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Jeffrey Hitchin

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Vision benefits - You're doing it wrong [Aug. 30th, 2012|12:53 pm]
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[mood |depresseddepressed]

Another sad tale from the folks with "decent" health insurance:

Two months ago I visited my optometrist. When I called to make the appointment, I told them that my vision insurance had changed, and that I had checked and couldn't find them on the provider list, so did they actually take my insurance? They said they did and I went in. They took my insurance card and I asked again, "Do you actually take this insurance? Remember, I didn't find you on the provider list."

"Yes, we do!" the receptionist said cheerfully and I had my eye exam.

Fast forward a month. I get a bill from them with an apologetic handwritten note saying that actually, they don't take my insurance and that I should pay them $350 in full and then check with my insurance provider and see if they will reimburse me for some of that.

That's all well and good, but I don't happen to have a spare $350 lying around right now so I call the provider.

"We're sorry, but until you pay the bill in full we can't reimburse you."

"So, just so I understand this," I said, "because they made a mistake, I now owe them $350 which I can't pay them, and you can't do anything to help me until they've been paid, which I can't do because I don't have the money?"

"Yes, that's right."

I love the smell of a catch-22 in the morning.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: madrona
2012-08-30 08:52 pm (UTC)

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If they say yes we do when really no they don't, that's their cost to eat. Not yours, not the insurance company. Dispute, dispute, dispute.
[User Picture]From: jenrose1
2012-08-30 10:20 pm (UTC)

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Yes, this.
[User Picture]From: hidefbear
2012-08-30 09:27 pm (UTC)

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Nothing is ever certain in small claims court, but this sounds like a slam dunk to me thanks to that handwritten "apology" acknowledging their mistake.
[User Picture]From: jenrose1
2012-08-30 10:21 pm (UTC)

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And this too.. the handwritten note is quite significant.
[User Picture]From: madfilkentist
2012-08-30 11:10 pm (UTC)

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Document as much as you can that they said they took the insurance, and challenge the bill. The note may or may not be sufficient depending on how it's phrased, but offering to testify that you were told they took the insurance can add weight. I've been in small claims court a few times as a plaintiff and haven't found it too intimidating.
[User Picture]From: dustin_00
2012-08-31 11:04 pm (UTC)

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My favorite part is how the vision benefits are pretty much never enough, then the company features their "we spent $1,000,000 on fertilization so this couple could have a baby" in the news letter.

Fuck that.