sick and insured

First, a disclaimer: I’m mad. Dawn is mad too.

What are we so upset about? Who is to blame? My health insurance company, Assurant Health. They suck. And I’ve reached the point in this medical debacle of mine that I’m not going to hem and haw about saying so. They suck, suck, suck. And just so this can be found more easily on google: Assurant Health sucks. If you have them, ditch them. If you’re in the market, avoid them. Of course, I write that and immediately think: are any other insurance providers really any better?

Why do they suck? I’ll tell you.

Dawn and I moved from Texas last summer, and found that our Texas insurance coverage was pretty much worthless in Wisconsin, due to a lack of providers that accepted it here. So, we started shopping around. We wanted a company that would provide maternity coverage, since we had decided to start trying to get pregnant in the Fall. On the advice of family, we contacted an insurance agent to help us in our search. He highly recommended Assurant (I know, he probably gets a good commission from them) and since they were one of the few companies that even offered maternity coverage, and the rates seemed affordable, we went for it (it should also be noted here that I was appalled at the way insurance companies treat pregnancy as a pre-existing “disease”).

Our policy took effect on August 1, 2007. I was diagnosed with testicular cancer on August 31. That’s when the real underbelly of the insurance industry began to emerge from the stinky depths of the insurance bog of America. It quickly became apparent that the burden of proof was on us–even though they put us through a rather stringent approval process before the policy took effect. They seem to be sniffing their noses around the fact that I had previously visited a doctor (in Austin in 2005) with a complaint of testicular pain; however, I underwent an ultrasound at that time and it came back negative. My doctors now have told me that my pain was probably nothing more than a coincidence, since most men with testicular cancer do not have any pain.

Meanwhile, “Assurant Health sucks” has been bungling my case since it began. They repeatedly (three times, I believe) sent requests to us that were addressed to a different policy holder. They have continually dropped the ball on my case, and without Dawn constantly hounding them, nothing would get done on it at all. Which isn’t to say they have accomplished much as it is. They haven’t. Today I received a call from “Assurant Health sucks” telling me that they had finally reviewed my case documents, but it has led them only to demand more information from other doctors–information that has been available to them for months. What makes this all the more frustrating is that our medical bills continue to pile up, and last time I looked they had surpassed the $50,000 mark. Say what? That’s right, fifty grand. And our insurance (or I should say my insurance, since Dawn wisely opted into her employer plan recently) has yet to even accept responsibility for the bill.

Does it get worse? Yes. It seems as though it will be difficult, if not impossible for me to leave “Assurant Health sucks,” especially if they finally accept my claim, because I have had cancer. I won’t be able to get the admittedly decent rates I pay “Assurant Health sucks” elsewhere for a long time.

I know that I haven’t laid out a very damning case here, really. I don’t have the patience to go into all of the detail. I will be filing a complaint this week with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance in Wisconsin with the hopes that it will convince “Assurant Health sucks” to stop giving us the run around and expedite the claims–something they told me today they could not do.

In the end, I just don’t want to have to turn red, and holler at strangers over the telephone about this anymore. And I really don’t want Dawn to shed another tear–she put up with so much during my chemo, and kept a lot of this insurance struggle to herself then too. It seems like when people get sick, they should get help, not the runaround.

'What can I do?' - SiCKO

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4 Responses to “sick and insured”

  1. I have a lot to say (as usual) but I’ve decided to limit it to this useful website about things to do when in a situation like yours, which includes making a YouTube video about your story, using the name of Asshole Insurance, of course. But there are a number of other interesting choices, too.

    And the rest of what I have to say can be saved for now.
    http://www.michaelmoore.com/sicko/what-can-i-do/

  2. Well, thanks for the link. I still have not seen that movie. I’ve been avoiding since my diagnosis, because I knew it would only make me worry and piss me off. I put a banner on my page if others are interested. Right now, I must admit I’m still holding out hope that the insurance company will come through sooner rather than later. Nothing has gone into collections yet–we just have to be dilligent about contacting those billing us and letting us know what’s going on. Usually, they are quite accomodating.

  3. I’m also pleased to report that this morning, a google search of “Assurant Health sucks” had me on the first page of hits at numbers 5 & 6. Whenever I’m curious about what sort of bad experiences folks have had with a company that I am considering giving my business to, I always do a search with the company name followed by “sucks.” I hope my blog helps people make the right choice too.

    Also, while a straight search of “Assurant Health” didn’t get me on any of the first several pages, it did at least have one complaint blog show up early in the ranking.

  4. Please send this blog to your state senators, representatives, the insurance company President, your Govenor, and the newspaper. You might find a quick response. It is sad to have to do that but I work with Insurance companys every day and sometimes it is necessary. Your MD’s office sometimes knows how to cut thru the red tape as does a nurse-manager at your hospital or clinic. Bev

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