I really must read his work.

  3. No, I will look those up. Thank you. I did buy some ointment a blend of CBD oil and other things. It seems to take the edge off, but I will look up the link.

  4. Check out joining AARP (it’s cheap) and look at the United Health Care Plans. I have one through my pension. This UHC plan covers 10 acupuncture appointments a year for a $25 copay. (Because of a quirk UHC pays my copays when I use a certain hospital system.) I have no deductible. So, my acupuncture is free but limited only by the number of times. Don’t know how the UHC plans through AARP compare with medicare advantage. I hope things stay basically the same this coming year.

  5. Interesting. That is actually the plan I chose to supplement Medicare but was told they don’t cover. I’ll have to take another look. Those insurance plans all seem so complicated, though I do know I saw the word acupuncture in there somewhere….guess I know what I’ll be doing this morning… Thanks.

    1. It’s possible that what I’m offered through my pension is different than what’s offered through AARP. I also get 30 chiropractic visits a year, although Medicare will stop paying at some point. Don’t know if UHC will continue to pay after that. But what was left over to pay after Medicare was less than my copay. So UHC didn’t pay any. sigh

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