I wanted to update y’all on how one person has made a tremendous difference throughout this whole fiasco: the CEO of HSA Insurance himself, Jeff Rich.
Less than 12 hours after emailing my letter to the executive leadership of HSA, I received a phone call from Jeff himself, from his personal cell phone. He was apologetic and just as disturbed as I was at the complete communication breakdown and lack of customer service from his own employees. He stressed that as a professional working in the insurance field for as long as he has, the whole point of his company working with small businesses like me is to take the hassle out of insurance – not to add to it.
He assured me on Saturday that he had a team of people working on my enrollment, both at HSA (my insurance broker) and NHP (our new insurance carrier); I received email updates from him personally at several points over the weekend. At one point, Jeff even offered to reimburse us by couriered check if we had to pay out of pocket for Judah’s shot on Monday.
Come Monday morning, just before Judah’s appointment, I got a call from a high-level customer service associate at NHP to get the prior authorization ball rolling for Judah’s Synagis shot. Judah did indeed get his shot (two, actually, because it’s a large dose, so one in each thigh) and we didn’t have to pay for anything. We’re now in the prior auth holding pattern; I don’t know yet if Monday’s shot or the next two he needs will be covered.
I have been genuinely, deeply thankful for the personal investment, care and compassion shown to me by Jeff. I can tell he cares about his company and his customers, and what happened to me strayed very, very far from the stellar customer service he strives for at HSA. He means to do right, to make sure that yes, I do feel like a valued customer and that yes – people need to do their jobs.
I remain a client of HSA and to be honest, it’s largely due to Jeff’s incredible response as CEO.
As of this morning, I will be working with a different broker at HSA.
I got a lot of interesting responses to my previous post. I won’t lie: I was a little shocked at the people who came to the defense of a woman who didn’t do her job. What was more shocking were the people who stated that this rigamarole that I went through is simply the nature of the beast and I was simply throwing an “online temper tantrum” when I didn’t get my way.
Yeah, let’s dive into that, shall we?
Comment: I bullied a woman for no reason.
Actually: No, I called her out – repeatedly – on the specific points of her job that I pay this company to do that she failed to do, such as: confirm receipt of materials, let me know if there were issues with my materials (there were), respond to any of my voicemails or emails over a 3-week period, get me my son’s ID number, take less than 3 weeks to open an email attachment to realize there was an issue with the attachment in the first place. That’s why I included a PDF of all of our email correspondence – to show exactly where and how she failed to follow up.
Comment: I threw an “online temper tantrum.”
Actually: No, I complained to the highest levels of customer service I could go, because the person who was supposed to do her job didn’t and whose supervisor made great promises that ultimately failed to come to fruition – and then stopped communicating with me. I made dozens of calls, left multiple voicemails, and sent plenty of emails that all went unreturned and unacknowledged. After a certain point, I need to speak to SOMEONE to know what’s going on, and the front-line customer service reps don’t have detailed information about my client file. I outlined a point by point chronology where things went wrong, how customer service was shockingly absent, and how I felt completely abandoned as a customer.
Comment: Processing insurance enrollments is complicated.
Actually: No, it isn’t. It’s a lot of redundant data entry. And, to make this even more ridiculous… her job is to review my materials and sent them over to underwriting. Underwriting is in the same building. She has to print out my packet and walk it down the hall. And yet, it took her 21 days to even open my email attachment. How do I know? Because there was something wrong with the attachment, and I had to fill out my enrollment packet again and resend it to her. Once it goes through underwriting, it gets sent out to NHP. They verify info and then enter my data. It’s a lot of paper pushing and there’s no reason it should take three weeks to happen, even after I was told it was being “rushed.”
Comment: This is just how health insurance “is.” Deal with it.
Actually, that’s just horse shit. And just because that’s how it is doesn’t mean that it can’t change.
I mean, let’s think about that for a sec and bring it closer to home: that’s just how infertility “is.” Deal with it.
Think about it this way: if you called your doctor up and said, “Doctor, I’ve got a fever of 103. I need your help” and your doctor replied, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to see you for 4-6 weeks” or worse, if your doctor wouldn’t return your call, answer your email? How would you feel? What would you do?
If we wouldn’t accept this kind of treatment from a doctor, why is it okay to accept that from our health insurance companies?
And for those of you still in the process of building your families, think about my scenario if I swapped places with Judah – and the shots that were needed were things like Follistim, Lupron and Ovidrel? What if that date by which I absolutely needed insurance ID numbers was the day of a retrieval or transfer?
Tell me… would you just “deal with it” in that case?
So why the fuck should I, especially when it comes to someone in my family?
Why the fuck should any of us have to deal with this kind of healthcare bullshit?
Answer: we shouldn’t.
So that’s why I posted my letter here. Not because I wanted to bully someone. Not because I needed to throw a temper tantrum. I posted it so that anyone who reads this blog understands that yes: you can stand up for your health, or the health of those from who you may be a caregiver.
Because health is a basic human right, people.
So I’ll fight for my health. I’ll fight for my family’s health.
And G-d help anyone who gets in my way.
Stop and ask yourself: what do you fight for?