The Two Lucindas (With Apologies To Frida Kahlo)
There have been a number of developments in my health insurance saga but since some of this involves ongoing conversations with the insurance companies and insurance regulatory agencies in both states, I have decided to hold off discussing those until I have finished those conversations have reached a conclusion because it is just too confusing to present the ongoing story in parts, but updates should be coming soon.
Just in case this wasn’t consuming enough of my time or stressing me out to the max as it was however, CareFirst decided to up the ante and issue me insurance cards for two different plans and send me bills for the same. On top of that I got a very strange call from them last week asking if I’d moved to a different county in Maryland which I assured them I hadn’t. The upshot is that while there aren’t all that many Lucinda Marshalls in the world, one of the other ones also lives in Maryland and apparently didn’t pay some insurance premiums somewhere along the line. Somehow I have a feeling that is going to come back to bite more than once.
Evening update: After I wrote this post I wandered out to get the mail which included a large envelope from CareFirst with a huge booklet describing the benefits of a plan that is much, much better than the paltry one they have offered me. So I called CareFirst again to ask what gives and after umpteen requests to their robo-secretary, I finally got put through to someone who didn’t think it was the right booklet. I told her I didn’t either but that it was pretty mean to send me info on a plan they are saying I can’t have so could I please speak to the dude who signed the letter that came with the booklet. Well no I couldn’t because they don’t have phones in that department. Right and I have some swampland for sale so taking another stab at it, I asked for a supervisor. After enough hold time to get the dinner dishes done, I spoke to another very nice person who said she couldn’t put me through to that department either but that she could make an inquiry and that she would call me in the morning to tell me what she learned. She even gave our conversation its very own case number. Stay tuned.
And this morning: The supervisor called back to say that they had sent me the wrong booklet and they would send me the right one for my paltry plan soon. Really CareFirst? Rubbing salt in the wound that you won’t provide health coverage for? I don’t know the other Lucinda or where she’s gone to, but I sure covet her insurance.
Afternoon mail call: Yet another duplicate bill from CareFirst. Ezra Klein wrote a piece for The Washington Post in 2009 that pegged health insurance administrative costs in the private market at 30%. If my mail is any indication, I can see how that eye-popping number is easily obtained.
And in the say what department:
While sorting through the ridiculous pile of paper that has accumulated since this began, I came across this envelope. Given the who knows how many times I’ve been reminded that each Blue Cross is separate, it seems a wee tad ironic that the Maryland Blue Cross is processing their paperwork in Kentucky. Are they taking advantage of cheaper labor or is there some sort of Blue Cross processing center there used by multiple Blue Cross’? Curious to say the least.