It’s 5:00 PM, and I spent four hours today trying to straighten out the problems with my health insurance account, getting the runaround and being pushed back and forth between Florida Blue and Healthcare.gov.
I was informed in October that the insurance plan I had last year wouldn’t be offered in 2016, so they were putting me in their new shitty HMO, the cleverly-named ‘MyBlue’. The extra added benefit was that my primary care physician doesn’t take that insurance. In order to stick with my doctor, I’d have to shell out an addition $500 a month for a plan she’s on. An additional feature that came with this plan was the requirement that all my prescriptions be filled at either Navarro (? never heard of it) or CVS (lucky me).
Not having that kind of money to spare these days, I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to find a new doctor. That was bad enough, but you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.
I went to fill a prescription the other day. It’s generic thyroid medication, and under this new plan, my cost should be $5, but I was charged $16.
So today, after my show, I thought I’d take a few minutes to call Florida Blue and find out why. But somehow, the claims department couldn’t even find the claim!
So I pulled up my account on floridablue.com and lo and behold, they have me enrolled in TWO plans. Even though I presented my NEW insurance card at CVS with the new policy number on it, somehow they put the claim under the old policy (which shouldn’t have even gone through as it’s expired!).
The Florida Blue rep who answered after I waited over 30 minutes said she couldn’t help me, so I asked to speak with a supervisor. When she was (allegedly) transferring me, the call dropped. Keep in mind that each time I had to call back, it involved at least 30 minutes of waiting on hold until a human being picked up the phone.
When I finally got back through, the next person I spoke with said I needed billing. But the person in billing said I had to call the exchange.
Are you feeling the frustration yet? I thought so.
So, I called the exchange, and waited and waited, only to get a clueless rep on the phone. When I asked to speak with a supervisor, I was conveniently disconnected again. (I truly believe they do this on purpose. Instead of getting a supervisor they just hang up so they don’t have to deal with a problem situation.)
When I finally got through to a supervisor at healthcare.gov, she said it was a Florida Blue problem, and she couldn’t get into their system to change anything. When I begged her to pick up the phone to talk with someone over there to get it straightened out, she said they couldn’t do that, but she could escalate a ticket digitally.
If I didn’t tell her to fuck off at that point, I certainly felt like it.
So, here I was, incredulous about the fact that 20% of my premium dollars go to administrative costs at Florida Blue, but every time I call, I have to wait at least 30 minutes to get my call answered.
But I figured I’d give it one last shot. In my case, the umpteenth time and the fourth hour was a charm.
By this time, I realized that it had to be a fuck-up on the part of the insurance company. Even though my former policy was no longer in effect, it was still linked to my account. The idiots at CVS didn’t bother to check that the account they put the prescription through actually matched the number on the card I handed them, so they put it through the wrong one!
I thought I’d approach it differently this time. I went right to the billing department where, after waiting the requisite 33 minutes, a nice man named Richard asked if he could help me. I told him he had no idea how much I hoped he could.
This time, I made it simple. I said that, for some reason, my old expired & discontinued policy was still showing up as active on my account, along with my new policy, creating all kinds of problems. He asked if he could put me on hold to look into it, and I just made him promise he wouldn’t cut me off before I said yes.
When he returned, he apologized for the wait and said he’d be able to take care of it! Of course, he’ll have to escalate his own ticket, but he said it should all be taken care of in 2-3 days.
I’m sitting here wondering why
- I couldn’t have gotten that guy on the phone in the first place
- With all the money Florida Blue and the rest of the for-profit health insurance government-sanctioned extortionists make, they
can’twon’t hire enough staff to adequately service their clients
- If you get disconnected they won’t call you back, even though they just asked for your phone number so you know they have it
- None of these crooks are ever accountable for the shit they put us through on a daily basis
Seriously, after FOUR FUCKING HOURS trying to get my old, expired policy off my account so that I can use the new policy I’m paying for, I’m now sick. Mentally and physically ill from the stress that built up in me during those four frustrating hours.
Regular listeners of my show know that I suffer from depression. It gets debilitating when I’m hit by a particularly tough episode. And thanks to my insurance company, I’m in the middle of one right now.
Yes. My insurance company and this insane system of government-sanctioned extortion for healthcare quite literally made me sick today. And the only cure in sight comes from Bernie Sanders and his fight for Medicare for All. Let’s put the crooks out of business and make healthcare a right instead of a privilege.
As of now, I will not be doing a show tomorrow. I will take a mental health day and prepare myself for the hassle that will undoubtedly greet me tomorrow afternoon as I have my first appointment with my new insurance-company dictated primary care physician.
Oh joy. I can’t wait.