Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just One More Aspect of Chronic Illness

I purposely didn't post yesterday because I was in such a foul mood, and was afraid I would be posting way too many $%%$##@#! kind of words. So I refrained. : )

I have been going back and forth with the U of M over a bill for $20.86. From December 21 of last year. It would be SO much easier to just send them the stinkin' money and be done with it. But it's the principle of the thing! I can't take it. I can't just give in. Besides, if I did that every time it would add up!

So back and forth we go. They have the wrong secondary insurance. Medicare is my primary because I'm on disability. (Believe me, I'd MUCH rather be working!) and Priority is my secondary. They still have Blue Cross as my secondary; well, let me clarify. The U of M HOSPITAL billing has everything straight. The PHYSICIAN billing (which looks exactly the same bill-wise), still has is messed up. So I call Medicare (oh, what joy) and they say they need a letter from BSBC of termination of benefits so they can change it "in their system."

And HOW is this all my job? Aren't the insurance companies supposed to communicate? O, silly me...what was I thinking? That would require INTELLIGENCE and a little WORK. Heaven forbid.

So I do what they say, and it still is messed up. So I call Blue Cross again, and this time get someone who knows what they're doing {cue Hallelujah chorus} and tells me exactly what to say to Medicare to get it fixed. Because apparently at the U of M physician billing, Medicare is billed first and then sends it on to the secondary, which they still had as BCBS....just for U of M apparently.

Rabbit trail: Why the heck does everything have to billed separately anyway?? When I have plasmapheresis, a neurologist comes to my bedside (when I have the needles already in so I can't talk anyway), asks me 3 or 4 questions that take about 90 seconds, walks away, and charges $205.00. Yes, $205.00 for 90 seconds. No wonder insurance is such a nightmare!

Anyway. So I'm billed separately for their highway robbery visit. Nice.

Thankfully, the ladies at City Hall (my hubby works for the City) are willing to help me with this, because there comes a point where I'm just ready to lose it. So I e-mail the girls, and they e-mail back saying U of M is telling THEM I have a zero balance. {imagine me pulling my hair out running around the house screaming, which I can't do, but I would if I could}. So I call this morning, and I have a $20.86 balance. Someone just shoot me.

And we're supposed to have this "Employee Benefit Solutions" person to deal with all this, who has "been in this business for 20 years." However, I know more about his job than HE does! Needless to say, I don't bother with him.

NOW U of M says I need an "authorization of service" from my PCP. I'm like, you mean a referral? No. That would be too easy. "It's a little different. You need an authorization of service for that day." {more screaming and pulling of hair, maybe some poking of the eyes with sharp objects}.

So I call the PCP and they have NO IDEA what I'm talking about.

And of course, I have NOTHING better to do than spend what little energy I have dealing with all this bull$#!!.



Margaret said...

I hear ya. I hate dealing with insurance companys and drug companies. I spend more time being pissed of then I do getting anything done.

Joanna said...

Governemnt crap isn't much better. We're getting the run around to now we are being told Fred's unemployment claim was closed so we don't get our 2 weeks pay. Tell that to all my bills!

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Oh I do know the insurance nightmare, who is primary, etc. I think we all would rather work??

CoconutPalmDesigns said...


That scream was for you so you can save your energy! I hope it gets sorted out soon!

Cheers :-)
- CoconutPalmDesigns

Rachel said...

It's enough to make a person lose any bit of sanity they have left!!!

With all your expertise you should start your own medical coding and billing service. At least you would get paid for all your time and effort.

Patty Ann said...

Oh, I am so sorry!! I hate dealing with insurance stuff. they NEVER get it right and the bills just keep coming. I really hope you get it all worked out pretty soon. Just keep remembering that you are not traveling so far and this really will get fixed!

Kerri said...

Thanks everyone...I know we all have issues with this stuff...

Rachel...if I had the patience, I would!!! I know more about it than the people I deal with in the insurance industry!