Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,

Health insurance update and other hassles

United (UHC) did change me to Dr. H at Cornell, and I received the new card. That's about all that's gone smoothly.

I wanted to pay the February premium and the UHC billing site was only listing January (as paid, so that's another thing done right). I called and they said they needed to get the premium amount from NYS, as it could change (great, it could increase?). January wore on, and still no option to pay. I called again, and they said it would be up soon. Late in the month, the billing finally was enabled, for the same amount. It didn't immediately show up as paid, but eventually did. They had never notified me of the premium due, so I guess I have to make sure I pay every month. There is an automatic payment option through your bank account, but I like to use my credit card with rewards (might as well get SOME benefit out of this), and that has to be done manually. You'd think they'd invoice or remind you.  What a system. (Who knows, maybe they do remind you if the premium hasn't been paid by a certain date, but I don't want to find out the hard way that they don't, and risk losing my coverage.)
UPDATE: I received the premium bill today, postmarked 1/29, which warned coverage would be terminated if not paid in full by the first of the month, with no re-enrollment possible until the next open enrollment period. Since it already is 2/1, they really don't seem to want people to be covered. I paid on 1/24, so now I have to call and make sure they recorded it (appears to be so online, but I'm not taking any chances).
FURTHER UPDATE: Premium was received.

Even though I emailed my new UHC insurance info through the Cornell group's web site and to Dr H's assistant personally, they still submitted the claim for my office visit to my former insurer, Oxford. It got rejected saying I was no longer covered. I also got a bill from New York Hospital for the same visit (facility charge, as opposed to professional?), saying it had also been rejected by Oxford as no longer covered. These charges come to over $500. I'm going to have to pay anyway since I have a high deductible, but I want it to count against that. It's also possible that the contracted HMO amount is different. I called the numbers on both bills and gave the info again, so they can resubmit to UHC.

I went online early this morning to check if UHC processed the claim, and found a rejected claim for a flu shot I had at Duane Reade in November, because it was before the effective date. Huh? Why are they submitting this now, and why are they using the new UHC info when I gave them my Oxford info at the time?  There was nothing about the flu shot on the Oxford site, or on OptumRx (not sure if the flu shot is considered a drug claim). How hard is it to keep the coverage dates straight? It claimed I owed $31.99. Not a lot, but do I really owe it?

OptumRx was the only place open to call in the wee hours, and they first claimed I needed precertification (weird, since I'd never needed this before with flu shots under Oxford), and said they were seeing an approx $15 charge instead of the $31.99 I saw online, so I'm  confused. They claimed they did have the correct coverage info. The guy referred me to another number at UHC, but I got bounced back to him when I tried it. He acted like he hadn't spoken to me 5 seconds before and sounded like he was reading a script. When he finished collecting my date of birth and such again, and went off script, he seemed to think it was a certification rather than a date issue. I'm not sure of anything anymore.

I called the Duane Reade pharmacy when they opened at 9, and they had my correct old and new insurance info, said they submitted the flu shot claim to Oxford in November, and had no indication that it had NOT been paid. I called back OptumRx, and a different rep said she could not pull up the claim since the flu shot was considered medical and not drug. I would have to call UHC. I don't know where the other guy got his info.

So I'll call UHC and possibly Oxford Monday, since they are closed for the weekend. Meanwhile, the resubmitted claim I was originally checking apparently hasn't been processed yet.

In other customer service hassles, I went online in September and renewed my New York Magazine subscription, 2 years for $74.97, to expire November 2015. I then got an offer in the mail for $30 less. I called and asked if that could still apply, and they said yes, and they would refund the $30. They did apply the refund to my credit card (so something was done right - don't want to be a total complainer), but the first issue reflecting the renewal had a 2/5/15 expiration on the mailing label. Then the issue 2 weeks later had 7/7/14! I emailed customer service and they replied that they would be changing it to 6/29/15. Yeesh, where were they getting these dates? I called and said it should be November, and they said they would fix it. The online customer service site then had a last issue number and not a date; I called and asked what that was, and it was 10/13/15. Getting closer! The mailing label still didn't reflect a change, so I called again (by now, it was the middle of December) and they said it will expire the end of 2015. My mailing label now says 12/22/15 (oops, that may be too many issues - or maybe they're rewarding me for all this hassle). The magazine goes to twice a month soon; I can't wait to see how they adjust the expiration date.

Similarly, I renewed with a professional organization for 3 years. It was set to expire February 2014, but after the renewal, the online site said the new expiration date was December 2014 instead of Feb. 2017. I emailed, and it then went to December 2016.  I wrote again, and now it's right. Come to think of it, there's another cultural organization that always gets my renewal dates wrong, and I end up emailing back and forth until it's correct. I'm not naming these entities since I enjoy the memberships, the people are nice, and these are relatively small hassles.

But it's getting so I have to assume all administrative things will be done wrong. 
Tags: health insurance

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