Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ice Ice Baby..

Ugh, and so goes my saga of unhappiness when dealing with health insurance companies and their lousy provider service representatives.

My call today went something like this...

Says the Provider Service Rep(after 13 minutes of me being on hold...): "Hello, thank you for calling Blue Shield of California, this is Ice, How may I assist you today?" with a thick..and I'm talking, thiiiick Filipino accent.

Me: "Did you just say your name is Ice?"

PSR: " Yes, My name is Ice."

Me: " Can you spell it for me?"

PSR: " I.C.E."

Me: "Interesting, I've never heard anyone named Ice before." thinking to myself, dude, this hits the jackpot in terms of unbelievable names these reps in the Philipines pick for themselves when hired at the call center that an American company operates over there..We usually get Sarahs, and Steves,Kathys and Johns...but Ice? Really? Did she just pull out an English dictionary and point? Hmmm, my CSR name will be Ice.. totally believable, right?

PSR: " And who am I speaking to?"

Me: " Brie."

CSR: " Oh that is a very different name, I have never heard that before..Please spell it for me" (okay, so now we have wasted 3 minutes on our names alone...can we please just get to business?)

Me: " B-R-I-E"

CSR: I swear at this point she is mocking me for not believing her name is actually Ice... "Oh, Brie, like the cheese..Ah hah."

To top it off, she gave me the most jarbled nonsense description of a patient's terrible that I had to request to speak to someone in the USA..but, of course, I had to speak to her Manager in the Phillipines first, who was no more help than Ice, but at least had the normal name of Eve.

Now 30 minutes into the call, I'm connected with someone in America, who speaks clear English, and understands the ins and outs of the benefit policy I have inquired about. She gave me all the information I needed within 2 minutes of talking to her.

I could go on and on about Insurance companies and how they are 100% business, and not out there to "protect" us and keep us well. This being said, I'll still take my private insurance over socialized medicine ANY day. I just think that if you're an American company, you should try to employ American service representatives who are familiar with how health insurance works, and are able to answer questions....not someone in the Phillipines willing to work for beans.

Perhaps this is why they often have a disclaimer stating that if the information you receive via the phone is different from that of the patient's policy contract, the policy contract holds true. So basically, it doesn't matter to the insurance company if the wrong information is quoted by their reps. That's just wrong.

And I just can't help but think of the many unemployed American's out there, who would be fantastic representatives and could probably use a job with health benefits..but instead, Blue Shield gives me Ice.

1 comment:

  1. I am soooo glad I don't have to call insurance companies for authorizations. Whenever I talk to one of OUR managed care people who now do this for us, I thank them for what they do for us. Since I have had to do this in the past, I make sure all my requests that go to them via computer have all the necessary info including procedure codes, diagnosis and reason for the test and they THANK me for making their job easier having all the info they need. T'iz only because I have been there and done that!!