I encourage everyone to strongly examine what constitutes a health-care emergency and what processes are associated with said emergency — especially if there is a cost involved.
In today’s cost-conscious health care environment, most people are rewarded for their preventive health care actions — like physical fitness, not smoking and otherwise being proactive — but not everybody.
In my case, as a quadriplegic (I have no use of my upper body or my hands, and I’m a power wheelchair user), my emergencies can be very different from yours.
A brief example: During a hot August day, my power wheelchair — without warning — simply just quit out in the middle of a scorching hot parking lot.
Not able to call anyone for assistance — remember my hands do not work — I had to recruit and rely on random strangers to get me home. This was an emergency!
Once home and able to use the phone, I was told by the only “in network” wheelchair provider in town that I would need my doctor’s order and insurance company pre-approval; only then would they schedule my wheelchair repair.
At this point I did not know if the batteries were the only problem. Because my power chair is my primary tool to get to work, drive and maintain my medically necessary pressure relief protocol, the process laid out by the provider was a non-starter.
Thankfully, I was able to find an out-of-network provider (who could tackle my problem that day. Thankfully the only problem was the batteries, and the provider was able to remove them and install new ones.