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Oh, the Games We Play: Keep-Away With My Insurance Provider

06/17/2015 02:18 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2016
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I like playing games with toddlers as much as the next grandma. Not so much, though, when it's my insurance company playing the part of opponent.

To wit: I recently visited my doctor in search of relief for my overwhelming fatigue, an effect of MS. She prescribed a medication, zapped the request electronically to the pharmacy while I waited -- and was met with an immediate request for preauthorization through my insurance provider.

Let the games begin...!

"Lisa wants this," she told the insurance company. "Can we please have some."

"No! We don't want to share," the insurance rep teased.

"But she needs it," my doctor responded. "And you have lots."

"Prove she needs it," the rep volleyed back. "Then maybe we'll let her try it. Maybe."

So my doctor proved it.

"No! She still can't have it!" the toddler, er, insurance rep said. "It's mine!"

Back and forth we went playing keep-away. For three weeks. I'd see the ball, race to grab it, and be offered only a nyah, nyah!

My pharmacy got involved, begged the insurance company to play nice. "C'mon...," the pharmacist said. "Let Lisa have it."

All to no avail. "No! No! No!" my insurance provider responded, again and again and again.

The game wore me out. Wore out my doctor and pharmacist, too.

"Nevermind, then," my doctor told the insurance company. "We don't want to play anymore. I'm giving Lisa something else. Keep your stupid drug!" Or something to that effect.

My doctor called a time out, prescribed an alternate drug. One that required no preauthorization. One that skated with ease through the pharmacy process. One that seems to work just as well as the drug we begged the insurance company to approve.

Two days later my doctor's assistant telephoned me.

"Get this!" she said. "The insurance company said you can have it." Plus 15 refills!

Tell them I don't want it, I wanted to say. (I can play the toddler game, too. My grandkids give me plenty of practice.)

That's not what I said, of course, though. Instead, I chuckled, grabbed the approval, and I held on tight.

When it comes to toddler, er, insurance provider games, you take your wins wherever you can find them.

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This article first appeared on GrandmasBriefs.com.