I got screwed by some health care companies.
Ugh, you guys.
On one hand, I'm really not proud of this. There was stuff I could have done differently. On the other hand, the amount I got screwed is really disproportionate to the mistakes I made. For those of you who don't live in the US, this is the state of our health care system. This sort of thing happens all the time.
Here's the story. I went to an urgent care facility that was in-network for my insurance, which I have through the ACA exchanges. They documented my insurance information for that day. Three months later, I received a bill from the urgent care place. I got on the phone with the representative there, who told me that the claim was rejected and she has a number. She advised me to get on a three-way call with a representative for my insurance company. Once we did that, the insurance company representative (named Yvonne) explained that, since I was late on my insurance payment by something like 5 days, I didn't have coverage at the time when the claim was made. Since I had coverage then, Yvonne assured us that we could re-file the claim and it would get processed. The urgent care representative seemed combative and kept insisting that they dig up the old claim, because if she filed a new claim it would just get rejected again. Yvonne said that the data on the old claim did not exist and was not accessible, but she reassured us that everything would get done if they filed again.
I never heard back.
Until three months later, when I got a letter from a collection agency attempting to collect debt that I owe for some reason because two companies couldn't be bothered to figure out how to fill out their own paperwork. Not to mention that the year changed. I don't have insurance with them anymore! I can't file claims anymore! asdfjkl;
Again, on one hand, here's what I should have done instead: I should have gotten the direct phone numbers of both of these ladies, and I should have called them both every morning until that claim got filed and processed and I could see it showing up on the web portal. Because, I still don't know who the villain was here. Maybe the urgent care filed the claim again and got rejected for some other small technicality. But there was also nothing stopping her from not bothering to file it at all. On the other hand, this is insane. In order to prevent stuff like this from happening, you have to drop everything you're doing and spend hours of your life walking people through doing their own job. Otherwise, it's easier for both parties to screw you and do nothing. This way, at least, they can look forward to not hearing your stupid voice on the phone every day.
I paid the debt collectors, ladies and gentlemen. I'm done with this for now. But the moral of the story is:
- Always have insurance payments set to autopay.
- If you visit a doctor, always check at the end of the month that the claim went through. Otherwise, hop on the phone immediately.
- Try not to get sick in America.