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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2013-04-27 06:49
Subject: [cancer] That persistent insurance problem solved from the UHC end
Security: Public
Tags:cancer, health, personal
Someone from the consumer relations group at UnitedHealthcare called me yesterday. My outstanding claim from 1/7/2013 has been settled as in-network. Which is all I ever wanted.

I will note this is not the most satisfying resolution as, in effect, the problem was banished by fiat rather than solved systemically. In other words, the next patient to have this issue will have to go through the same endless runaround I did. If they don't have the personal and professional resources (and social media footprint) that I do, they will probably be out of luck.

So I suppose I won the skirmish on points, but the larger battle will go on.

Post A Comment | 13 Comments | | Link






mlerules: Button
User: mlerules
Date: 2013-04-27 14:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Button
So glad you don't have to deal w/this problem any longer. Phew! ('Tis too bad it remains though to trip-up the next people in that boat.)
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Debbie N.
User: wild_irises
Date: 2013-04-27 15:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
You know this: They have no interest in solving systemic issues. They want the squeaky wheels to go away and to soak everyone else. I don't wish horrible deaths on anyone, but I do wish there was some way they could see what they cause.

Wendell Potter, insurance company spokesperson turned single-payer advocate, is completely astonishing when he talks about how insulated he was from seeing what he was causing.
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Matthew S. Rotundo: Radioactive
User: matthewsrotundo
Date: 2013-04-27 16:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Radioactive
This is, in my experience, fairly typical of such situations. Someone up the chain says, "Oh, just pay the damned thing and be done with it."

Anyway, I'm glad it's been resolved.

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martianmooncrab
User: martianmooncrab
Date: 2013-04-27 17:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
did they ask you to withdraw your complaint?
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-04-27 20:02 (UTC)
Subject:
Oddly, no, that did not come up in the discussion.
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Keikaimalu
User: keikaimalu
Date: 2013-04-27 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Did they mention why they settled it? I'm just curious.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2013-04-28 01:41 (UTC)
Subject:
I believe this was pretty similar to the PayPal dynamic, in being a higher level (ie, not operations-driven) response to adverse social media mentions. This was not stated. What was stated was that the claim was processed in-network as a courtesy to me, along with a request to please contact them first if I had any future issues.
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Kevin Roche
User: kproche
Date: 2013-04-28 17:27 (UTC)
Subject: Re:
If you have the energy, it might be worth it to forward a copy of that last part of the response to the info you sent to the assorted powers since you have plain documentation that you *did* contact them first. That might slightly increase the possibility that it gets fixed for the next person.
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makoiyi
User: makoiyi
Date: 2013-04-28 02:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Just glad it is one less thing to worry about. Which, any person with cancer knows, only exacerbates the problem. So. Cool.
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andelku: Apu
User: andelku
Date: 2013-04-28 04:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Apu
That's happened to me recently, although different insurance company and I'm sure my bills are way lower than yours.

I find there is a magic word. It's the word: attorney. When you say the magic word, your problems go away, at least until next time. And then you beg and cry and moan and cajole until you remember the magic word, and then poof! I am astonished every single time.

And no, no effort whatsoever is made to fix the issue systemically.

They're counting on people not knowing their rights or being afraid to assert them.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2013-04-28 04:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
They're counting on people not knowing their rights or being afraid to assert them.

This. Exactly. We've been figuring this out, with someone who has a minimal social media footprint....but there are definitely trigger words, and trigger acts, and filing a complaint generally gets results.
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2013-04-28 04:08 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:intense focus
I...just got a wild-ass idea for an advocacy group taking advantage of your social media footprint and could potentially leave a significant legacy (I am so not modest about political ideas).

Basically, we figure out a way to set up an advocacy group called "Friends of Jay Lake" or something such, with the specific purpose of boosting the signal every time a medical insurance company fucks someone over, dedicated to making it easier for others because of the crap you have had to go through.

It will take a bit of thought, but...anyone else interested in talking about what this might take to pull off effectively? The flip side is that this group should also issue positive awards as well as negatives...draw attention to the right behavior.
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seventorches
User: seventorches
Date: 2013-04-29 15:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like it.
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