Thursday, January 16, 2014

What I look like when I'm on hold with Anthem Blue Cross during its death throes



So, a while back I posted what I look like while I'm on the phone with Anthem Blue Cross and eating a breadstick instead of smoking a cigarette. You can refresh your memory here. Today, I tried for the fifth time to contact Anthem in order to remove the automatic withdrawal of Sophie's premium from our checking account. I'll remind you that the evil and disastrous Affordable Care Act (that's sarcasm, there) enabled us to finally add Sophie to our health plan, and in doing so we are getting an entirely new health insurance plan with  entirely better benefits with an entirely different company for an entirely better price. Sophie used to have her own plan, an abysmal one, whose premium had been jacked up over 100% over the last few years and was diligently removed from our checking account by Anthem each month. The rest of our family had a separate individual policy with Anthem, equally as abysmal with an even greater rate of jacked-up premium, and we paid that one by check each month.

Anyhoo.

I've been trying to cancel the automatic withdrawal of Sophie's payment for weeks and have not been able to get through to a customer "service" agent. When I was connected to a human service agent -- ONCE -- I was sent on one of those hellish odysseys through the windowless warrens of Anthem and finally landed behind door number 6,345,876 and told to hold. Again.  The picture above was taken during that hold time, and in lieu of a bread stick, I kept a pen in my mouth and rolled its smooth, cold chartreuseness in my mouth while listening to many, many bars of a requiem that I imagined was for the death throes of Anthem and its connection to my family. My normal appreciation for classical music reached a breaking point, though, and when a voice finally broke into some seventeenth century dirge, it told me that due to the Affordable Care Act, we are unable to help you with your problem. Please call back at another time. In lieu of chewing on pens or smoking bread sticks, I went for the rectal Valium that Anthem has so kindly allowed us to purchase at a reasonable price.

Just kidding. That would have been an unauthorized usage of a powerful narcotic. We prefer weed over here.






To make a long story short, I have contacted my bank and put a stop to the automatic withdrawals that way. On February 1st, when the new policy goes into effect, I will be walking through the streets of Los Angeles with a burning blue cross. If anyone would like to join me, please do. There will be bread sticks and rectal Valium.

27 comments:

Radish King said...

{{{{{I hear you I hear you I hear you}}}}}

love
Rebecca

kario said...

Wow - love the political "due to the Affordable Care Act..." And why do they assume that you're calling with a problem? Are they so certain that you aren't trying to contact them in order to praise them for their compassionate, efficient service? Sheesh! Glass-half-full-company! And I would gladly join you even without the promise of breadsticks and Valium.

Pauline Gaines said...

HA! I think insurance companies do this on purpose so they don't lose your premium. They deserve a special place in hell with the Walmarts and Madoffs of the world.

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy your family is getting the coverage you need and hopefully with a better company. A friend of mine whose situation is similar to your says her life got 100 percent less stressful when her hubby also a hardworking chef took a position with a corporate entity where his creativity was curtailed but the insurance so wonderful and the assistance with coverage issues so great ( they have an admin who does much if the claims work for you) that she wants to kneel down and kiss the feet of the CEO who makes good insurance a priority.

rainshadowfarm said...

I'm really happy for you that you'll have decent and fair coverage. So glad that you're going to be able to shake off the old insurance!

I've been uninsured for going on two years and now and am finding the whole process of getting insured through Covered California really complicated. I think it's complicated in part because two of my kids were on Medi-Cal and the change-over is nuts. Medi-Cal and Covered CA give contrary information. And for some reason the insurance company - Blue Shield of CA - isn't seeing my enrollment info. I don't exist. And California is one of the good states (I keep telling myself that and it's true) Ugh. Pass the valium. And hang in there!

Mel said...

You made me laugh out loud, thank you and to hell with Anthem and hooray for change for the better. My sister finally got through the affordable care lines, and for a price less than she expected to pay in her 50's, she has insurance. Finally. Being uninsured in America is a very scary proposition.

I look forward to hearing how your family enjoys the money you're saving on health care. And thank goodness you stopped payment at your bank. Companies that can't answer the phone don't deserve to be in business, let alone make automatic deductions. Don't get me started.

Thanks for the rectal Valium offer, but I've got some expired xanax to use up!

Ms. Moon said...

Here's what I have to say: Fuck them.

Lisa Lilienthal said...

What she said ^^^

From the Kitchen said...

I'm so happy that, thanks to President Obama, you have a good plan for all of you. I don't understand why Blue Cross has been such an "enemy" but I don't doubt it. Personally, as I've said before, I've been covered by Blue Cross/Blue Shield since the day of my birth. I've never had any problem at all. They've always paid promptly anything that has been filed. My children have continued with the plan as adults and have never had a problem.

Best,
Bonnie

Birdie said...

I am so pleased that my neighbours to the south finally have access to affordable health care. It is long overdue.

T. Clear said...

I'll be there with you — in spirit — dragging a flaming effigy representing all insurance companies.

Noan said...

Bread sticks AND rectal valium? Count me in, sister.

Carrie Link said...

Your last line made me giggle, but I know, this is anything but funny! Happy new insurance!

37paddington said...

"We prefer weed over here." Tee hee.

Karen Gerstenberger said...

Sounds like quite a celebration!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say I love you and I would gladly, oh so gladly join you and I want/NEED the rectal valium and the weed and I will bring vodka and xanax and anything else I can get my hands on. I'm afraid the breadsticks will interfere with the release of stress I need. Sweet Jo

Tara Crowley said...

me, too, it sounds define. But maybe, just maybe, we could add a martini to thank. Cheers!

Jill said...

I'll be there is spirit!

lily cedar said...

You had me at rectal valium:) Although breadsticks sound really good too.

Kathleen Scott said...

if it doesn't take too much energy, you can also contact the Consumer Affairs department of your state and federal and the insurance regulators. Maybe even the banking regulators since there are strict rules on bank transactions. Otherwise your blog post is probably a better transmission. I think I'm going to share it on Facebook so my Texas neighbors can see.

Christy Shake said...

hilarious.

beth coyote said...

It's not funny but I was laughing anyway. Trying to get women on insurance with their 'preexisting conditions-ie. pregnant' is a joke. They need care NOW but gotta wait til someone answers the phone, ha! We're sending our folks to a broker who sits there all day with pen/breadstick/cigarette in his/her mouth.

XX Beth the midwife

Francesca said...

once again, although i live in a third world country (effectively), i'm grateful for our national health insurance.

Steve Reed said...

I tried to comment on this post yesterday while I was at work, but for some reason Blogger just WOULD NOT ALLOW IT. And now that I'm back I can't remember what I was going to say. Except, screw those Anthem people and thank goodness you can stop the payments some other way.

Denise Emanuel Clemen said...

What assholes.

krlr said...

You are my go to reference and poster child for discussions about the 'hell' Obama has wrought. Seizure free AND new coverage. Pop some bubbly!

krlr said...

…oh, and for medical marijuana use too, obviously!

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