Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I look like when I'm on hold with Anthem Blue Cross, part 45,234,965

Ya'll, the tentacles of the great and almighty Anthem Blue Cross are still wrapped around me. As some of you know, our relationship is rocky at best, a desolate wasteland, at worst. I have been trying to extricate Sophie from the grasp of the beast for nearly two months -- via telephone, regular mail and then certified mail. I resorted to calling that other beast -- The Bank -- to cancel automatic payments to Anthem. Still, the bills came and today's even had $50 of interest tacked on to the warning that coverage would be terminated after interest and premiums were paid.

What the hey?

The Anthem Computer Man led me through the labyrinthine halls and into a windowless room where I was told that my wait time would be twenty minutes and the sweet, sweet strains of Bach played. I started typing. An Anthem Human Man came on, lo and behold, after twelve minutes and spoke gently. I don't see any letter stating cancellation, he said. Of course you don't, I said good-humoredly. The Anthem Human Man made some gentle entreaty about HIPPO laws (and yes, I know they're not really hippo laws) and I explained that my daughter, the said Sophie, the MEMBER, was my severely disabled daughter and that I spoke for her as she couldn't speak. At all? the Anthem Man asked. That's right, I answered. You'll notice that all communication regarding her account has my name on it as well, I added.  He went to check the hippo pond, gentle strains of Bach came through the speaker, I tapped my red fingers, wondered how deep the mud was in the Anthem hippo pond and contemplated the universe.

The Anthem Computer Man is taking care of things right this very moment, as I type. Bach is still playing.

Thank you for your patience, he whispered in his reed-thin voice, and I slithered out from under his arm, the last sucker -- pop.


  1. In an amazing coincidence, I came across your blog post while on hold with Anthem BlueCross' cousin, Empire BlueCross, and unbelievably, a helpful person determined that my claim had not been paid because a treatment code had been changed, and rather than making me re-submit the claim, she OFFERED TO FIX IT FOR ME. I wish similar good luck for you...

  2. Have you seen this?

    CNN documentary on Charlotte's Web, medical marijuana treating seizure disorders


    1. Thanks, Kevin Jordan! I have seen that and am looking forward to Gupta's Part II which is going to air on March 11th. He is rockin' our cause!

  3. Good Lord, it's like being on the phone with Comcast, except with much more dire consequences. My heart goes out to you.

  4. OH, and do you know, at the bottom of your comment section is an advertisement (I kid you not) for Anthem Blue Cross of CA? "Simple. Easy Quote. Call or Apply Online. Just don't ever try to de-enroll. We gotcha by the short hairs." Okay, that last 2 liner is mine.

  5. Just makes you want to hit people over the head with a shovel. Isn't it illegal to keep charging people for something that they have quit?

  6. Makes ME want to punch them on your behalf. I wish you all the luck in the world. To you and your family.

    Greetings from London.

  7. I think the proper term for how this makes one feel is "stabby".

  8. I'm hoping against hope that this is truly the end of it all. I've been fighting with the new billing person at the chiropractor's office for months now about which insurance company she ought to be billing when (our coverage changed mid-year) and she keeps sending me bills with interest added because I haven't paid them (and neither has the insurance company) and not reflecting any payments I have already made. She is young and not-so-bright but oh-so-sweet and deferent and it makes me a little bit sad that today I shall march in there and have to lay it all out for her again in a very stern way. I do, however, count myself lucky to have physical access to her. Looking someone in the eye is satisfying even if they don't end up doing what you need them to do. Sigh.



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