insurance wars! apathy

I’m going to have to do Mighty Battle with a doctor in the next few days, so I’m gearing up by remembering Mighty Battles of the past. In this one, my insurance company went to bat for me.

When I first got pregnant with Emily, we were with BCBS, but an out-of-state plan because Angeltown was on one side of the border, and my husband’s employer was on the other side. There was exactly one (1) obstetric provider they paid, Cattlecar Obstetrics.

I called them as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test and was told there was only one person in the entire practice (which had 8 or 10 doctors!) who could book initial appointments, and she wasn’t available right then, but she’d call back. She didn’t call me back that day. When I called back, I was told was out on vacation. I could leave her a message and she’d call back the day she returned. I got the woman’s name and that date, left a message, and waited.

On the return date, she didn’t call, so I phoned the practice and asked to speak with her. I was told, “She’s on vacation for a week.” I said, “I was told she’d get back today.” The receptionist said, “She was back last week, now she’s off again.”

I said, “But I need to make my initial appointment.”

The receptionist snapped, “Yeah, and you’d better get a move on it,too! You’re already seven weeks!”

I called my insurance company and said, “Can you add another local provider? Because you do pay them, just not on my plan.”

The customer service rep said, “Just hang on a minute,” and took all the information from me. And then, while I was on hold, he called Cattlecar Obstetrics and spoke to the office manager.

And what he said to the office manager was this: one of our customers has been attempting for three weeks to make an appointment with your practice. She has been rebuffed several times, and she needs to get that booked. Now, if our customer is not taken care of, I will submit her complaint for investigation, and if the investigators discover her complaint is valid, we will have no choice but to revoke your status as a network practice for BCBS.

He got back on the line with  me, laughing. He then gave me his name and extension and said that if I didn’t hear from them within 24 hours and get my appointment booked in that time, to call him back, and brimstone would fly.

Five minutes later, the practice called. The office manager. Who SOMEHOW was able to book that magical first appointment.

We did later change insurance companies so I could leave Cattlecar Obstetrics. When we had the chance to change back, we did so, and I’ve always remembered how they stood up for me when it counted.

Edited: in between when I wrote this and when it posted, I managed to settle my Mighty Battle with the doctor, who will now do the thing that should have been done five months ago. Thank you, certified letter and documented contact and State Licensing Board and insurance company complaint forms…

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About philangelus

Mom, freelance writer, novelist, angelphile, Catholic, know-it-all.
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