Rave as you will about Turkish healthcare, I’ve had nothing but trouble with it. (Remember this?) Up until now I could at least say that I had little difficulty with the government health insurance (SGK). Up until now . . .
So Turkey has two health insurance systems, the government insurance, which was formerly provided to me via my husband’s job, and private insurance, which you either pay for personally or your company provides.
The big difference is that you can see private doctors with smaller lines and less hassle if you have private insurance. Allegedly.
I have had a different experience. I see the exact same doctors and am scrutinized by the exact same machines with both insurances. They just happen to be the same doctors at different hospitals, a government hospital during the day and a private office or hospital at night. Of course, that is not the case for all doctors.
I agree, there are smaller lines at private hospitals. But as evidenced over the last few days, one can still be made to wait, with or without a line.
But back to the insurance. I had little difficulty with my SGK from my husband. Sometimes computers were down and we had to pay cash and process the repayment later. But that was about it.
Now I am lucky enough to have my own SGK and private insurance, both through my employer. Woo hoo! I have yet to have either work properly.
The prescription I need for my arthritis is not covered by my private insurance. So I was able to see the doctor at a private hospital and was supposed to be able to process the prescription through my SGK, via the same doctor who also works at a government hospital.
No go. The hospital does not see me in the SGK system. So of course, I ask the appropriate person (details withheld) for assistance by making a call to SGK. I am denied, told it is too difficult to figure out which number to call, and told my husband needs to go to SGK and help me deal with it. SGK actually has many locations, so if it is too difficult to figure out which number to call, what makes anyone think that my husband should have to spend hours away from his job, crawling from one location to the next to figure it out? Especially after he spent 2.5 hours at the hospital trying to figure it out?!
After insisting that this person do what I believe to be part of their job, particularly since it is the first time using the SGK after starting my job, I was ignored. So my husband and I set out to figure it out. Multiple phone calls to SGK and to the hospital, each blaming the other.
I’ve been without my medication since early October. My finger is swelling. My knees and ankles are aching. My psoriasis is coming back. The cost is about 540TL every two weeks. Can’t afford that out of my pocket. Ahhhh, the beauties of stress-related ailments.
We are at a stand-still.
This past weekend I tried to use my private insurance for a routine checkup. Besides the fact that I was at the lovely private hospital, not once, not twice but three times to have this simple checkup completed, they also were not able to process my “fabulous” private insurance. Are you kidding me? Here is what they said in English, and I quote, “There’s a problem at the beginning of the year. You have to pay and submit it to your company.”
No explanation of the problem.
So I paid, 1000TL. Hoping to get the reports so that I can be reimbursed. Seriously? The insurance company needs to see what, if anything, is wrong with me in order to reimburse me for an annual checkup that they allegedly cover anyway?
Oh, and the insurance company says they have never heard of such a thing. It’s the fault of that lovely private hospital.
Last note, my “fabulous” private insurance is a 20% co-pay. Seriously? I feel like I have stepped back into the 1950’s.
Yes Virginia, I had a bad day.
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