On the Saturday of January 24, 2015, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and the mailbox held a shiny white envelope from Blue Cross – Blue Shield addressed to the Missus. Hallelujah! Our troubles were over. Finally, finally, we were about to get this mother of all messes straightened out.
But wait. The cover of the booklet read, “Your replacement ID card enclosed.” I thumbed the pages. Nowhere was the form” To Activate Your Coverage.” NOOOOOO!
I moaned, I cried, I mixed a spooker. I took a deep breath or two and thought it over. Cleary, as all of this was fast approaching the definition of insanity, I needed a new strategy. Then, an aha moment. With membership number in hand, I would call and make a payment over the phone. Yeah, that’s it. Get the amount, give ‘em a Visa. Once payment has been made, the coverage enrollment will be complete. They gets their money, I get the promise of health care for the Missus. Keep in mind that time is of the essence here. A part of the BCBS fine print states that if your policy is not in force by Jan. 31. You must wait until the following year to apply for coverage. A little “gotcha” there. Today, as we speak, the date is Jan. 26. The clock is ticking.
“Hello, my name is Jan. How can I help you?”
“Hi Jan. I’m calling on behalf of the Missus and we would like to make a payment on her premium. I have a Visa card ready.”
“We can’t take a Visa payment over the phone.”
“Jan, you’re killing me here. Why not?
“Policy. We can take a phone check. I’ll need your account and routing number for your bank.”
The Missus and I exchange one of those, what can we do? looks, and agree to Jan’s demands.
“What is the amount of your payment.”
“Well, you see, Jan, that’s part of the problem. No one at BCBS has ever told us what her payments would be.”
Jan returns and drops a number that made me spit up half my spooker.
“That’s a six-month payment,” she explains
“That’s not the way it was set up in the application, Jan. Trust me on this.”
I refresh the spooker.
“You are correct, Mr. Williams. It was set up for monthly.”
We pass numbers back and forth. I thank her, she thanks me, and I breathe a sigh of relief.
Oh, did I mention that Jan revealed an interesting bit of information in the middle of this? Seems BCBS did indeed send the Missus’ enrollment packet to the wrong address and it was returned to them. So did anyone at BCBS notice this and say something like, “We probably should resend this to the correct address?” After seven phone calls from us over a period of six weeks, did anybody mention or acknowledge that she never received the packet in the first place due to their screw-up? You already know the answer don’t you?
The salt in the wound? We had to pay January’s coverage even though she was not covered in January.
It’s enough to make you sick.