Friday, July 21, 2006

The proverbial straw

Yesterday that final piece of insurance chaf wafted down from the cruel heavens, pushed me off balance and sent me stumbling down the cliffs of insanity ("Princess Bride" reference). Without dwelling on details here is the condensed version...

Over the course of 6 frustrating months I've spent countless hours on the phone with government agencies, insurance companies, drug manufacturers, doctors' offices, M.S. organizations and assorted others. The goal of these fruitless, circular exercises being obtaining medical insurance and prescription coverage for my husband and myself. The good folks at Verizon Benefits (former employer of husband) refused to send COBRA paperwork until their legal deadline obligation on June 18. All other insurance options failed so this Monday I mailed Verizon a check for $1,935. to cover medical coverage for B & I for part of June, July and August. I enrolled us via the telephone, contacted our former HMO and ordered my medications. Months of research were at an end. We had insurance. All was well.

Yesterday the HMO called to say that Verizon had no record of our COBRA account (I provided the given account number) and that I'd have to pay the $1,475 up front for my shots. After calling back Verizon they informed me that it could be several weeks before they sent confirmation paperwork to me... and they were unable/unwilling to fax anything to the HMO.

Call it tenacity, stubborness or bitchiness, I don't care. The next set of phone calls was to a prescription assistance organization (I'd already registered with them, but my application is still weeks from being processed). Because I enrolled in COBRA my paperwork/application isn't valid with their office and needs to be sent elsewhere. From there I called the M.S. Society... worthless. Next call was to the drug manufacturer. Heck, at this point I was up for expired meds at a discount. I know that prisoners receive meds so holding up a convenience store was starting to sound like a plan.

I tried one more call to a support group for the meds. While retelling this story for the eleventy-billionth time I snapped. All went dark around me, my face burned, my chest began to tighten. I don't know if I screamed or not, but hysterical sobbing ensued and the poor lady at the receiving end of the phone call was at a loss.

B woke up (he sleeps days because he works graveyards at a temp job) and stumbled into the kitchen. The lady placed me on hold and I continued to alternate between ranting and crying.

Several minutes later the nice lady actually came back. She is helping me by locating and having 15 days worth of shots Fed-Exed out on Monday! I'm flabbergasted. This should be enough to get me by until Verizon gets their paperwork out! So, now I'm embarrassed about my behavior and grateful for the kindness and patience of a nice stranger who didn't hang up on me. If I ever win the lottery, find gold in my yard, etc. I will repay this company for the shots and do something really, really nice for the lady. I don't know if she was supposed to do this so I'm not mentioning her name here.

Knitting time was scarce yesterday, but I did manage to cast on a second sock. I'd post a picture, but for some reason they aren't loading. Much redemption is in order following the boo boo pictures divulged in the last post. Heck, the fear of bad knitting juju may have chased away any readers. Cricket, cricket, cricket... hello, is anybody still there?

I hope that Cindy, Jessalu, Dipsy and everybody else plagued by dangerously hot temperatures stays safe and cool. Cheers!


Anonymous Jess said...

I'm so glad you got some meds!

My insurance won't cover the anti-depressant that works best for me so I can relate (okay so Wellbutrin isn't anywhere near as important as MS meds but still...frustrating).

I haven't been around for a couple of days because my HD took a crap. Again. 2nd hard drive in as many years. Yippee.

Oh and it did cool off here considerably, but now it's all humid again. You should SEE my hair - I have a very impressive frizzball look going on ;o)

11:09 AM  
Blogger trek said...

Great to hear that things aren't quite as dismal today as they were yesterday!

In cases of extreme frustration, tears DO help. JMHO.

11:31 AM  
Blogger sopranospinner said...

What a terrible experience, and you even had to have a nervous breakdown! I've done the same, not about something quite so important, but I do sympathize. Sometimes the kindness of strangers is absolutely awesome, though! Thank goodness! Makes me want to make sure I've done something nice for someone today, really.

Please don't worry about bad knitting juju, we're all responsible for our own!

Hope today is going better!

12:18 PM  
Blogger Cindy said...

Oh Heide! I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I do sometimes think that it's only when we lose it that we'll get any response. I'm just grateful you got help. The heat is supposed to let up tonight. We had a bad storm on Wednesday night and have been in and out of power since. Still 1/2 million without power here. Yesterday it was 103. End of whine. Don't worry about bad knitting juju. You have had too many successes in the meantime and inbetweentime.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Terby said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through all that - and glad it worked out in the end. There's something really wrong with the system, and I wish I knew how to help fix it. I hope your knitting juju gets better asap! I'm still waiting for some time to myself to play. Maybe this weekend...

8:18 PM  
Blogger ferg said...

What really shits me is that I can't do anything to help except say...I've never met you but I hope to one day soon because you are a wonderful person.
Love for now Gillian

4:40 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

You know, I can never understand why insurance has to be so difficult. I think their aim in life is to drive us nuts. I'm diabetic - one insurance I had would cover the insulin but not the syringes you need to get the insulin INTO YOUR BODY!!!! What the hell????

5:52 AM  

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