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By: Ed Creamer

Scheduling an appointment with your doctor is contagious. It seems, after so many tours of duty overseas, there’s no such thing as just one visit. Once you call your friendly flight surgeon and make your appointment, the Laws of Co-Payment For Retirees kicks in. While those laws vary from Champus to Medicare, they are like and similar to a corporation’s profit sharing plans where you contribute but don’t share.

Mind you, I have no bones to pick with my medical practitioner. I’m certain their six-hour day, four and a half days a week is very stressful. What with having to see sick people all the time. Then, on their off duty time they have to hone their surgical skills by studying slices and hooks at the AMA’s School of Eighteen Holes.

I’m told the Laws of Co-Payment vary from plan to plan. However, when it comes to staying in my plan, Hamilton’s the name and payments the game. Every time you hear, “That’ll be $10 please” you know somewhere in the system another contributor has stepped to the plate.

Since I was on Champus Prime, I had to see my doctor about going to see an optometrist for new glasses. I was given a Referral Payment Plan (RPP) sheet of paper and sent to see the eye doctor ($10). He punched my RPP and sent me to see an ophthalmologist about a cataract on my right eye. The ophthalmologist ($10), while punching my RPP, sat me down and securely fastened me to my chair. Helga, the friendly office financial loan advisor and auto reposeser informed me Champus did not cover one of the tests ($10 X 3) I needed and asked if I would like to put my home up as collateral. We agreed my “don’t leave home without it” card would suffice for the moment and they untied my hands to sign.

Once I left with two prescriptions ($10 X 2) in hand, I was given an appointment to return to the ophthalmologist ($10) this coming Wednesday to schedule a surgery (10) date and time. Hopefully, I won’t need the second mortgage on my home when this is over. However, there is one good thing that has come out of all this. As soon as I get one more punch on my RPP, I’m eligible for a free rectal exam. However, I seem to have this strange feeling I’ve already had one.