Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Oxford health insurance really stinks

I don't have Oxford health insurance any more, I have CIGNA, which is AMAZINGLY GOOD insurance. But yesterday I got a bill from a doctor I saw last over a year ago. The bill is for $85. WTF? Why would I get a bill for services rendered a year ago, and why didn't Oxford pay for this?

So I call up the doctor's staff. The ever so nice lady "explained" to me that she couldn't get through to Oxford until recently, and that Oxford had applied the bill to my deductable. LIKE THAT was a good reason! Remembering not to be rude, I managed a polite word or two, then called Oxford. It seems as though the referal I'd had to see that doctor had expired, but because no one bothered to tell me that at the time (when it could have been fixed with a quick phone call), Oxford wouldn't pay. Never mind that I had seen this doctor several times already. Never mind that I did have a referal that could easily have been updated.

I know there are people who don't have health insurance. I don't want to seem ungrateful. Oxford did pay for 3/4 of my surgery. I only had to pay for $3000 worth of stuff (all of which went on my credit card, which means I'm still paying this stuff off). I had to pay for stuff like the continuous passive motion machine that the doctor said was imparitive and Oxford said was elective (Hm, preventing scaring and smoothing the healing process, or letting scars form and creating possibility for future surgeries?). Or, like the anastegiologist, because apparently my surgeon was covered but everyone else in the room wasn't (that is a huge way they get you- so if you're going to have surgery, insist on having only people who are covered in the room). I also had to pay for the pre-surgery physical, including an extra bill for the EKG that went with that. I'm surprised they didn't bill me for the extra time spent in recovery throwing up everything I've ever eatten (as it turns out any Morphine related pain killer makes me throw up for a very long time, so I was a little longer than expected in the recovery room).

My new insurance is amazing, and having it only underscores how horrible Oxford is. If it's the only thing you can get, well, it's better than nothing. But if you can get something else, do.

And to the nice lady at the doctor's office, I have one thing to say. It doesn't take a year to get through to anyone, even insurance companies. This bill came 14 months after the date of service, and then you expect me to be understanding when all you say is it took you till now to get through?

As my dad would say, in a voice that made quite clear the dripping with sarcastism intent,
Well Merry Christmas to you.

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