Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Death to Insurance Companies

I am tired of insurance companies. Really, if there was a legitimate and cost effective way to do without them I am all for it. There are actually a few doctors in our town that don't take insurance at all. It's a cash business for the wealthy and if I were among the wealthy I think I'd take advantage.

My son has had this lip condition for over a year now. We have seen doctor after doctor and no one yet has been able to diagnose or effectively treat it. Meanwhile it's getting worse and I am worried about scarring or disfigurement. I am trying to get our son into a specialized facility to be seen by one of their world class doctors. To do this, it has required a lot of research and investigation on my part, which is fine. All I ask in return is that our insurance company demonstrate the slightest bit of competence. Oh yeah, and that those that interface with customers actually speak the English language.

I can get most of the information I need via the Internet. I can log into our insurance account, find doctors, look at the status of claims, etc. When I set the account up I put it in my husband's name since he is the primary on the insurance. However, he has never once logged into it. A month ago I went to log on and it said my password was incorrect and it locked me out. I called and they said they'd send reset instructions in seven to ten days. Problem number one. I am supposed to wait seven to ten days to be able to access anything? Ten, eleven, twelve days pass and I receive nothing in the mail. So, I call back and they supposedly are going to send it out again. So now my seven to ten days has turned into at least fourteen to twenty. A full month passes and I receive nothing.

I called back yesterday as I was still locked out of our online account. The guy was a total douche and said he basically can't tell me anything since I set up the online account in my husband's name. We went round and round with me trying to explain that I set the account up, that I have permission to access the account, and that I need to know how to access our benefits. He tells me that he needs to speak with my husband. So, I have my husband call and he's pissed because a)he was in a meeting and b)he's already on two separate occasions given my "permission" for full access to the account. He then says he wants to reset the account to which they tell him they will mail him something in seven to ten days, but that if I want to set up my own online log in I would have to call back myself.

I call back and am again told that i don't have any permission to access the account. It is at this point that I lost it. I am usually pretty calm on the phone even when dealing with incompetent idiots. This was it, though. I flipped. I told them that my husband had just called in, that I was sick of being given the run around, that they were the most incompetent bunch of idiots I have ever dealt with and that's saying a lot considering I taught in a public school for six years (not a knock on the students). I told her I have called twice before, it's now been 30 days and we still don't have the reset. She then looks it up, verifies that I have called twice, and then admits that the paperwork has never been sent out. Surprise, they really are incompetent.

There may have been vague threats about what would happen if another ten days passes without getting this paperwork...something about contacting every governing board and agency that oversees them, there may also have been the suggestion that they don't hire idiot douche bags or people that can't speak English in any recognizable dialect. And possibly there was something about why people become so frustrated, freak out and open fire. I know I probably sounded like a lunatic, but honestly after trying to handle it in a mature fashion and getting nowhere because the combined IQ of those working for the insurance company is 0 I just couldn't take it and simply flipped out.


Robyn said...

You know I feel your pain!

Seriously, you should report them to the Dept. of Banking & Insurance. They are messing with healthcare benefits that you PAY for.

Moxymama said...

Thanks so much! My husband brought up that point last night, but we didn't know who to report that to. I might just give them a call this afternoon.

Nancy said...

HOW FRUSTRATING!! I'd be calling the attorney general too! Ours in Connecticut always seems to get involved in insurance issues.
Did you get logged on?
What type of doctor are you bringing your son to? And there's still no idea on what it is?

Moxymama said...

I set up my own account however, the preferences are still set to send correspondence to my husband's account, so the information I need is still "locked" in his account, which I can't gain access to until I get the secret reset letter. I am so utterly beyond frustrated. He was referred to dermatology, but I am not overly thrilled with her since she has been unable to diagnose or treat his condition. I have an appointment in two weeks with a new derm. I am also trying to get him into the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix which is part of the battle right now, since it looks like our insurance won't cover it.

hereinfranklin said...

First of all, I hope that whatever is going on with your son is cleared up soon. That's most important. Secondly though, you described the processes so perfectly that I felt myself tensing up. Good job. I will say that through my own serious illness, I never had any quibbles from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Tennessee. Truly, it was no questions asked and I was never denied or even questioned...but I think that's their MO when it comes to cancer patients. I hope this all resolves itself soon.

Moxymama said...

Thanks....BCBS was by far our favorite insurance. United, on the other hand, is quickly creeping down the list. It is at least good to know with something as serious as cancer that it was handled appropriately and you were able to get the care you needed.

Nancy said...

United? As in United HealthCare?
My husband and his employee switched from ConnectiCare when they were going to increase the premium 45% this renewal. They're on United HealthCare/Oxford HealthPlans but everything comes under the Oxford logo. I haven't kept up with insurance since I left to know who bought out whom.
All I can say is APPEAL, APPEAL, APPEAL.
My sister in law needed back surgery and the only doc. to do the method recommended was in Arizona. Less invasive surgery, quicker recovery time but the ins. co. didn't want to pay for it. They'd rather have her laid up for 6-8 weeks instead of 2. She had to go all the way to the Attorney General in Conn. but got it approved. Can't remember her carrier but it wasn't UHC.