Thursday, February 07, 2013

An endurance sport I didn't sign up for

I am so very frustrated right now.  I've been going around in circles with the company--for what it's worth, it's WageWorks--that processes my COBRA payments.

Last year,  I discovered that the company that I was supposed to have dental insurance with didn't have a record of me.  Result, I couldn't use my insurance.  The company that handles the administration of the COBRA program for my former employer entered my social security number incorrectly.  Their response when I got to the bottom of the problem--I have to send them a form to correct their mistake.  When I pointed out that it was their mistake and that they could refer back to my original paperwork and see the error, they still insisted that I had to correct it.   Oh, and by the way, it will take 10 to 14 business days for them to make the correction once they receive the form from me.  It took them over three months.

During open enrollment in November 2012, I elected to change my medical insurance for a variety of reasons.  I sent in the form on time.  On December 15, 2012, I received a letter along with payment coupons for 2013 indicating the change would be effective January 1, 2013.  I was a happy woman.

Except I've never received new insurance cards.  And, I've made every premium payment on time since I was laid off last January.  So in mid-January I called the insurance company.  And low and behold, they have no record of me.  I called the plan administrator and was told that 1) they couldn't tell me when the insurance company was sent my enrollment information, and 2) they would submit it that day.  I asked for a supervisor as this was unsatisfactory.  Supervisor repeats what the first person I spoke with said.

Ten days later I call the administrator again.  This time I speak to two "customer service" representatives. The first hangs up on me.  The second wants to know why I want to see my doctor, which is completely none of her business and is a violation of HIPPA.  At this point, I was so upset I knew I would yell unpleasant things if I called them back.

I called the following day and got a "supervisor" who was going to work with the eligibility department to find out why the insurance company has no record of me.  She called me back later the same day to inform me that it's being processed and that she will check again the next day and call me back with an update.  That call never came.

Today I called the administrator again and insisted on speaking with a supervisor as I had no confidence that a "customer service" rep will do anything other than tell me that it's being processed.  I got a wee bit lucky with the supervisor today.  I say a wee bit because I still don't have medical insurance even though I've paid all my premiums.  Turns out that the insurer notified the plan administrator that the paperwork was incomplete in November.

This supervisor and I were on the phone to the insurance company together.  We were on hold long while so the insurance company could find my records--why yes, they do have a record of me, just not as a member.  It turns out that the plan administrator has refused to send the "proper" COBRA paperwork to the insurer.  Until that happens, I have no medical insurance. 

At the cost of my premiums I shouldn't have to go through this.  It seems with healthcare in the US even if you play by the rules, there is no guarantee that you will have the insurance that you've paid for.

1 comment:

karinalane said...

I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. Insurance companies in the US are positively Kalfkaesque!