Monday, April 2, 2012

The Principle of the Thing: Medical Insurance Debacle





The Principle of the Thing

I’ve been trying to stay calm, cool, and collected during this whole ordeal, since I found out this information over a week ago. However, I can no longer stay fully silent about the situation. I can try and be understanding about a simple mistake, but if the simple mistake hasn’t been fixed, then I have to go to the next level.

It would be nice if everyone could afford health insurance, even better if it was good health insurance. However, I would like the crappy health insurance to at least be better than if you were going in sliding scale/no insurance.

Any other time, when I have had good insurance, I haven’t had any major types of sicknesses. However, when my health started to decline, I had lost my good insurance and couldn’t afford to be on COBRA. So I tried to hang in there as best I could until finally, I couldn’t deny the fact that my condition needs constant managing and monitoring.

The staffing agency I work for started offering health insurance around the time I got fully diagnosed. They couldn’t give me a lot of information regarding what it covered and what it didn’t cover. It was new to them to even offer it. I figured some insurance was better than no insurance when it came to defraying the cost, so I opted to enroll in it and have the money taken out of my check each week.

When it’s taken out each week, it doesn’t matter how many hours you work that week, the insurance company still has to get their money in the end.

I found out as time went on, the insurance covered very little.

The only thing it covered in entirety were my visits to my primary doctor; yes, just my primary doctor. It doesn’t even fully cover the cost of me going to my gynecologist. It doesn’t cover my medications at all, but luckily, someone pointed me in the right direction to where I can get a discounted rate on my medicines. As far as the equipment and supplies, insurance doesn’t cover that, either.

Everything seemed to be in order. Until my last doctor’s appointment. I was coming to get results for my lab work I had done a few weeks prior. The receptionist looks into my account upon check in, and she told me my insurance was “not valid”.

I’m like, “That’s impossible.”

Since up until the middle of March, the staffing agency had been consistently taking out money, so how could I have been dropped?

Then, I had to be on the phone with the insurance company for over an hour, and I’ve gotten different versions of what happened:

1. “The staffing agency didn’t report that you were on a new assignment and that’s why you got dropped.” Okay, but you were still collecting money. What happened to the money if I haven’t had insurance since the end of February? I got put on new assignment close to the beginning of February. The math isn’t adding up.

2. “There was a period of time where you weren’t working.” Yes, true, but if I’m given a six week window before the insurance terminates, I started working just before the cut off. The math still doesn’t add up.

3. “Some one keyed in something incorrectly.” I still didn’t get an answer as to whom—on their end or on the staffing agency’s end.

Stuff doesn’t add up. One plus one doesn’t equal two here. Or if you are counting the space between the one plus one, it’s not adding up to three, either.

The insurance company assured me everything was going to be ironed out within a week or so. However, I didn’t get a chance to see my doctor because of the debacle, and I had to end up rescheduling my appointment~ so now I have to go through submitting proof of income, so it can be determined how much I have to pay out of pocket.

Well, this past weekend, I get documentation from the staffing agency—COBRA division—asking me if I’m interested in getting insurance through COBRA. Why would I need to go through COBRA if I’m still working for the staffing agency?

Unless there’s a clone that got laid off I didn’t know about. I know I’m not imagining I’m getting up early to come in the building and work my little 9 to 5 fighting B.S. traffic and investing gas, only to discover I’m still in my bed dreaming of work.

Seriously?

So, at this point, I don’t even want to deal with insurance. The cons, at this stage, far outweigh the pros.

However, I feel I have to find out what happened from a principle standpoint—

What happened to the money that got taken out if the insurance company didn’t get it? If the insurance company did get it, then what did they do with it? It doesn’t help when the insurance company is blaming the staffing agency, and the staffing agency is blaming the insurance company.

In the end, the one getting screwed over is me because I am missing money and missing coverage.

So principle will be debated to the fullest extent on this because it’s more than just the money.

It’s the staffing agency not being diligent in ensuring that deductions are being taken care of accurately, or if there was a situation where my new assignment was reported, it was the staffing agency’s responsibility to let the insurance company know, since they are the ones that are authorizing funds to be deducted.

It’s the insurance company’s responsibility to let me know in advance that my coverage was terminated, and the fact they waited three weeks after the fact; I had to walk into the doctor’s office and have them tell me I had been cut—no, not cool, at all. It’s a combination of things. I don’t care how the two of them want to duke it out; at the end of the day, both of them screwed up, and I want justice.

I’m getting off my soapbox. I will keep you informed on how this turns out.

One.

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