Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Why I hate Blue Cross of California

So...a couple of months ago I hurt my foot. Eventually I went to the doctor because it continued to hurt. During that office visit did I consider any monetary concerns other than the $10 copay and the $25 boot to go along with my soft case? No.

Well, I should have.

A month or so after that I get a bill from the doc's office for $102. Hmmm, I think to myself, this is probably just an oversight on BC of CA's part. I ask the HR guy at work who suggests I call them to get this sorted out. So I do.

Nope, everything is in order they say, the $102 is all mine to pay. Yes, indeed the SUCKAGE of Blue Cross of California has increaded ten-fold or more. It gets better (by better I mean worse).

While I have the BC of CA customer service rep on the phone I ask her to explain how this works then. You see, I didn't used to have to pay for anything besides the copay, so I am quite curious as to why now I am paying $102 plus I am wondering what other crappy things are to be expected. She explains that now, due to BC of CA changing our health plan (changing here means "crapifying") instead of NO charges for office visits there is a $250 deductible per person per year. And it resets every December 31st at midnight.

My next question to the rep is "What happens after I have satisfied the $250 deductible?"
Her: "What do you mean?"
Me: "Well," I say, "say I go to the doctor's office and have some procedure that costs me $250 and I have to pay the whole thing..."
Her: "OK..."
Me: "Then say I go back to the doctor in another month and have a procedure which costs $100; that's fully covered, right?"
Her: "I don't understand..."
Me: (frustrated) "OK...I have completely paid the $250 deductible in the course of a year. After that, then any other office visits, etc., are paid for since I have already paid me $250?"
Her: "Oh, no, after you have paid the $250 you ONLY have to pay 10%!"
Me: "Wait. Let me get this straight. After I pay $250 I STILL have to pay 10% of office visits?"
Her: "Yes"
Me: "Wow. This plan sucks worse than I could ever have imagined."
Her: "..." (I obviously can't see her but it is the verbal equivilant of a blank stare)

At this point I thank her for her time and get off the phone. After all, it's not her fault the plan sucks so bad. She did seem a little bit slow, however.

So that's it. Blue Cross of California used be really great; I never had to worry about costs and money when I went to visit the doctor. Now, I am very hesitant to go. If I feel the need to go to a doctor now I think "Can we afford this?" and "Is this really going to be worth paying $XXX for?" I know my company is paying tons of money for me to have this insurance, thousands of dollars a year, but the way things are going, Blue Cross of California will basically pocket that money. Yes, I know that they will pay out far more per year for other people, but it still sucks for me and anyone else on my plan. I almost feel like getting really really sick just to teach them a lesson. But I won't.

Someone at Blue Cross of California is getting rich and it really ticks me off. Bah.


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