Insurance Fun

So the other day I get an ominous looking envelope in the mail. Having a bad feeling I hesitantly open it. My instincts were right, it was a bill from a collection agency for $2975.69. It seems that Blue Cross Blue Shield(BC/BS) paid for medication that they shouldn’t have. In an earlier post I mentioned that I was having insurance trouble, well I guess I’m still having insurance trouble. I called BC/BS to find out what this was all about.

ME: Hi. I got a bill from a collection agency saying I owe you $2975.69 for Tobramycin that I ordered on 5/18. What is this about?

BC/BS: Yes. You ordered the Tobramycin on 5/18 but your insurance was terminated on 5/15.

ME:Well, why are you coming after me for this money? Shouldn’t you be going after the people you actually gave the money to?

BC/BS: That’s not how it works.

ME: Did you try and get the money from the pharmacy that you sent the money to?

BC/BS: No sir.

ME: That makes no sense. You gave the money to an entirely separate entity and now you want it from me. That’s like if  I gave your father money, then I wanted it back but was making you pay.

BC/BS: Well sir. Did you receive your medication?

ME: Yes. Is that what this is about? Medication? So, how about I order the medication and when I get it I can send it to you? If the medication is what is important,will that satisfy you?

BC/BS: No sir. That’s not how it works.

ME: I still don’t understand how I am being asked to pay for this when you guys, unbeknownst to me, cancelled my insurance then paid for my medication. It was your mistake.

BC/BS: Sometimes it takes our computer a few days to update.

ME: Well that’s not my fault that you have terrible software that works slow.

I wait for a response but only get silence on the other end of the phone line.

ME: So because you guys made a mistake and didn’t update your records fast enough, I am the one who has to pay.

BC/BS: Yes.

ME: Great. Thank you, you have been absolutely no help.

You ask, ‘Hey Kevin, how did you let it go so long that the bill went to collection?’ Well I’ll tell you, the first few letters I received after being terminated from BC/BS were telling me about a great program they offer that I qualify for since I have CF and am one of their clients. ‘But I am not one of your clients’ I thought to myself.  So I stopped opening the envelopes from them after that. I figured the letters were all saying the same thing. They have a history of sending the same letters over and over. Especially when it was time for me to get a new ID Card they ended up sending me 6 separate cards. After the fourth card with accompanying booklet arrived at my door I called them and told them to update their system and stop sending them. I received two more cards and booklets. Prompting me to call back again and tell them that 6 ID cards and booklets were sufficient and that I didn’t need anymore. They finally understood me, or maybe it just took their system that long to update. You know those pesky computers just do whatever they want without warning, especially those insurance company computers.

Dealing with insurance companies is one of my least favorite things in the world. They are in the business of supposedly keeping people healthy but when you find yourself dealing with them they never seem to have any compassion at all. There is so much red tape that needs to be cut through in order to get the care that you need. Do they understand that the stress they put people through affects their health and potentially gets them sick? Thus creating more bills for them to cover. Oh wait, they don’t care because when they start paying more medical bills they just raise the premiums for everyone.

Just another fun thing that goes along with having a chronic disease. OK my rant about insurance is done. Thank you for allowing me to vent. I needed that.

I have been taking advantage of the mild weather here in NY and been running in the park. Short little 2 milers around the lower loop. Lungs feel pretty good, but I am coughing a lot when I am out there. Some major plugs came up the other day immediately following a run. I went to bed that night feeling like I could breath easier. It was a nice feeling. For that brief time my lungs felt relaxed, open and I felt that oxygen was getting to places in my lungs that had been closed off for some time. I had a nice sleep that night.

I am dreading the upcoming winter. It will take some major discipline from me to stay consistent with the running when I am forced indoors. I need to start mentally preparing now so when it comes I won’t get lazy. Signing up for a race will force me to stay consistent. I’m thinking of running the New Bedford Half Marathon.

Off to do my inhalants. It’s not Tobramycin.

Thanks for reading.

CF Sucks!

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4 Responses to Insurance Fun

  1. Treasure's Biggest Fan says:

    I am glad I quit working for the insurance company early in my career. Maybe with your new found notariety some consumer help reporter will pick up your case and get it resolved.

  2. Martha says:

    Call Beth Sufian and get some advice about how to fight this stupid charge. No way should you be paying for their mistake.

  3. bearrunner says:

    I bet that was a great deal of fun to deal with… insurance companies are the devil

  4. ZoeC says:

    Hey Kevin,
    I just started reading your blog, and I find I cant stop. I am in a wheelchair, though in high school I was a big disabled swimmer. After about five years of not exercising at all I am finally getting back into you and I hope to use your blog as motivation that I can do it and get back into shape again!

    I also have several close connections to CF, and seeing your blog has reminded me that though my boyfriend died from complications due to CF almost two years ago, the fight goes on for so many others and it might be time for me to go back out there and look for something that I can do to help find a cure for this awful and devastating disease. If you do any more fundraising type things Id love to hear about it!

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