Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Trapped in Insurance Hell

Back in February 2008, before my 25th birthday I was still covered under my parents insurance. I went for my yearly womanly check-up...all you women, please commiserate. As if that isn't bad enough, I had the WORST ordeal with the doctor's office to the point where I had been there 5 times, waited a total of 10+ hrs, and still NOT seen the doctor. (I promptly changed doctor's after the one visit) Finally, (or so I thought) all my insurance problems were straightened out.

In brief, my parent's insurance company had been bought out by Blue Cross Blue Shield and it was taking FOREVER to get me new cards, then taking forever for the system to show that I was covered, etc.

Finally I saw the doctor. I received no bills from them, so naturally, I thought everything was fine, insurance paid and so forth. Yesturday I received a collections bill in the mail from that visit. Seriously?? Really?? So I spoke to a rather rude agent, a Mrs. Simpson...a Patty or Selma if you will...who informed me that she had no information and that I should try calling the insurance company.


So, it being 4:45, I quickly called my parents to see what the number on their insurance card was. Now, as all of you know, insurance companies (especially BCBS) often change their insurance numbers. So, not only did my parents now have a different insurance number from back in 2008, but they no longer had Horizon BCBS, but instead had Anthem BCBS or some stupid thing like that...AND of course each has its own offices, numbers and agents. So, after calling a million people, or so it seemed...it became 5pm and like in Cinderella, all the agents' phones turned back into pumpkins and would not longer receive calls for the day.

Fast forward to today and I tried once again unsuccessfully to make sense of the insurance mess. Finally I gave up and searched for the doctor online. This took yet another 15 mintues as they have an obscure and popular name like Professional Medical Services. The doctor was someone I had never seen, nor could remember the name and it was so far back and blotted from my memory that I didn't remember the address.

Finally at the end of all this, I learned that BCBS had an "in network deductable" and I owed them $145. However, judging from the way they have worked in the past, I am not entirely certain that this is correct. This particular doctors office wanted to be paid in advance for deductables, which is the other reason why I stopped going to them. This makes me think that perhaps what they say is untrue, otherwise, why wouldn't they have made me pay upfront? Also, they claim to have sent it to my Astoria address. I lived there from 1/2008 to 7/2008 and then moved to Jackson Heights. I forwarded my mail.

It just doesn't make sense that I would have received ALL my other mail: my NJ & NY bar exam mail, my CLE mail, my bank statements and phone bills, but not the alleged "numerous" bills they sent me? Something doesn't quite add up to me. Chances are they don't know their asses from their elbows.

Anyway, sorry for the ranting, but it really helps : )

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