I’m a Brit and America, your health care system is torturing me


 I am a Brit who lives in the United States. I signed up for medical insurance via the Obamacare marketplace in 2015, and I don’t know how you Americans navigate the health care system on a day-to-day basis. To me, the hoops you have to jump through are costly — and often illogical. And, more importantly, they are in desperate need of a fix.

It’s taken me four years, but I am only now coming to grips with my health insurance policy. It is a health maintenance organization, which means that I have to see my primary care physician for a referral for most specialist services.

I know all this because it was explained to me by an exasperated office manager who put on the sort of voice usually reserved for addressing truculent 5-year-olds. She telephoned two weeks ago to upbraid me for getting the wrong type of referral for an appointment. I hadn’t known there was a wrong type.