Tuesday, July 01, 2003

insurance hoo haa {aka how do these companies survive?}

Some time last week: This is my health insurance company again. I moved and so I indicated my new address as they indicated, neatly, in the boxes provided at the reverse side of the mail-in envelope. Of course, I was stupid enough to believe that this simple scheme would even work. They sent the next premium payment notice to my old address. So I had to call them up and talk to a Customer Service[sic] rep who asked me if I wanted to change my billing address or my permanent address. When I asked her what the difference was, she ignored the question and asked me for my new address. Having learned lessons from previous experiences, I spelt out every word and pause for her to make sure she got it right. I also indicated that I would like to receive the reprint of the premium payment notice at my work address (which, again, I provided with meticulous attention to detail). I just received the premium payment notice yesterday -- at my residential address. Wonderful isn't it?

It is probably apt to mention how this health insurance company exemplifies the catch 22 dilemma. Their website (which runs on a Windows NT4/98 system) allows me to specify/create an online profile for myself (which will, hopefully, allow me to change my address and be confident that it would be changed in their system). There are two catches: (1) it requires my zipcode. Since these people never updated my address on file, I would have needed to use the old zipcode. Why is this a problem? Well (2) they mail me my password and login information to my address on file. Morons.

Since the system should have my correct zipcode now, I went ahead and attempted to create an online profile and get them to mail me the information. Now, at the very end of the procedure, I get a page that says there was an error creating my profile and that I should call customer service. Experiences like this are enough to make you hate humanity.

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