Friday, October 14, 2005

Just Don't Get Sick 2: Tough Choices

See. THIS is why I'm seriously torn between the two insurance choices.

As part of the Catatstrophic Relief Fund paperwork, we have to come up with a letter proving that Ethan's hearing aids weren't covered when we purchased them last year. Of course, I don't have a letter. At the time, I just spoke to someone at Blue Cross who explained our benefits - hearing aids weren't covered.

I was going to dig through three years of paperwork to look for our explanation of benefits, but I thought I'd try calling first. I explained to the representative, Jeff, that I'm no longer a member, but I needed verification of our old benefits. He looked up Jete's social security number, verified my name and said, "No problem. Do you want me to mail or fax it?" I gave him my work fax number and he sent it within 10 minutes.

I have never had service like this with Cigna. Every time I call I get some incompetent person who doesn't know what I'm talking about. They pass me around from department to department, and even after I've talked to them for hours, nothing is resolved. I can call on Monday and get a completely different answer than if I call back on Tuesday.

No matter what we choose, Cigna will still manage our prescription coverage. And prescriptions will be be much more expensive if I choose my plan. And Jete's plan does have better equipment coverage - AFTER all the deductibles and co-insurance, and for whatever few things they actually cover.

The thing is, good customer service is worth so much. More than the money I'd pay in a higher premium. More than a few extra things being "covered", but only if you know the secret handshake.

This decision will affect how much stress I'll be under for the next year. Financially and emotionally. I guarantee no matter who we choose, I'll be on the phone with them regularly. They're both going to reject coverage sometimes. They're both going to have annoying phone menus to navigate through.

But maybe I can finally start getting ANSWERS when I reach someone on the other line.


Blue Cross of California said...

It is unfortunate that aids are not covered under the benefits although blue cross is a great health provider. I have blue cross of california and it's working out great.

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