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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

35 Minutes to "Get Married..."

So recently I had an employee get married.

We have the local large-hospital insurance (as opposed to the local Blue Cross plan which we dumped when they got into a fight with the hospital group).

So you think it would be easy to make a change like: an employee got married.

Well, here's what it took:

1) I go to the packet of crap that comes in the mail each month with the bill (this is one of the reasons I don't go all-electronic).  There are "DISENROLLMENT" forms but no forms to add employees.

2) Okay - so let's try the web site.  I go there and find a PDF form.  The form is a one page affair with the  usual healthcaresque fields for "Change of Membership," "Type of Coverage" and "Change of Status."  Of course its totally unclear which of these fields applies in this case because no where in any part of the PDF is how to accomplish things, e.g., change someone's status to "married" is explained.

3) I download the form and email to my newly married employee who fills out everything he can.  He sends it back to me to complete.

I guess this is "Marriage" so is this also a "Qualifying Event?"

"Type of Coverage" - now or after the marriage?

Is this a "Change of Status" - yes but there's not place to fill in ....????

I guess I will have to call and make sure lest I make a mistake.

4) I find a phone number on the form and call it.

The robovoice says are you a "Member" or "Provider"?

I say "Member" and get connected to Idiot #1 - a very pleasant person who asks a lot of questions but is unable to figure out from my explanation that I need help with completing the form for an employee who got married (yes, I did clearly explain this).

After 10 minutes or so on the call she says I need to talk to the "Provider" people and connects me to a black hole of phone nothing so I hang up.

5) I call back and go through the "Provider" sequence.  I get to some guy (Idiot #2) who says - oh, no, you need to call the "Member" line and again connects me to a black hole of phone nothing so I hang up.

6) I call back the third time and go through "Member" and this time get someone who understands (Idiot #3) that I am an employer trying to change the coverage for an employee from single to married.

So I make sure I have all the fields filled in correctly and then I ask "What email do I use for submitting this?"

He gives me a reply - then "oh wait, they just changed that, here use this email..."

7) So I submit the form via email.

A few minutes later I get a reply - I open it thinking good, I'm done.


The email is rejected because its not "secure."  No matter that the information was obviously received by them to create the rejection so they got it.  They offered me the email address.


I am directed to a web page where I have to upload it.

8) I upload the PDF.

Of course there is no confirmation here - I can get a confirmation of REJECTION but not of acceptance.

The web page just goes back to some random site page.  Did the upload work or not???

9) So now my employee has to call them back in a few days to make sure it got through.

What bullshit!!!

And this is one of the "top" hospital systems in the country.

The forms are stupid and useless.  No directions.  Nothing clearly marked.

I am sure they have hundreds of thousands of members - is this the best they can do?

Then after each call it wants me to waste more time answering a survey about my "experience."

Well my experience was that "it sucked..." but there is no option for that - just one to five...

Not even a zero...

So it took thirty five minutes to do this...

As far as I can tell there is no web page for the same - certainly there doesn't appear to be one on the form.

But I have to pay for three people to do the job a simple web page could do...


This is why America is no longer great.

Its all about the bureaucratic process instead of the actually thing I am buying - my mandated health care.

If they cannot manager simple enrollment functions how can I expect them to handle life-or-death medical functions?

The answer is I can't...

1 comment:

  1. This user interface is in part connected to your earlier rant about IT and requirements management, along with a great sucking sound of knowledge leaving the country to be replaced by people who only know Java, AJAX, Ruby-on-Rails, and only know how to make as many do-dads work on a screen but don't understand underlying functionality. Oh and the rejection, and security issue, I'm confident were added by DLP (Data Leakage Prevention) tool trying to "Protect" your private information.