Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pondering the Key to the Universe of Blue Shield

I had nothing to write about today -- or yesterday, for that matter -- until I went online to register my new membership in that most august health insurance entity Blue Shield. I found myself not in a dark wood but rather on a well-lit path with easy markers. I clicked here and traveled there and landed on my home page with the names of my three children below my own. I clicked on each child's name and was denied access. I was told to give my children's email addresses to the Great Oz so that said children could approve my access.

Apparently, the well-lit path led to a fortress.

What is this strange order? I thought and in lieu of giving out my children's emails to a Corporate Entity, I decided to call and speak to a Representative.

I made my way, again, through the labyrinth, this one accompanied by piano music and Hall and Oates. The Representative came on the line, and when I asked him why I had no access to my minor children's medical information, he told me they were obliged to protect everyone because of Hippo Laws. I know about the HIPPO laws, I told him, but I've never heard of asking for children's emails to get permission for their parents to access their medical records. This seemed to stump the Representative enough that he was exceptionally gracious when I asked him what to do, what to do about my Adult Child Who Doesn't Talk. I have appropriate conservator/guardianship papers, authorizing me to access all her information, I told The Representative. I really need to do that quickly as I have some work laid out by your august company to get Sophie's drugs pre-authorized since they are not on your formulary and your people need to know whether they are indeed medically necessary or just a little something that we're taking for the hell of it. (I actually didn't say that last part). The Representative said that he could help me out with that and then he sent over the internets an Important Form for me to fill out and then fax. I then asked him whether he could help me with the Pharmacy Task, and he said that he could not but that he could transfer me over to The Pharmacy Keeper. I clutched my key and went on hold. I stayed on hold, listened to the piano music and Hall and Oates, and then I was turned away, disconnected. Disconsolate.

I went to my email to download the Important Form that would Authorize My Representation of My Disabled Adult Daughter, and here's a screen shot of what The Representative sent me:

Help me, Rhonda.


  1. Elizabeth, it's all so absurd. How do you stand it? Dare I ask what happens next?

    1. I tend to tackle stuff like this only ONCE PER DAY, so I will lay it aside for now and try again tomorrow.

  2. Stay away from walls today lest you want to bang your head against one.

  3. Absurdities and horrors abound. Why do we put up with this shit? How have we gotten to this point? And what do people do who are not as well-educated or computer-literate as you? Is there an office you can physically go to?
    I am so sorry.

  4. Lord Save Us, Miss Davis, as Elizabeth My Mother would say. Fortitude! And Hugs. x0x0 N2

  5. I went thru the constant disconnects when applying for a new insurance plan. It was mind boggling. I imagine x100 tring to get into minor children's policies and Sophie's. The laugh comes to my head right now.

  6. I would lose my shit! I hope tomorrow is better.

  7. I feel 100% screamy and my 1989 flip phone is completely charged. Give me their numbers!

  8. Why do so many things have to be so difficult? Sorry that you had to deal with this kind of run-around in getting your insurance benefits. I have much better luck when I just start out by telephoning and asking for a representative. That saves me the frustration of dealing with their idea of easy online navigation of their system. It is easier for me to let them navigate the baloney on their on their online system, instead of me trying to navigate it on mine, being unsuccessful, and then having to telephone them anyway. That way I don't start the telephone conversation already frustrated and ready to cuss.

    Hopefully, when you try telephoning again, your representative will know what they are doing and how to help you. You are right to wait another day or so before tackling Them a second time. It will save a you a lot of cussing and stress in the long run.

    The Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield that I have often has a customer service survey taker call a week or so after our interaction and ask how the customer service was. You should be thinking of extra things to tell them just in case they call you with a survey after all of this.

  9. Oh, Lord. I admire the way you can turn this tedious bullshit into wry humor. Like Ms. Moon said, how do people who don't have your education or skills cope with this kind of thing? Seriously, it's horrifying to contemplate.

  10. Yeah, the whole idea of a national health plan seems so much more complicated than this, right? Disparate companies with representatives who don't understand their employers' policies, and consumers who have "!CHOICES!" which are so very important, and end up having to switch insurance companies nearly every year because GOD FORBID the policies and plans and companies stay the same year after year. Yup, no waste or ridiculousness or artificial barriers going on in this current "free-market" system. Having a National Healthcare Plan would be so much worse. Ugh.

    I guess at least the rep you spoke to was nice and was trying to be helpful.

  11. ps. Your glasses are outstanding!!! WOW!!!

  12. Kafka has nothing on this. So now you have to prove you're their mother and legal guardian? How many people are footing the premium for random neighborhood children? Am also wondering how many people give up their surly teen's email only to be disavowed. Not that yours would of course, but it has to happen occasionally, right?

  13. Those calls shave days/weeks off our life, unless you quickly recover by doing something, say, like getting a tattoo.



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