Every year. Rigamarole. Changes to all the plans.
Yes, of course I’m grateful to have insurance at all. Yes, I am.
This year, I dutifully filled out the online “Alex” assistant thing that’s supposed to estimate costs and decide upon our most thrifty plan. I fed it all sorts of scenarios involving inpatient surgeries, “specialty” prescriptions, and double-digit visits to primary care. Alex suggests all three plans at various points. Sooo not helpful. No one expects their emergency appendectomy.
I expressed my disgruntled state to Ace and added that I planned to just sign up for the exact same thing we had last year. He balked. How can we sign up for a plan without thoroughly researching all our available options?
Ha ha ha ha ahahahahhahhahahahahaahah.
He picked up the phone and dialed “customer service.” Ace spent the first ten minutes calmly requesting clarification of terminology including “in-network,” “out-of-network,” “tier one,” and “tier two.” He then asked AT LEAST SEVEN TIMES for a comprehensive list of providers for the three plans assuming a 50-mile radius from our home. Ace, quite logically, explained that we can’t possibly be expected to sign up for something without knowing exactly what we’re getting.
Customer Service Agent X (CSAX) repeatedly asked, “Well, what doctor do you want to see?” We don’t know!!!! We can’t predict the acute onset trigeminal neuralgia or the slipped capital femoral epiphysis or the laterally displaced humeral fracture or the ruptured ovarian cyst. Ace wanted the whole @#$%^& list and CSAX didn’t have it.
Ace: What? You mean we’re six weeks away from 2019 and you don’t know your contracted providers? I don’t believe that for a second.
CSAX: What doctor do you want to see?
ACE: I STILL DON’T KNOW.
CSAX: I can email you the list from 2018.
Twenty-two minutes and sixteen seconds later (I checked), Ace hung up. He looked at me and burst into laughter, the falsetto, high-pitched type of laughter bordering on hysteria. ”Halfway through, [CSAX] just started to sound despondent.” We laughed hard.
“You have to trust me,” I said, and jumped on the computer. I signed us right up for the same garbage as last year.
The system is broken. Seriously.