Health Insurance Fiasco

I’ve had some interesting conversations with my insurance company – Blue Cross Blue Shield’s CareFirst (or should I say CareLast) Maryland Health Insurance Plan.

Here are just a few of the issues:

7-15-08:  I fill out forms to apply for health insurance as my COBRA policy is running out.

8-1-08:  BCBS says I can’t get insurance until they document that they received a proof of residency, but they won’t say whether they received it or not.

8-5-08:  I say I’m worried about an insurance lapse but they say they won’t check whether they received fax and won’t tell me if or how much I owe or who to send the money to.

8-8-08:  They say they’ve received everything and will send me a payment letter.

8-9-08:  I receive a letter saying they need verification of address and certificate of insurance, though I faxed them two weeks earlier.

8-20-08:  I call them and they say they’ve received everything and I should have gotten a payment letter.  The representative says she will call me back today.  I make her promise to call me back but she doesn’t.  I call someone else but get put on hold for a half hour and disconnected.  Then I call again and they say I need proof of residency.  For the fifth time in three weeks, I ask to speak to a supervisor.

8-21-08:  They say I still need proof of residency.  Then I speak to someone else and she says everything is in.  My hospital Financial Coordinator calls them and says the ID number they’ve given me doesn’t exist.  The Financial Coordinator says she has been on the phone with them a long time.

8-22-08:   The social worker at the hospital suggests I go off the transplant waiting list until I get good insurance.

9-3-08:  I call MHIP/BCBS and ask why I should have to pay for August when I didn’t have insurance until the end of August.  They say write an appeal, which could take 30-45 days for the results.

9-4-08:  I ask to speak to a supervisor but am disconnected after 20 minutes.

9-08 to 10/08:  I send in a medical claim.  MHIP/BCBS says they need medical documentation.  I call doctor’s office who says they’ll send it.  I call MHIP/BCBS who says they didn’t get it.  Told doctor’s office to send it.  They said they would.  MHIP/BCBS says they didn’t get it.  Called and emailed doctor’s office saying mail it to the address as well as to me and call MHIP/BCBS.  MHIP/BCBS refused to tell me the fax number and refused to tell me what information was needed (I guess they don’t like dealing with patients).  The MHIP/BCBS automated system keeps hanging up on me.  Two people tell me they had no fax machine and didn’t receive any information.  The next day two different people told me they received a fax on the 14th.

I finally did get reimbursed.

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