Hello Dear Reader(s)!
I have to apologize for once again being unavailable to post that much. I have been dealing with my incompetent insurance company. I have decided to share the message I sent to AARP regrading the issues I’ve been dealing with today for your entertainment, education, and enlightenment. I am also sharing so you will know what others have in store when considering which health insurance company you will do business with.
I am not a member of AARP as I am not 50 or older. But since I am disabled and on Medicare I was looking for Medicare Advantage Plans and chose one from United Healthcare partially based on the fact that it holds the AARP name.
I deeply regret that decision.
Their customer service is completely abhorrent. In January, I attempted to change my primary care provider to a specialist in their network and was told it would be done, only to find out in late March that not only wasn’t it done, but it could not be done due to the fact the provider is a specialist. I have been to that specialist and other specialists referred by that doctor, including a couple of procedures operating under the false information they gave me.
It was only for an unrelated glitch in their automated system that showed my plan terminated (it wasn’t), when a provider called for eligibility in late March that the error was discovered. At that time, the representative informed me that he would change it to the specialist. The call was disconnected on the representative’s end during an attempted transfer, so I called back and spoke with another representative who informed me there was no way to make a specialist my primary care physician. She would note the account of the misinformation in an attempt to stave off any denied claims due to improper referral and then would assign me a primary care physician for a blanket referral to my oncologist. She assigned me the primary care physician back to the one I technically was assigned to all along, but was supposed to have changed from in January. I informed her I had an upcoming procedure and she told me it would be fine until I could get into see him. I had the procedure and called today to make an appointment with that PCP for the explicit reason of getting a referral to my specialist and for any upcoming procedures necessary but when I did, he was not accepting new patients. I called UHC again to switch providers to someone who was. They assigned me to another doctor. I called that office to make an appointment, and they closed their clinic on March 31st. I called again to UHC and spoke with a supervisor. That supervisor then assigned me another doctor and called to make sure they were accepting new patients. They were. However their system had that doctor near me but in actuality they were far away in a completely different city. I am on the phone with them currently to get yet another primary care physician.
Beyond the obvious hassle involved and deficiency of United Health Care has demonstrated in even providing accurate information about the providers that contract with them, this also created a potential situation where they will deny claims based on me operating under the information they have told me.
Additionally, after the 3 provider changes today, I have found that there is a pattern for representatives including supervisors to try to get the customers off of the phone with changes that are not complete. My disability on some days does not prevent me from following up once I suspect that a company has not given me proper or complete information, but unfortunately, many of the vulnerable senior citizens you claim to represent may not be able to make 4 phone calls in a day to get something done. In addition, I trusted the company in January when they said they changed the provider the first time. I know better than to trust them now. How many senior citizens are being told misinformation and relying on it because of your endorsement?
In short, I beg you to reconsider adding the AARP name to these plans. I beg you to look at more than the metrics provided by the company and look at actual member experiences. Having representatives available to answer the phones when a customer calls for service does not mean the service provided is competent.
Of course, if we elect Bernie Sanders, he will attempt to take these companies who profit off of the suffering of others out of the business altogether.
While the government may make errors too, wouldn’t it be nice if greed wasn’t a factor? Additionally, I have had no trouble with Medicare itself, just the plans on top of it.
I will also be writing a letter regarding my situation to Medicare. If any claims are denied based on the misinformation they gave me, I will also contact an attorney and the state’s insurance commissioner.
If any of you have had issues with this or any other health insurance company, I would love to hear about it in the comments.