Thursday, April 19, 2007

Aetna's Lack of Customer Service

I am beginning to think that Aetna is deliberately avoiding me.

I was on COBRA for 18 months through my former employer. COBRA allows anyone who was on an employer's healthplan continue their coverage under that plan for another 18 months. Although you have to pay for it yourself, it's a wonderful option to have when you're starting your own business.

When COBRA runs out, you have two choices: Apply for a conversion plan (which is expensive but the chances are supposedly excellent) and an individual one (cheaper, but they judge you more strictly). I decided to apply for BOTH, reasoning that if I didn't get the individual plan, I would at least get the conversion plan.

When I called Aetna and asked to be sent paperwork for the conversion plan, it was near the beginning of March so that I could continue to have health insurance coverage, uninterrupted, when my Cobra expired at the end of March.

However, I never received a packet. A couple of weeks later, I called again and complained, and was told ANOTHER packet would be sent out. I received it, filled out the information, and mailed it back again.

A couple weeks after that, I received notice that I was denied the individual plan, which I had applied for through an agent. However, I heard nothing about the conversion plan, so I called. Aetna had no idea what I was talking about - they claim they never received it!!!

Since I didn't keep a copy of the conversion application (but had a copy of the application for the individual plan), they are sending the conversion paperwork to me AGAIN! They said they weren't "sure" if the information needed for both packets was the same. I asked if they could simply check and see, but no: It was against procedure.

I am now in the middle of April, sweating bullets, hoping that I'll get it soon, but it was supposed to arrive early this week and now it's THURSDAY!

Will I get it at all? Is Aetna interested in me whatsoever? And if I DO get it and send it out immediately, what then? Will they let even MORE time lapse until I'm officially uninsured?!

I suspect that this is their standard policy for people that they don't wish to deal with, since I have health problems. Probably most people get discouraged and leave. I'm the one annoying beggar that keeps knocking at the door.


A special thank-you to
Billy at "Critique My Blog", who recently wrote:

When given saur grapes...make wine. goes something like that...thank God this blog is a premium vintage with some of the wittiest and thought provoking writing I've come across in a while. You will find some very strong opinion here...especially about blogs in her post, Boring Blogs, where you will quickly find that this blogger knows what she does and doesn't like. I liked the style of this blogger...the stories are interesting and some have a hint of sarcasm, which I like. It is set up with no flashy widgets to take away from content and the blog is bursting with material. Nice job and you've gained a repeat visitor.


Hans said...

Saur- After 7 layers of automated operator where you had to enter your social security number 3 times, you city of birth, your maternal grandmother's maiden name, you favorite color and the square root of pi did finally get to talk to Vinjay Desai (who goes by Steve)? Who than asked you for your social security number and promptly disconnected you.

I'm a live and let live kind of guy, but if I ever find the guy behind the automated operator he's dead, his family dead, his house burned to the ground.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Hans, :D It sounds as if you are living my life right now.

Victoria said...

That is terrifying-- I'm sorry. Congratulations on being persistent... I find that more often works than doesn't.
Great review though! I know that's why I keep coming back.

Hans said...

Saur- I had forgotten my password for accessing Aetna's website.

Ba Doozie said...

I've spent much of my life with no insurance, and it's not looking like it will change any time soon. I'll just pretend I have no problems and hope for the best

QUASAR9 said...

"I suspect that this is their standard policy for people that they don't wish to deal with, since I have health problems. Probably most people get discouraged and leave. I'm the one annoying beggar that keeps knocking at the door."

Alas, the pitfalls of market driven health insurance.

There is no better way of providing health insurance and health care than National Insurance Contributions - where people pay according to income -
and receive treatment FREE at point of delivery according to need.

The only way private health insurance, and private hospitals can offer better health care is by providing those who can pay or have adequate private insurance subsidise by employers better treatment - and trying to avoid having to treat others

Even finding loopholes to cancel your insurance - if not simply refusing to renew your insurance outright.

I should have little sympathy really for those who advocate privatising the NHS in Britain.
With DNA profiling some people may never be able to get health insurance or have to pay extortionate premiums (regardless of their income) -

Treating the sick is a growing business, being sick is becoming an increasingly more costly and unaffordable luxury.

Ironically the very people who profit most from sickness and disease - often just want the profits - the patient is something they could do without - some even openly think that certain medical conditions are something to be eradicated - by using the favoured nazi method

Matt said...

Another blogger review site? Groan.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Health insurance companies are out for a profit. That is it. All they want is a profit.

So if they think you are going to cost them money - good luck there! They will not want anything to do with you.

Keep bugging them.

R2K said...

OMG I just joined Aetna for health and dental...

The Lazy Iguana said...

Have you seen my Wednesday and Thursday posts?

Senor Caiman said...


A close relative of mine is in charge of a large health care provider. Guess who is processing all those forms. It's sweet thang. Need I say more? When you have government contracts you're forced to hire people that don't work.

Excellent post.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

That 'Critique My Blog' site is bollocks, it's link whoring gone mad, have you read the review of a mortage spam blog?

Jesus wept.