We switched health insurance providers again a few months ago, because of a new position my husband took on. I braced myself for the fallout. Despite the fact that I got an early start on informing our various physicians and pharmacies that we’d be switching, it’s once again been an extremely bumpy road — er, more of ridiculous time-suck, if you want to get particular about it.
1) Various doctor’s offices insisted that were “still covered” under the old insurance up to a month after our new insurance kicked in (nervous about reimbursement, I presume, they wouldn’t take my word for it that our status had changed — not without the slow-coming paperwork from Insurance du Jour). This meant that about 3 pediatrician visits, 2 eye exams, and several lab tests for me were erroneously billed to the old insurance. I am still faxing and phoning on a daily basis to clear up that mess.
2) Wellpoint mail order pharmacy (I don’t mind mentioning them by name here) has the stupidest online customer interface I’ve ever seen. I tried to bookmark the page, but you get consistently redirected to a login at the main Blue Cross coverage site, and then are forced to click through no less than 5 additional confusing screens until you actually reach the NextRx page. Ugh. Don’t they know how often a diabetic like me has to go through that labyrinth?
3) The mail order pharmacy somehow did not receive my (long) list of prescriptions the first seven times my doctor’s office tried to phone/fax them in. This means I had to hound my Dr’s office manager with dozens of calls and emails to ask her to resubmit. Poor Gal. And no wonder these people are so overwhelmed with process details.
4) When the mail order company finally did get my list, they started filling everything right away, despite the notes stating that most of the Scripts were to go on file until I was ready to order refills. Upshot: $45 in unwanted co-pays, and another 2.5 hours in phone calls to get fees waived for the rest of their mistakes.
5) The Test Strip Ordeal. Happens every time. First the new insurance insists it’s “too soon to refill.” Then I go through all the trouble of having my doctor submit a Pre-Authorization form stating that I need the darn things. Then they finally send me some, but not enough.
This time, when I realized that my first pack ran out way too quickly, I insisted on speaking to a pharmacy supervisor on the phone first thing. I was told that my prescription specified testing glucose only 5-6 times a day. Wtf? My doctor knows me better than that. After verifying with my doctor’s assistant that they’d indeed wrote a Script for testing 10-12/day, I spent some more time on the phone with a different mail order supervisor-lady. This one revealed that the problem lay with my insurance coverage, which was putting a cap on my daily allotment of test strips, apparently. Wtf?
Excuse my language, but I had to get pretty heated on the phone to get the insurer to actually contact the mail order house and OK the test strips that I needed last week, thank you very much! And you’d better send them via rush delivery, too! Or do you prefer to foot the bill for a visit to ER?!
OK, rant over.
Hey PWDs: Does this stuff not just infuriate you? Sometimes I think it’s the hardest part of having a chronic illness.
Hey Healthy Folks: Aren’t you glad you don’t rely on your medical insurer for the essentials of your everyday life?