The past two days have been all about teeth and taxes.
Teeth first. It was time for my 6-month cleaning and checkup. Since our company was sold, our new parent company changed all our benefits at the first of the year, so we have a new dental provider, Delta Dental. It’s a PPO, and unfortunately our regular dentist is not in their network. So I checked the provider’s website to find a new dentist, and there are only two possibilities here in Tupelo. One is Kool Smiles with their kid-friendly focus, and the other is a private practice. I made an appointment with Kool Smiles, thinking it might be easier to get in to see them since they have so many dentists on staff.
They use a call center for appointments, and I was booked for 11:30am on February 3 (I made this appointment almost a month ago.) I received both emails and text messages reminding me of my appointment and asking me to confirm, which I did.
So yesterday I arrive at 11:15, as instructed, with my paperwork already filled out. I signed in at the registration desk and sat down. A few minutes later, they call me up to the desk and tell me that they had tried to call me “about an hour ago” to reschedule my appointment, since they only see adult patients at 9am and 1pm. She said they left me a voice message, but there was no message on my phone. I asked her what number she dialed, she checked her screen and said “662…”, at which point I told her that was the wrong area code. She read the number again, and said “623…”, and swore that she had called 623. Of course, it was obvious that she had dialed a 662 area code by mistake (common error around here).
Then I asked her why they had given me an 11:30 appointment to start with if they don’t see patients at that time. She asked me if I made the appointment through the call center, and I said “yes” (that’s where they transferred me to when I called to make the appointment). She looked at the girl beside her and said “The call center…” and rolled her eyes.
By then I was starting to get a little pissed off. So she then tells me that they haven’t had a chance to verify my insurance yet (even though I had given them the information when I made my appointment). She asked to see my card, asked for my SS#, and then said she would try to get it taken care of so they could go ahead and work me in. She told me I could wait there in the waiting room.
Finally, a little after noon, they called me back to the examination room, which turned out to be a large open room with about 8 chairs, no partitions in between. In the background we could hear a little kid screaming at the top of her lungs. It was obvious that the staff (the ones that were in the room) were all ready to go on their lunch break and I was an inconvenience, but they went ahead and examined my teeth, did the cleaning, and took a full set of X-rays (gotta get that insurance reimbursement, right?).
The girl that did the cleaning was nice enough, but she was obviously rushing to get done. And the dentist who did the exam after the cleaning was nice enough, but he explained to me that they don’t do advanced work like crowns or bridges. They would have to refer me to someone else for crowns, and they didn’t know of anyone else in town that takes Delta Dental for that kind of work.
So, I have found the Walmart of dentistry here in Tupelo. I left with a sore mouth and a bad attitude. I won’t be returning to Kool Smiles, I’ll just pay the extra money to go to an out-of-network dentist if I have to. Probably go back to Dr. Ritter’s office next time.
Enough about the teeth. Now for taxes.
I got the last of the tax statements in the mail yesterday, so I finished up our federal return last night and the state return this morning. Since a good portion of my income last years was in the form of performance and retention bonuses, from which taxes are withheld at a much higher rate, we’re getting a very nice refund back from both federal and state–a little over $3300 combined. I got the returns e-filed this morning. I actually had to upgrade Turbotax from Deluxe to Premier in order to handle the form that we received from Liz’s estate, due to some final tax adjustments made on her returns. But Intuit had also screwed up in how they rolled out the 2014 changes they made in Deluxe/Premier, so I’ll get $25 back from them out of the $30 paid for the upgrade, so it wasn’t so bad.
Other than that, things are pretty much wintry blah. I’ve started on my second weekly photo challenge after completing the first one on “Boxes“. The theme this week is “Fresh”, and I’m actually starting to feel some of my photo mojo coming back as I’m getting inspired to do more shooting. I’ve registered for a series of free webinars from Topaz to try and get more familiar with those plug-ins for processing. I’ve got my four prints for the upcoming gallery show, and the frames have been ordered and are due to arrive tomorrow. Moving right along!
I haven’t talked to Mom and Dad in over a week, so I need to call them this afternoon. Haven’t heard from Westin in awhile either, not since they were able to take him outside for a few minutes for the first time last week.
We’re still finishing off the last of the Super Bowl food left over from last weekend. I cooked five new dishes last weekend, and now have some new things in my repertoire for potlucks and such.
Andy went to the UU service with me last Sunday, primarily so he could sign the petition for marijuana legalization in Mississippi. Not sure if he’ll be going back with me, but it was nice to have him along.