I’d really like to vent for a moment.

Having a child in the NICU sucks eggs.  It’s hard on your heart, your health and your sanity.  But you know what stinks even more?  Dealing with the insurance company.  Doesn’t matter which one, they’re all in the same boat.

I’ve found more mistakes on our EOBs (explanation of benefits), been charged for things that didn’t happen, double charged for things that did, told things were denied and made to believe that some things were out of network.

Lies, people.  They’re all lies.

It is EXHAUSTING and frustrating.  I have a stack – nearing an inch tall – of bills.  And, as I sit here on hold with said insurance company, I’m hearing how “compassionate” and “how we don’t want you to worry about your medical bills” and I’m not really towing that line.

You know it’s bad when you call and after you give them your ID#, they say, “Oh, hi Mrs. Whitaker.  We’re still working on your claims.”  I suppose in addition to getting my medical license these past few months, I’ve also become an insurance expert. 

*Sigh*

The affirmation I needed in “fighting the good fight” came this morning when I called one of our doctor’s offices to contest one of the bills.  Sonya the Billing Office Lady, you are a good woman.  I explained why I hadn’t paid the bill yet (yes, yet another one that the insurance company should pay, not me).  Her reply?

“You just raise hell, ask for a manager and keep on ’em.  They do this all the time.  Enjoy that baby and have a good day.”

Enjoy, I will. 

8 Comments

  1. Indiana Elephant on January 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Oh, Kathryn,
    We can SO relate! More than one insurance company is our arch enemy. Lie, deny, double-bill, come up with a reason to call it "out of network," add pressure, lie some more and do it all while saying "we care" sums up their customer service training.

    We've done battle for six plus years now. If you'd like some tips, please contact us. Otherwise, we're praying for you heartily. This is a whole other kind of mental torture-no joke!

  2. Anonymous on January 14, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    Give 'Em hell!

  3. Ali on January 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    GOD BLESS, SONYA!

  4. Kaki on January 14, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    Kudos to you for taking the time to understand what is there and standing up for yourself! I spent 5 years auditing insurance companies and hospitals. I am amazed at 1) how often they are wrong and 2) how many people never understand their benefits so overpay, etc.

    Now go enjoy that baby!

  5. Shannon on January 14, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    Hooray for Sonya!

    We don't have nearly the stacks you do but we still end up with problems! And sometimes they come from the doctor's office end. I called the insurance company after the doctor's office told me it was an insurance problem and the woman at the insurance company was SO nice and she actually contacted the doctor's office and kept me on the line and got it fixed. The sad thing is that I was SHOCKED that the insurance company was so helpful. And then I got rebilled by the doctor's office. Seems they thought they didn't have a contract with my insurance company – since when? Oops. Their mistake, but apparently half the people who work at the doctor's office have the wrong information. It just eats up your time, your patience, and your sanity. Hang in there. He's such a cutie!

  6. Jenni on January 14, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Right there with you and everyone else. With Blake's asthma and my multiple miscarriages, I think the last six months have been the first in our marriage I haven't been disputing a claim. I will say I have had much better luck with Aetna than any other yet. My biggest nightmare is that in Indy anesthesiologists were out of network at an innetwork hospital with an innetwork surgeon and you can't choose your anesthesiologists. Most will write it off for you but some make you pay every red cent. Some day I am going to complain to the hospital! My surgeon (not his staff) even tried to get them to write it off and it didn't work. But now I ask, boy have I learned a lot. Hang in there and never explain to the first person who answers the phone (big waste of time).

  7. amanda on January 15, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Ugh! The hospital is no picnic either! We're still waiting on a bill from September! There's a big difference between what Insurance says we owe and what the hospital says we owe. In this case I rooting for the insurance total. I amazed at how much hospitals charge for things!!!

  8. Kathryn on January 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Muchas gracias for all the advice!! I'm hopeful that today will be a new day in the insurance fight and I can work this out. I can say, this whole process has made me wary of ALL those EOBs. You can bet your hiney I'll be checking them all a lot more carefully from now on. Cheers!

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