Saturday, June 21, 2008

06/21/08 - Insurance Problem

I had a big medical appointment last Tuesday. Laura and I left home at 9:00AM and returned around 5:30PM. I had appointments for a check of my blood counts, an MRI of my head, an MRI of my spine, a spinal tap, and a meeting with my doctors to discuss the test results.

First, a quick word about my medical insurance. They have been great up to this point, paying for the bulk of my medical needs. Monday, I got a call from the hospital saying that my appointments for the next day were not approved by my insurance. I was very stressed and spent most of the next 23 hours on the phone, trying to get the appointments approved.

To make a long story short, all of my records showed that I had paid for health insurance through the end of June. I had even called my insurance in early May because they had sent a letter saying my insurance would expire on 5/31/08. Their representative said that my insurance was good "for the indefinite future" and that the letter was sent in "error." Luckily, I have learned to write important phone calls down, and I had documented these.

A lot of insurance company employees were at a training session and were pretty much unreachable that Monday. When I finally did get through, someone at the insurance company was supposed to fix my coverage quickly. The person I spoke to at the hospital had to leave at 3:00 on Monday, and any progress after that was supposed to be reported to them by the insurance company at 8:00AM Tuesday morning. Well, it was just 15 minutes before Laura and I had to leave when the coverage, and the appointments were finally approved.

I would say that the insurance company was very negligent. I had paid, in full, and I had also called to verify that my coverage was good. Through same error on their part, they said my coverage was invalid. Surprise, they won't tell me what that error was. When everything finally was resolved (at the last minute), I asked them if I could have done anything different, to which they said, "No."

So much for making a long story short, although this post is short compared to my four pages of phone notes from this event. This situation should make you think - what if I couldn't talk, or were otherwise incapacitated? What if the appointments were delayed and so was a negative diagnosis that could benefit from a timelier response? - Caused by someone typing something wrong at the health insurance company? No sweat off their backs...


Blogger That Software Guy said...

I wonder if the "training session" the insurance reps were taking was about creative new ways to shaft sick people? Just curious!

6/22/2008 7:19 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

That would not surprise me...


6/22/2008 3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't get me started on insurance companies. Mark, buy a cheap recorder that will record calls. They do on their end to cover their butts. Just let them know at the onset they're being recorded too. This may save you from more "sorrys" in the future which could be expensive for you should they ever shed your policy. Great news on your health!!

6/23/2008 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, Mark!!! What a horrible ordeal. No one should have to endure that stupid stuff when dealing with such a major insurance issue. Just who dropped the ball, I guess no one will ever fess up to, huh.

We are amazed at your detailed reports,pics, etc. Quite impressive!! Plus the news is good, too. We are so pleased for you. Our fervent prayers will continue for total recovery.

Am myself recuperating from some minor surgery, but keep my laptop handy to review your updates and news.

Take care, Mark and Laura -- give our best to all the family

Mary & Bill Gregory and all

6/23/2008 9:13 PM  

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