Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Health Insurance Follies

During the furlough, my health insurance was continued with the premiums suspended, on condition that I repay them when back into pay status or if I accepted another job. More than a month into the furlough, a letter came with a form to fill out confirming this arrangement, to be mailed back or faxed. I mailed.
Last week I got an email at work saying they would cancel my health insurance, retroactive to the furlough, unless I called within 24 hours. Naturally when I called at 4pm (end of tour) their office was closed and no voicemail. I called the next morning and was told that very likely  they just hadn't processed the mail yet, this happened all the time, and I should fax. So I faxed, although it was not encouraging that they didn't process their mail in a timely way leaving me and all those who trusted their representations about mail to suffer.
Next I got a form in the mail saying my coverage was cancelled because I had not returned the form. This made me angry. Apart from the impact on me personally, the form was designed to anger the recipients because it told a lie: the problem was not that I had not returned the form, but that they had not recorded receiving it. It is never a good idea to say something that you don't know - all the organization knew was that they had no record of receiving the form - they didn't know whether I had received it.
The form said I could apply for reinstatement by sending in a form. I found it on the internet (in another display of lousy customer service, the cancellation notice did not include the form) and faxed it in - taking a photo this time. I will also mail it.
I am disappointed but not surprised at the incompetence of poor customer service. It makes the reactions of those I serve every day more understandable. Let's see how this goes - I really do need the health insurance.

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