"Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line until your call is irrelevant to anyone."
I am sure you all know the frustration of trying to work with 800 numbers when calling about a myriad of things. It seems like no matter what the situation any more you have to dial the standard "1-800-iam-nuts" number and deal with being sent from person to person. That is if you ever reach a real person.
The farmer and I are lucky enough to both work for employers that provide full family health insurance coverage. This includes prescriptions as well. Because our pharmacy will only bill the primary insurance I save our receipts and bill the secondary myself. I really don't mind doing this because we only average a couple of prescriptions every other month or so. I usually wait until I have a stack and then send them out all at once.
The beginning of the year is when we have to pay our pharmacy deductibles so it usually the biggest out of pocket expense for the year. I sent off our January receipts the first part of February for reimbursement of our co-pay. Yesterday I received a letter with a copy of the receipt and pharmacy explanation of benefits (EOB). The explanation of benefits was circled in red and the letter stated that it was not clear how much was paid by our primary insurance and they needed that explanation of benefits in order to process this.
After looking closely at it I saw that it was no different than any other EOB our pharmacy provided and everything was there including the amount charged and the amount paid out of pocket. After calling the 1800 number for the person writing the letter, being forwarded through many menus and put on hold, I finally reach a nice young man who did not understand a thing I was telling him. I began to question my ability to speak in English. Perhaps I sounded like Woodstock from the cartoon Peanuts. He finally told me he would contact the person who had written the letter and find out the situation.
In the mean time I was told to call the primary insurance and the pharmacy and talk with them. After talking with the primary they said I would have to have the pharmacy print out a EOB but that they had paid a small portion and the rest went towards our deductible. OK, I knew that. I next paid a visit to our pharmacy and after waiting in line for twenty minutes was able to talk with the clerk. She looked over the letter and the copy of the receipts and told me that what I was holding in my hot little hand WAS the EOB and that would be all they could print out for me. Gah!
This morning I call the secondary insurance again but am informed that I can't talk with the woman who wrote the letter because she in on a phone line that can't be recorded. Apparently they need to record every conversation. So I have to rely on the person answering the phone to email her and wait for her response and then call me back and on and on. I am so frustrated with this system it is making me crazy (not that is far to go). At this point I don't really know any more than when this process began.
I can only imagine what elderly people go through. This system is so messed up. Something needs to change.