Friday, March 09, 2007

76 Cents a Minute

I hate, I mean... tolerate insurance companies. (Why can't I do that cool crossing out font I see on other blogs?) I can say that. I worked for an insurance company for 15 years. We were pretty good. There was always a live person on the phone who could solve your problem. Of course, we were only a life insurance company. Each policy would have one claim, the ultimate claim. Baby, don't fear the reaper.

HH (Handy Husband)'s company just changed health insurance providers, effective 3/1. He filled out the paperwork early last week. Of course Murphy's Law went into effect and I had to take "Ernest" to the doctor. (The Mommy Guilt post will have to come later.) We have no insurance cards yet, all we got was an e-mail with the group number.

I spent 20 minutes at the doctor's office while they updated their new computer system, before they could see Ernest. I took him home, then spent an hour and a half at Rite Aid trying to get the prescription. Let me emphasize it was not Rite Aid's fault.

There was no record of us with Blue Cross. The prescription had to be relabeled, so they asked me to return in 15 minutes. There is NO cell phone signal in that store, so I ran another errand and called my HH. His HR person was out sick, so we didn't think we could resolve this until Monday. I decided to pay the $209.99 price because Ernest needed his antibiotic now. It was still not ready. I waited longer, I paid the $209.99, then they took it away from me. What was going on? I waited some more. Eventually, someone told me they were talking to Blue Cross and the insurance agent. Did I have any more shopping to do? No. I sat in their waiting room and watched my feet swell. I chatted with two co-workers waiting for prescriptions. I read a Men's Health Magazine because that's all there was. I watched a child play with the blood pressure machine. Eventually they called my name. They had gotten the insurance info and now I only had to pay $141.68. A savings of $68.31. Or, 76 cents for every minute I sat there. At work I only make 15 cents a minute. Comparatively, I guess it was worth it. My feet didn't think so. They would have gladly paid $68.31 to go home and take their shoes off.

What happened while I waited with no cell phone signal is that HH's HR person was monitoring her e-mails from home, she immediately contacted their insurance agent who called HH, insurance agent called Rite Aid, other calls ensued, but no one could call me because there was no signal!, and Rite Aid got the information (at least for Ernest) that they needed. A lot of scrambling, so 90 minutes isn't to bad to accomplish a minor insurance miracle of getting a person into the insurance company's computer system.

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