I Am Fed Up With The Insurance Companies And I Can't Take It Anymore
I work for a Pathology Laboratory in Seattle, Washington where we run tests for pap smears, urine and tissue samples. I have been an insurance biller for ten years in the medical field. Everyday I see more denials from insurance companies for out of pocket expenses, maximum benefits exhausted, non covered benefit, deductible, pre-exist condition questionnaires, multiple coverage questionnaires, full-time student questionnaires, no eligibility, chart notes requested by provider, and policy for illness or injury only. Today, I just talked to a male patient who has a large medical bill from his provider, hospital, and now has a laboratory bill from us. The patient asked me if he could pay a small amount a month on the account, because his family is surviving on unemployment benefits. His insurance had told him that the services incurred weren’t covered, and he had wished that this information was known before hand. He had gone because of feeling ill and said, “How do you not go to a doctor when you are feeling ill and you depend on your insurance to cover the doctor bill, tests that are ordered to find out why you are ill, and now I have too many medicals I can’t pay.”
I feel wiped out on the number of people my laboratory sends to collections on a monthly basis and the amount is in the $1000’s of dollars, because people can’t afford their medical bills. I can’t do this job any longer, and I hope when this new healthcare bill gets past. It will make my job easier and healthcare can be affordable for the patients.
I have no love for the insurance companies and one that is a thorn in all or our sides is United Healthcare. My laboratory became contracted with United Healthcare because a large doctor group had threatened to leave them. After the contract my laboratory was promised that past denied claims would be paid, but I am afraid that they only paid a third of the claims, and the rest we had to write off the balances.
Here is a company who just gave their CEO a bonus in the billions of dollars and they have a call center in another country. So, when you are trying to get a claim paid you speak with an insurance representative with a thick Indian accent who is call either Bob or Jane. You have to repeat yourself several times and hope they can transfer you to someone who can speak and understand English. I want to scream on a daily basis, “Please can I speak to someone who isn’t following a script and wants to help me get this claim paid for this patient.”
I don’t know how public insurance companies can charge the employers large sums of money to cover their employees and expect people who are on a limited income to pay for large deductibles, out of pocket expenses, or a limited benefit to cover women wellness benefits. I only hope that this bill can solve some of the problems in reducing healthcare and make it affordable to everyone in this country.
As you can see the patients are not the only ones who are frustrated with insurance companies all of us in the medical field who deal with the insurance industry have given up on any kind of change. Why should the insurance companies change when they make more money denying claims, than paying on them? I hope that Congress can figure it out, because the numbers of people dying without insurance coverage are increasing everyday. So, Mr. Obama and Congress please do something before you have an epidemic on your hands. I am fed up to a point, where I might drive down to Washington D.C., pick up a sign, and start picketing outside the White House. I have a lot of friends in the medical field from Seattle who would follow me down to do just that.
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