Archive for the ‘Log’ Category

An Insurance Saga

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

I still am not sure whether the woman at baby memorial hospital insurance desk is impossibly incompetent or if the hospital is trying to fleece us.
My father was hospitalized for a few days with a small complaint. We picked BMH as it was in the network hospitals list for my insurance. Unfortunate.
1. First they insisted we had to first complete the admission process by paying Rs 10000 cash, and only later can they inform insurance TPA. When asked why, it was a partly refundable Rs5000 for non-insurance expenses. Fair enough.
2. Now came the insurance request. After submitting all the documents, the woman at the insurance desk just wouldn’t send a request to the insurance agency. I needed a ticket number to check up on it, but she kept insisting that the ticket number will be generated only after claim is approved. When in fact, ticket number is generated immediately after you upload the request and is part of the automated reply to your request. However, she just wouldn’t budge. Apparently she had sent the request and there’s nothing called a ticket number! So the next day I forwarded an e-mail to the hospital customer service from the insurance TPA confirming that no request ever came from the hospital. Then she moves her ass and uploads the documents. The reason she gave — ????? ?????????.. The email didn’t go. So that was the first hurdle. Getting the hospital to actually request for insurance.
3. Then came the pre-approval thing.The pre-auth was approved for 40000, and I got an email from insurance TPA with the pre-auth letter. The woman said pre-auth was approved for 32000. She kept insisting on the amount, and at last when confronted with the letter, it was -sorry, my mistake. By now, we don’t think it is a mistake at all.
4. When being discharged, I call up the insurance guys and confirm the approved amount and the co-pay share. After a day, again she calls. Please come back to the hospital and pay 8000 more. The insurance company is paying 8k less than what was told previously. So again I call up the insurance people and confirm the amount. We have paid up in full, and they aren’t paying any less.

So now the question is, what exactly are you upto? Is she just really really bad at her job? Or do you as a hospital doesn’t want to encourage cashless hospitalization?
That’s what I posted on FaceBook about the insurance fiasco we faced at baby memorial hospital. This was very stressful for my family and me. Through a friend who forwarded it someone he knows at the hospital, a get reply that “not our fault and you should be going after the insurance company”. So I called up the number I got through the facebook comment and my version of payments are correct. They said the letter from insurance company came 15 minutes after we called you up and demanded that you drive back 50kms to the hospital very next day to pay the money. I believe the hospital doesn’t want to encourage cashless insurance claims, and they have a really bad employee on top of that. The takeaway remains. It is not easy or straighforward and has been at times full of it. If we had paid the 8000 then what? I guess that’s what people would normally do. In my case I had access to a insurance representative being a corporate insurance and I asked for stuff. And I had contacts on fb. I wonder how my sister who has an individual insurance she herself pays for will fare if she ever has to go for an insurance claim. The comment from hospital about i should be going after the insurance company instead of BMH – the insurance company has been consistent and communicative and treated me as their client. The hospital on the other hand stonewalled every query an been considering me a fool.

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Thirty three percent

Monday, August 17th, 2015

So I attended a meet the candidate.

The candidate’s husband and a bunch of guys came in.

The problem is they made this a reserved seat, they kept saying. reserve kar diya is baar, kya karein.

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Hearts in Atlantis : Stephen King

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

I haven’t read many Stephen King books. I see them in the library every time, but somehow I never wanted to take one out. The Dark Tower series somehow didn’t look very inviting. I didn’t think the books would be any good, other than your typical horror fare. Yes, I know he wrote the Green Mile, but I thought Tom Hanks made the movie what it is as I never read the book.

So I was surprised at how well written the Hearts in Atlantis was. Of course it is not a single novel, though I consider it all to be a long novel, and not novellas and short stories as they say. The first part, and the one that creates the setting for everything else, is “Low Men in Yellow Coats”. It is about the brilliant little boy Bobby Garfield and his friends Carol Gerber and Sully-John. But more than that, it is about his rather self-centered mother Liz and the mysterious Ted Brautigan. As the story progressed, I had no idea whether it was supernatural or just plain crazy as Bobby says.

The second novella, Hearts in Atlantis, is more or less stand-alone and not part of Bobby’s world, except for Carol, Bobby’s childhood sweetheart. We meet Peter Riley and Skip Kirk, Ronnie Malenfant, Stoke Jones and Nate. This explains how Carol ends up as Red Carol. To me the addiction Riley his pals go though is so familiar. Just one more, and you are there till dawn. Eerie.. ;P

We hear a bit more about Willie, the kid who helped beat up Carol, the kid who’s nice when not with his pals. We see Sully-John’s funeral, though I have o idea how he ended up with the glove.

Since Vietnam and lord of the flies were a theme in all of these, I went ahead and read about the war a bit. This is what I see, and I feel oh so oh so horrible at the laughing young men as a lynch mob. Lord of the flies, indeed.

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Pita Rakshati…

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

I know the greatest older brother in the world,he said.

We are driving to the outskirts of Bangalore, and the kids in the CWC are ours now. My involvement is mostly operational. I do not connect with children on a personal level that easily. However, I do want them to have a tiny bit of a chance at a better life in the future and I am giving my time and money.

We have collected clothes and toys, lovingly sent by many mothers we know, and the kids are happy. In this fast world, the kids I know are never that excited about anything. We have too much money, too many clothes, too few children per household compared to my childhood. When I usually gift a kid a toy, I expect it be forgotten after an hour or so of playing with it. A two year old is trying to make a swing of B’s hand and she lets her. A slightly older little girl, later I came to know she was five, is making sure the kid doesn’t fall.

They are sisters, he said. They try to keep the siblings in the same centre. Jagan is their brother, he shows me the shy eight year old holding a shirt and shorts. Orphaned, I ask. Worse, he says. The mother died, and the father began to molest the elder girl. The five year old kid?!! Yep. And the boy took both his sisters and ran away.

I do not cry easily. He really is the greatest big brother in the world.

I wish a child didn’t have to handle such hard and cruel realities at such a young age. They are relatively safer now, yet not secure. Legally the father still is the guardian, and in this country without proper social services if an aunt gets custody they will fall through the cracks. The only way we know of fixing this, other than changing the system, is make sure they stay where they are and they get an education that will allow them to live an independent life.

Every child here has a story, and hope to transform it with your help. #sponsorme

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Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

‘She had borne so long the cruelty of belonging to him and not being claimed by him.’

I think this is the third time I am reading Sons and Lovers. First time was when I was a wee girl, and the book was cruel. It still is, but it is difficult to put it down nonetheless. The oedipal overtones of the relationships between Gertrude Morel and her sons, the blatant partiality, the helplessness of Paul, the all around obsessions. Makes me still want to kick them all in their behinds. As a young woman, I liked Miriam; and Clara was ambiguous. The older me reads into the book differently. Yet it is as intriguing as the first time. What do we know about human minds after all! And every now and then, a writer gives a glint into it something we already knew.

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Brothers Karamazov – Dostoevsky

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

I read Brothers Karamazov. I wish there weren’t that many philosophical dialogues though. I do understand this is of the genre, and Dostoevsky had rather strong opinions on religion and philosophy, and I can appreciate the characters. But nowadays, an older me finds all these explanations and confusions and anguish related to one’s convictions boring. Maybe I have become shallow and materialistic. I do like the book. Even though I find it hard how realistic the great writers are. Alyosha reminds me of Prince Myshkin of The Idiot, and it frustrated me. Things never go right in these books for some people, as in real life. However, things didn’t go as bad, and Alyosha is not naive, just a really good person. It is a really good book, and a really good read, of course except when the people talk about Church and State and Orthodoxy and stuff. Stuff the Individualistic me doesn’t give a damn about. I liked Ivan the best, and didn’t like a bit how he ended up. This is of those books that will torment your soul and stuff, if you have one of those.

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The Thirty-Nine Steps : John Buchan

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This is a book I should have read in school. I think I have had this in my hands once, but fate had other plans. :P I couldn’t see it in library shelves either. However, today at last I am in purview of Richard Hannay’s adventure.

This is a small book, an early one of the spy thriller genre. Hannay is an expat Scot who’s back in England after spending most of his life in Rhodesia. And he is bored to death of the ‘Old Country’. (I rather liked the description of his boredom–I gave half-a-crown to a beggar because I saw him yawn.) As luck would have it, adventure comes knocking in the form of Franklin P Scudder. He has a fantastic story which must be true because it is so impossible. However, he ends up with a knife in him in our hero’s flat. So now Hannay must run, to complete Scudder’s job, and because he is the murderer in the eyes of the law. And run he does, all along Scotland, as a tramp mostly, so as not to let a bunch of German spies win. He is a pretty cool hero, and adept at escaping tough situations, with quite a bit of luck thrown in. The German spy angle did remind me of Sherlock Holmes’ The Last Bow. Hannay in the end does figure out the `thirty-nine steps`, even though it remains doubtful whether he is targeting German spies or ordinary Englishmen going about their lives.

A nice story, and a good read. Now I must get the sequels.

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Lolita – Nabokov

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

I read this haunting novel today. And I understand why it is in all the top 100 lists. In the beginning it felt wrong to read the titillating and sensual description of a 12 year old by a voyeur. Yet it is no more erotic than any great tragedy. It is haunting as the subject matter would inevitably be. Yet I had read somewhere about the devious little girl as well. But I din’t see it in the novel. True, she was a precocious 12 year old. But what chance does little Lolita has around the cunning, manipulative Humbert Humbert? Humbert would have us believe Lolita seduced him. Humbert who considers little girls nymphets, and he who is as cunning as only a maniac can be.Even though Lolita doesn’t have a voice except what Humbert tells what she is like, there are moments that break your heart. Humbert is a literary man, and he does understand his behaviour enough to list out the manipulations, threats and bribery he uses to keep Dolores a prisoner to himself. And then he sees”her sobs in the night–every night,every night– the moment I feigned sleep”.

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Asura : Anand Neelakantan

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Read Asura: Tale of the vanquished. This is a retelling of Ramayana, minus the supernatural. Asuras in this novel are the aboriginal tribes of ancient India, and Devas are the inaders. Sita is Ravana’s daughter and the whole drama of kidnapping is about protecting her from her barbaric husband while in the forest.

It is a good read. There are no good or deep characters, and Ravana does not come out as courageous or anything, which is a shame. Bhadra’s narratives are also very good. I am no fan of Rama, and he is rather a spineless puppet in the hands of the priests. The introduction of Rama in the swayamvar gave hope of a better character, but it didn’t come through. Nice read, if you enjoy mythology. The only complaint I have is the horrible editing of the book.

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The Casual Vacancy – JK Rowling

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Read the new novel from JK Rowling. I am an ardent Harry Potter fan, and was looking forward to reading this as well. It is a good read, and there are a bunch of teenagers here as well. In the beginning I felt the sexual bits were a little out of place. Like she was trying to make sure that this was an adult novel. Yet, once you get over that shock of something very like a Harry Potter book talking of sex in no minced words, it is OK. Not exactly needed all the time, yet OK. There is a plot, and there is jealousy, love, hatred, redemption. The person who stays with you even after the end is Krystal, the girl without a chance. You also kind of feel bad for Andrew Price, but then he is gonna get out of that pretty soon. After all he is almost an adult, isn’t he? Poor little Paul is the one we should be worrying about. I also liked that Rowling got the Sikh names and religion correct. Must be because she is part of a multi-ethnic Britain. In most US pop novels, I see names like Ramlal Khan. All in all, enjoyed the book.

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