Thursday night I chipped a tooth on an olive pit (of course.) Didn’t have time to deal with it Friday before Shabbos (and besides, Friday here is a weekend day, so offices would be closed) so this morning I looked in the info booklet for my dollar-a-day health insurance. Why, indeed, dentists were listed! So I called the one whose address seemed closest, and they said, “Okay, come by between 2 and 5 today.” Well, allright!
I got to the dentist’s office around 3:30. They were nice. I had to wait a bit, but not outrageously long. And it was kind of fun, only in that the Olympics were on–Women’s volleyball–and I got to watch the frum (very religious) 11 year-old boy watch the women bop around in sport bikinis with his mouth hanging wiiiide open. I bet he doesn’t get that every day.
Anyway, I got into the exam room and they told me that the routine checkup would be covered by insurance, but that filling the chipped tooth wouldn’t, because it was considered “cosmetic.” I got nervous. Coming from the States, I’m used to not having one’s basic health needs be covered–to the point where I, with insurance and a nice dose of middle-class privelege, am pretty skittish about having to go to the doctor for anything–I know it’ll wind up costing me a pretty out-of-pocket penny. I can’t imagine what it must be like for folks who are uninsured or insured but have less general access. In any case, I ask how much the filling would be. They consulted with each other. 110, 125, something like that? The doctor turns to me–125, I think it’ll be. Shekel or dollar? I ask. Oh, shekel, she says.
So I was in and out of there with a new filling, a checkup, and a clean bill of health, having spent a whopping $28 for my egregious out-of-pocket expense.
Dear Sweden, Canada and Israel: How do you do it and can one of you please come by to fix things in my country of origin?
And yes, I fully do intend to get every last hair and toenail checked while I’m in on the goods this year. Jeez.
Also, a little correction to the last post–the RaDiSH has pointed out to me that the origin of Mea Sharim is not about gates, but rather 100fold reapings, cf. Genesis/Bereishit 26:12. Though one could translate “shaar” as either gate or reaping, the good rabbi does have textual citation on his side. And in Judaism, s/he with the heaviest books pretty much always wins.