Lemonade Life

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How My Insurance Company is Finding New Reasons to Be Annoying

This post is not about rising insurance deductibles or never paying for more than one months supply of insulin or even refusing to subsidize the continuous glucose monitor.

Oh no. This is a far worse atrocity.

My insurance company (which has a remarkably similar name to Red Cross Red Shield) has created a new program to "help" people with diabetes.

It all started back in December 2005. I received a letter from my insurance company telling me that they have started a new program to help people with diabetes (like myself) to help "provide valuable tools to make the delivery of quality care easier." It's a free program, completely optional, and it supposed comes with a buttload of quality information.

Of course, I've already signed up for a retainer with Gary Scheiner, so I don't need any extra assistance. I promptly toss the letter in the recycling.

A few weeks later and I receive a call from one of these nurses. They leave a voice mail because I'm awful about hearing my phone when it's in my backpack. Upon listening to it, the registered nurse tells me that she's calling on behalf of the program and wants to ask me a few questions and see if I'm interested in the program.

I'm not, so I ignore the phone call.

A few days later, and she calls again. I miss the call. She calls again. I miss that one, too. She calls yet again. I see the number (the "415" is a dead giveaway now) and I just ignore it.

Finally, one day, I answer. The woman is very nice but obviously clueless. She asks me my age ("20"). She asks me which type of diabetes I have ("Type 1"). She asks me if I take insulin (::stifling laughter:: "Um, yes. I have Type 1 diabetes."). She asks me a few more questions like how often I test my blood sugar ("4-6 times a day") and if I see a doctor regularly ("Endocrinologist and diabetes educator". I'm not sure if I actually explained Gary's role, as his whole "unlimited access with questions" tends to baffle people. You mean you can just call or email him? Yep. Anytime? Uh huh.).

She then offers the Advicare program which I politely (albeit through clenched teeth) decline.

A sigh of relief. They're gone.

Fast forward to last week.

They're back. The "415" phone calls are back.

I have no idea if it's the same woman, because they all sound the same. It's someone from Advicare calling to check-in and they want to talk to me.

I don't need nor want to talk to them. They call during class, they call when I'm driving home, they call when I'm visiting with my friend from Georgia. They won't leave me alone.

"You wouldn't believe what they're saying," I tell Ashleigh. I listen to the most recent message and tell her what they've told me. "They want to see how I'm doing and if I'm 'feeling good'. The whole thing is ridiculous. She says she's just a registered nurse. I probably know more about diabetes than they do."

I don't want some strange registered nurse who doesn't know anything about me or my medical history making some kind of judgement on how I'm taking care of myself. Okay, I'm sure people who don't have regular access to an endocrinologist or diabetes educator might find this valuable, but I said no the first time. Why do you have to keep bothering me and calling me up?

Ashleigh laughs and says, "You should just say to them, "Don't you know who I am?"


At October 23, 2006 2:31 PM , Blogger Felix Kasza said...

I had the misfortune to pick up the phone when they rang me the first time. But in retrospect, it was all for the good -- asked whether I ever had an HbA1c test, I mentioned my last three results (4.6%, 5.1%, 4.9%). The nurse agreed that I probably do not need their "help".



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