October 29th, 2009 · No Comments

patpicture By Pat Cutler One of the disadvantages of being self-employed is the lack of group health insurance. Since I have an individual policy, my Out-of-Pocket (OOP) costs such as deductibles and co-payments tend to be high. September 30th marked the end of the 12 month deductible period for my medical insurance policy. As a self admitted hypochondriac, I have no trouble meeting my deductible early in the year. I call the doctor as soon as I exhibit the slightest symptom – a slight rash that I am sure is leprosy, a sore wrist that indicates the onset of arthritis, sneezing that predicts a sinus infection or pneumonia. During my routine physical in August, the doctor informed me that I was due for a stress test and a colonoscopy. Aware that I had met my deductible, I decided to schedule the stress test and colonoscopy before the end of September. The timing was tight, but the doctor’s office managed to schedule them both for the third week in September. This was one of those decisions that seemed perfectly reasonable at the time but I would later regret. The Stress Test   On the morning of my stress test, I arrived at 7:45 fasting and ready to get the visit over so I could head to Hardees for a biscuit and sausage gravy fix. I was told the person who normally administered the test was sick, but a substitute would arrive shortly. An hour later, the substitute tech arrived. I had severe misgivings when she arrived dressed in black scrubs, covered with an indeterminate number of body piercings and her cell phone attached to her ear. Between calls she injected me with radioactive dye (I was still glowing 3 days later); dry shaved my chest with a dull razor, glued 8 monitors to my raw chest with Gorilla Glue and told me to start walking on the treadmill. The goal was to get my heart rate up to 155. After twenty minutes, I was walking very fast and my heart rate was only 119. She jacked up the speed and told me to start running. Her cell phone rang and she stepped out to answer it. When she returned 5 minutes later, my heart rate was 185, I was gasping for breath and I had pulled a calf muscle. She said that was great and began to slow down the machine. After letting me crawl off the treadmill unassisted, she pulled the monitors off my chest. I would have screamed, but I couldn’t catch my breath. The economy has passed its stress test for now. Talk of a depression is gone, the stock market has rallied and the economy looks like it may have bottomed in July. Markets are functioning again. You can actually open your mutual fund and 401(k) statements without mixing up a batch of jell-o shooters. Many economists expect economic growth of close to 3% for the remainder of 2009. Most of the large banks are making money again, some a lot of money.   The Doctor Is In   The day after my stress test, I drank a gallon of lime flavored medicine in 45 minutes and had 7 popsicles. Read More... Visit us at www.cutlerconsultinggroup.com

Tags: Commentary · Mortgage Market · Pat Cutler

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