I’m livid. Just got off a half hour phone call with Medica/UHC trying to sort out bills being sent to me incorrectly from pre-natal visits back in Feb.
There are so many ridiculous details about the mess I’ve gone through with them ever since going to the doc for my first pregnancy visit, but they are boring and don’t even make sense to me, so here are the basic facts:
-I had a completely normal pregnancy, no complications, no reason there should’ve been confusion over billing, codes, etc.
-I have completely standard insurance, good coverage offered through a large company, everything pregnancy related 100% covered.
-I’ve been incorrectly billed for most of my pre-natal visits, spent hours on the phone with the insurance company and the hospital, and have heard numerous explanations for why this happened.
-Months ago they finally put me through to a higher-up at Medica who was really helpful, got some of the bills resolved, and gave me her direct line.
-When I received two new bills from later in the pregnancy, I called this woman for help repeated times with no response.
-Today I called the main customer service and got a lady who was both snotty and didn’t know what she was talking about – then put me on hold to ask a “claims specialist” for help, coming back only to tell me the claims specialist was “stumped” and that all my claims had been denied correctly in the first place?
-In the end, she put me through to voicemail of above woman who ignored my other messages (who works down the hall from her and was off to a meeting, but promised to call me back today?)
I’m not angry just because of my own frustration and wasted time. I’m angry because this is how the system works, and so many people in much worse situations than me are getting royally screwed by it every day.
Last night I read the following in Radical Homemakers (which I’m halfway through and loving.)
(On why some people interviewed for the book are conscientious objectors to the conventional health-care industry.)
“They might not find it hard to pay affordable health insurance premiums if they felt assured that the money was used to help those in need. It is hard paying exorbitant premiums, however, knowing that a significant portion is used to employ a staff whose job security relies upon denying claims by its policy holders. It is also hard to pay high premiums knowing that a portion fo the money also goes to support a powerful lobby effort in Washington to fight comprehensive health-care reform.”
So true, and so infuriating.
But, what other choices do we have? And what can we do to change it? I’m sure there are good people working on the answers to these questions – I wish I knew who they were and how I could get a job helping them.