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Friday, January 17, 2020


Red Tape Be Damned

Is there anything more frustrating, maddening and time consuming as dealing with the government and insurance????

This week's rant is courtesy of both entities.

As of January 1, Steve's employer switched health insurance companies.  That part's okay.  This time we didn't have to change doctors of any kind.  Good thing!  However, it did take me over 45 minutes to check it out and be sure because their website was not exactly clear on who was and was NOT in "my network".  Whatever on that score.

However, my pulmonologist's office called to inform me that unlike the previous 3 health insurance companies, this one had not informed Medicare about my primary provider being changed.  "You'll need to inform them ASAP or they'll keep kicking out your benefits".

Great.  Since all the others had done this particular time-wasting and life sucking job for me I was totally unaware that I had to do it.

But being the person I am I started making calls as soon as I got home from my first medical appointment of the year.

Here it comes people, you've been warned:

First, I called our new provider and spent almost 30 minutes on the phone waiting for someone to help me.  That person (after my 5 minute explanation) sent me to be on hold for another 10 or so minutes waiting for the illusive person who supposedly handled this request.  Then after I re-explained what I needed, he told me I had to call Medicare.


Called Medicare and was told via recording that "we are presently overwhelmed with calls, please call back at a different time or hold for the next representative."  I opted to hold, after all, what else could I possibly have going in my life?

30 minutes of musak later, a person finally came on the line and yes, I told her why I was calling.  She told me that wasn't her job and to please call this number-they could help me.  So I did, 3 times.

You know why I called 3 times?  Because there was a recording that told me, "You have dialed a number that either is no longer in service or doesn't serve your area."

I then screamed long and loud.  But I persisted in my endeavor and called my provider back, stayed on hold and yes, I now repeated my story for about the 4th time.  That person said "We are listed as your primary."  To which I said through very grinding teeth, "I know but someone has to let Medicare know and no one seems to know whose job it is or at least give me a correct phone number!"

He said that wasn't his job to call back Medicare!!!

Then he waited for me to thank him for his "help".  I did NOT.  Nor did I wish him a good rest of his day because mine was now over and between both places, they made me cranky and I had a splitting headache.

As my spine surgeon said, "You pay them all this money and they don't think that the least they can do is inform the government about a simple change?  That's ludicrous."

He's right.  I still have a headache.  But, I'll try again.  At least someone in this triangle is trying to do their due diligence.

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