Saturday, January 17, 2009

Insurance companies suck, too

I just started a business relationship with Appreciation Boxes (a link is on my page) and one of the major benefits is that I can purchase health insurance. It is with a different company than the thieving bastages professional insurance company I am currently sort of insured with.
Forget that the new company has already lost parts of the application at least once. I can only presume they will get better. My current company, which rhymes with Schmaetna, has been pretty bad as apparently I am only covered if I get sick during an eclipse. On a Wednesday. In a year divisible by 4. Unless it rains more than average.

And it only cost me $650 per month for just me with no scripts.

I have to wonder just how much money gets stolen wasted by insurance companies. I know when my car insurance was supposed to pay for my loan when I lost my job due to injury, they "lost" my paperwork every other month. Of the 12 months I was eligible, they made 3 payments. Bastards.

When my Mom passed away, it took years to get the inurance companies to settle the claims. They had no problem taking payments for decades, but when it was time to pay up, well, you wouldn't believe how many times things "got lost." And how often they were confused and befuddled. At one point, they didn't understand that if they were on the phone with the executor of an estate it meant the insured had passed away and was not able to come to the phone. My sister handled that, and had to explain to more than one "agent" that little fact and bit of tricky language trivia.

And the latest?

In order to prove to the new company that I had insurance before, I have to get something from the old company.

I called Schmaetna, and after waiting for an interminably long time due to various "time saving menus," I had to talk to customer service. Funny name. Here, I expected service, and it turns into a DIY project. They operate exactly like a modern company as after all this is 1957 2009.

Here's the procedure: I need to fax or mail a letter to them letting them know I no longer want their insurance.
OK, I suppose that is good. It would prevent someone from just calling in and screwing up another's insurance because at least they will have some sort of written proof.
But here's where it gets stupid. They will then mail me a letter confirming that they have my cancellation, which I can then send to the new company. The new company said it may take up to 30 days to get everything in the system.

Excuse me--30 days? A transaction this simple should take, at most, a few minutes, and they told me to call after 30 days to see if it's done?

Ok, bear in mind, there is nothing to input except a checkmark indicating that I had insurance in the past. Possibly, they may need to enter the account number of the old insurance.
30 days? 30 minutes would be a ridiculously long time.

These morons have simply instituted an entire layer of annoyance just to justify higher costs. Costs that are regulated by the gubmint, the same gubmint with elected officials who are so heavily financed by insurance companies. Sure gives one pause, doesn't it?

I'm pretty cranky about this. I'll make it up to you with a funny post tomorrow, The Tale of the Bumble Beetle.


Chunks of Reality said...

Insurance companies suck. Plain and simple. Don't even get me started about the way they treat mental health claims...ugh.

The Self-Deprechaun said...

One might pass away before such insurance forms get approved. Schmaetna can suck it. Don't die or get hurt Crotchety. You will a void in our empty lives and I need to win a zucchini award before i pass damn it!

Anonymous said...

I love insurance companies so much, I would kiss them all on the face if I could get close enough. Or bite off their noses and spit the noses onto the floor then stomp,stomp, stomp until I got too tired to continue.
Once upon a time, I, my husband and our 2 children had coverage through a company that has a B and a C and another B and and S in their name. All is lovely for several years, even after my husband was diagnosed with cancer. Said company paid for chemo, radiation, this really nifty surgery to attach a titanium rod to his spine so he didn't crumble like a stale cookie (worth 120G, but we paid $200) & even hospice care, for $120 a month.
Sadly, husband died and because I had the nerve to take anti-depressants and an anti-anxiety RX during the 2 years it took him to die (while caring for our 1 and 3 year old daughters), They decided the coverage for me alone was worth $700 a month. My 10 year old was billed $85 and my 8 year old $60.
The same insurance company happily accepts $30 a week from my "new" husband's paycheck for all 4 of us. If one of my daughters has so much as the sniffles, I tote her to the doctor, pay the $10 co-pay and say "Suck it, B and C and B and S."
Mom in TN

Adullamite said...

Worldwide all insurance companies are the same! In fact, so many are worldwide! The whole US health system is a farce and the money making Insurance companies are responsible!

You need better!

I suppose all the money they make goes into making all those adverts that fill the TV screen and come thudding through the letterbox daily!

Michelle said...

Your radiant too!!

Sorry, i feel for you old man!! All insurance companies SUCK!!!!!

Happy Saturday!!!!

Chat Blanc said...

"Insurance" is just another word for "we'll screw ya!"

IB said...

First time visitor here. I'll be back 'cause I LOVE a good rant.


Sandee said...

Customer service isn't even in their vocabulary when processing a claim either.

Have a terrific day Crotchety. Hello to Mrs. Crotchety. :)

Unknown said...

Amen, amen, amen!!!!!

Jen said...

I've been whining about unsurance companies all week, though only as an afterthought I hope you get it all straightened out.

Anonymous said...

That WAS pretty funny - I laughed, so don't worry about being funny tomorrow -

Matt said...

Insurance companies are the new lawyers (no offense intended to lawyers), only worse, because they truly do not give a damn about their clients once they figure out that their client wants out or needs something that will cost the insurance company some money.

Thinkinfyou said...

I have the insurance company you spoke of,and the only advice I can give to you is to RUN!

The only thing good that comes with the coverage is a really pretty card with my name on it.It's really nice to look at but won't help you much if you try to use it!!

jana said...

If you think screwing around with insurance companies is fun now, wait until Obama brings them into the fold of the Federal Government.

It will be just as fun as going to the post office or the DMV, with the extra bonus of being sick while you argue with them! Instead of dealing with incompetent insurance company employees, you'll be dealing with bureaucrats who are incompetent AND lazy!

Yee Haw!!

ReformingGeek said...

Sounds like people sat around smoking opium and created insurance companies. Once their brains were fully fried, they started in with all the craziness.

Donnie said...

Well...all I can say is ____ that ____!

Anonymous said...

You were under the impression that insurance companies were something other than thinly-veiled collection agencies? Insurance companies are little more than a legal scam.

Da Old Man said...

@ Chunks: I can only imagine

@ Self: I'm doing my best. I even went to the doctors today, so the insurance company can deny the claim.

@ Mom in TN: If you pay as an individual, they hose you. Schaetna charged me more than double what I pay now, even though I had worse coverage.

@ Adullamite: They are a big part of the problem, probably the biggest

@ Michelle: Thanks, and Happy Saturday to you.

@ Chat: That doesn't surprise me

@ IB: Hope to see yopu back again.

@ Sandee: You are most likely right. Have a great day, too

@ Sherry: and Amen :)

@ Jen: It will be eventually, but they make it as difficult as possible

@ Broadway: Thanks, but tomorrow will probably be funny anyway :)

@ Matt: So true

@ Think: About all I get is pride of ownership of a plastic card. You're right, it's great unless I try to use it

@ Speak: It will get even worse

@ Reforming: Your theory makes the most sense

@ Don: Truer words were never spoken

@ The Hawg: And in some states, like mine, some insurance is mandatory, such as car insurance. Surprisingly, we have the highest rates in the country. Could there be a connection?

A New Yorker said...

They should call it customer diservice.

2 Brits, 2 Yanks, 2 Dogs said...

I think if you look up insurance in the dictionary it says in-sur-ance - "you pay lots of your hard earned money for little in return".

Da Old Man said...

@ Lauren: True dat

@ Heather: Yup. I understand they are in it to make money, but stealing it is altogether different

Kevenj said...


A little late...
but it's your state's insurance commission that allows them to get away with that.
In this business each state has it's own rules and regs and is considered a 'foreign' place with respect to another state.
You can formally complain (as a consumer)directly to them for any delay in benefits. That is against the law in most states, regardless if they lost your paperwork.
It always helps to let your company know YOU KNOW that you can do this. Most people have no clue.

(My *other* job is selling this form of protection, so I know a few things about it.)

Also if you are paying that much, you might want to just get an indemnity policy which will pay you directly and not the hospital.Or, combine them so you will NOT have a deductable.
Oh, and I'm not pitching, I am not licensed in the Empire State, just trying to help.

Unknown said...

so far.. *knock on wood* my insurance companies have been decent.

In fact, after cancellation of my policy, i got refunded the payments I had made for that month. 4 months later.. they refunded AGAIN.. same amount as the 1st time (S735) They never caught it wooooooohoooooooo

Anonymous said...

I agree, insurance companies are wonderful until you have a claim! Then their likely to wait for you to die before they approve medical treatment.