Monday, March 7, 2011

Phone Trees & Paperwork will do me in before Lyme

I just spent the last few days very sick again in a bad flare. I'm talking in bed for 2 days, unable to move. My stomach so sick I couldn't eat for 2 days. My body hurt so much in every muscle and crevice I was walking hunched over when I finally got up.

Today I am ok, the flare has passed. I just got off the phone with my health insurance company. I had to switch over from Old Insurance to New Insurance because my Cobra ended. The transition may be more painful than the actual illness I'm dealing with. I have spoken to New Insurance in the past few weeks at least 2 times a week. Here is how this transition went:

1. I couldn't get new insurance company to send me the application for the insurance I was applying for - had to call them 3 times to get it mailed to me because they said I had to fill out a hard copy and I couldn't do it on-line (mind you I was running out of time b/c my Cobra was about to end and I cannot have a lapse in coverage b/c of this illness)
2. When I called the third time the operator apologized and said I could do it on-line (?) which I did and she personally took it to the department that would approve it (ok, I'll give an A+ for being helpful here)
3. I got the application I had been asking for in the mail AFTER I'd already applied and been accepted, then I got the SAME application 2 more times in the mail
4. They sent me the bill for the policy they approved me for before they sent me the actual information for the policy
5. I've been incorrectly invoiced already (!?) (I've only had their coverage for 2 months)
6. After my first check was IMMEDIATELY cashed, they continued to send me policy information for policies that didn't apply to me
7. When they did send me my policy information, it was the wrong packet, almost causing me to have a heart attack because it said I have pre-existing condition exclusions (even though that was the whole point of the exorbitant fee I am paying so that wouldn't apply to me)
8. They finally sent me my ID cards, and they are for the wrong policy
9. In the middle of all of this I hadn't had a chance to go to my pharmacy and change over my insurance info. (which I couldn't do anyway because I had the WRONG INFORMATION) and I got horribly sick, desperately needed some medicine only to find out that that particular medicine needs a PRE APPROVAL from my doctor before I can get it.

My friend and I say that there are always bumps in the road when switching from one system to another. But seriously, what exactly about this "system" is working?

This is completely unacceptable to me. What's even more annoying is that despite having just gotten off of the phone with them and feeling like I've worked everything out, I know for a fact that I will be on the phone with them many more times. I already feel like I've had to let go of control in my illness (see previous post!), and now insurance has me by the balls. How is it ok to be this sick and have to deal with this level of incompetence (I was going to say bullshit but wanted to take the high road) on a daily basis? Why aren't we all protesting more?

I have now probably spent at least a total of 1 day of my life waiting on hold for someone at new insurance to pick up. I think for every minute I have been on hold with them it should be exchanged for a reduction in my premium. And for every piece of paper that I have received in the mail that is incorrect, I should be able to get a price reduction on my prescriptions. Or at least a vanishing deductible!!!

Add in the amount of time spent trying to decipher the disability application process and all I'm asking is that it should count towards at least a day of reprieve from being sick. Are you listening universe?

1 comment:

  1. This is an amazing post. Made me laugh out loud because I completely identify with the health insurance madness. Last year I had insurance and not ONE bill was correct the entire year. Sometimes I was billed twice, sometimes for things that never occurred. Everyone was always not quite sure how the "mistake" got made. What other industry gets to behave like this? Can you imagine if you cell phone company kept sending the wrong product, late, billed incorrectly... they'd go under in no time! Even the IRS gives money plus interest if they make a mistake. Should be the same for health insurance I completely agree.