Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seriously? Insurance and Frustration.

Let me just say that although I will be bitching about my insurance company in this post, I realize that I am actually very fortunate to have insurance and to have insurance that is (for the time being) affordable.  My university paid for nearly all of a student health insurance plan and I was able to purchase an extension of the same plan for 9 months post-graduation.  This will get me through April of next year.  While the plan is nothing fancy, it has reasonably low co-pays and pays out 80% of my approved procedures/appointments/whatever.

So while I recognize that I am lucky to have health care, I am still incredibly frustrated with my insurance company at present.  If I were one of those big-name bloggers who tweet about things like their washing machine or vacuum and then get washing machine and vacuum companies offering them free washing machines and vacuums, I would totally tweet about this and see if some insurance company would promise to do me right, or if I could get my insurance company on the ball.  But since I am not a big-name blogger and I don't tweet at all, I am instead settling for a pattern of calling the insurance company over and over again to inquire about my claim.

Let me start at the beginning.  I took a pregnancy test.  I called the student health center and told them I was pregnant.  They had me come in to bloodwork and ran a bunch of tests.  This was on May 11.

$442 later, we determined that I was in fact pregnant and did not have any of the problems they check for in the blood tests.  I had to pay the fee up front when I left that day (rather than charge my student account) because I was about to graduate.  So I put it on a credit card and got the address to submit my claim to my insurance company.

I photocopied my receipt from the health center, mailed off my claim, and waited.

When I hadn't gotten anything a few weeks later, I called.  My claim had been received and approved.  I was due to receive 80% of that payment back (roughly $380).  In fact, they had already cut me a check and I should receive it in a few days.

I did not receive it.

So I called back.  It turns out that the check had been sent to an old address.  A six-year-old address, to be exact.  My old apartment near campus where I lived before David and I got married.

This was annoying, but not the end of the world.  I explained I hadn't lived there for six years, that they should remove that address from my account, and the nice girl I spoke with promised to reissue me a check.

A month later, I still hadn't gotten it.

I called back.  And would you believe it?  The same thing happened.  The check was automatically issued and mailed to this old address.  The nice girl I spoke with promised to issue me a new check which was expected to show up while we were in Korea.

We got home from Korea and there was no check.

In the meantime, we were able to pay off the credit card so we weren't accruing interest on that charge, but $380 is no small sum of money!  I was beginning to get frustrated.

I called back.  I spoke with a girl named Audrey who had a snotty attitude.  She was the first not-very-nice person I'd had to deal with when I'd called.  She told me that the check had been sent to my current address and mailed on July 24.  By this time it was after the first of August, so I asked if there was some kind of tracking number so we could figure out what happened to the check.  She said no and they couldn't do anything until it had been 30 days.

I got off the phone with her, irritated.  I kept thinking about how unlikely it was that my check was sent to the correct address and I hadn't received it.  So I called back a week later and spoke with someone else who told me that their system reset right before that check was cut so even though there was a note on my account, the check was still submitted and mailed to the wrong address.

Obviously I was beginning to get suspicious.  This person was very nice, though, and promised that she would expedite a check to me so I would get it in 3-5 days.  I had been planning to insist on this, so I was relieved when she offered.  I said that would be great.  But I had learned my lesson.  I marked my planner for five business days later so that I could call back if it hadn't shown up.

That was today.  And guess what?  No check.

I called back today.  The girl I spoke with told me that for "some reason" the check had not gone through even though it had been entered in my account.  To her credit, she was very pleasant and apologetic and promised me that she will not only expedite my check but call me before the end of business tomorrow to let me know that the check had been cut and was being sent to the right address.

I remain hopeful and I haven't screamed at anyone on the phone yet.  Maybe I'll get this check before Christmas...  It's just getting seriously ridiculous.

1 comment:

  1. Our original student insurance was this ridiculous!!

    Our department chair started offering short term loans to anyone who couldn't pay their rent because our insurance and pay system was so screwed up!

    I hope it's resolved soon. You can always file a complaint with the state.