Stand up to Your Health Insurance Company

By: Loolwa Khazzoom, Founder, Dancing with Pain

July 2nd, 2008 • Patient AdvocacyPrint Print

Health insurance representatives are the foot soldiers of health insurance company CEOs, whose million-dollar mansions were built on the calcified, degenerated discs of your going-out-all-the-time back. While the phone reps may sound like friendly, caring agents looking out for your health, they are in fact bored losers who haven’t been laid in like a million years and therefore will do their best to screw you. So stand up to your health insurance company by taking the following steps:

1. Have a pen and paper handy whenever you talk to an agent on the phone.

Before you start the conversation, ask for the agent’s first and last name. If the individual will not give you a last name, make note that she refused to do so, and ask if she is willing to give a last initial. Then ask for the agent’s department name, customer ID #, and phone extension. Again, if that person is unwilling to give you any information, make note of that refusal. Also make note of the start time of the conversation and write down anything important that comes up during the call.

2. Make a point of filing this information away after every call.

If you’re anything like me, putting things in their proper places is a Herculean task. I have learned the hard way, however, that I must must must file this kind of information immediately — in a clearly-marked folder, in an organized file drawer — or I will inadvertently be complying with screwing my own damn self (sans rabbit vibrator). If you do not feel up to making a phone call in an organized fashion, postpone the phone call.

3. Digitally record your conversations.

On multiple occasions, despite all of my pristine notes filed away in a wondrously organized fashion, I have still been screwed by a health insurance representative. I have been told that there was no record of a call, that someone had called me but never been called back, that a representative could not be found in the employee directory, and that a plan I was told I’d be switched to did not actually exist. I also have been held responsible for the consequences, on my dime and my time.

No more! I am now recording each and every single fucking phone conversation I have with a health insurance company representative. Just an hour ago, I had my first such call. I informed the representative at the outset that I was recording the conversation. He told me that if I was going to record the call, he could not continue the conversation. I recorded that too.

I also thought it was telling: What are they afraid of — that we will catch them at their game? At any rate, it could not have been coincidence that this conversation was the most respectful and productive that I have ever, in my entire life, had with a health insurance agent. I think the very fact that the man knew I was “on it” enough to even think about recording the conversation put him on his toes. And if it turns out he misled me, well, the proof is in the playback button.


Doctor Search January 30th, 2009

Your article was quite intriguing and the information quite useful. Will check your site often to see other great posts you make! Regards

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