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Rastagirl
04-10-2009, 10:52 PM
I thought I'd share a little saga in my life that has gone on now for about 13 years.

It involves an Insurance Company, that shall remain nameless, that has caused me misery, off and on, for almost 13 years now.

Thirteen years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was working full time. I had great benefits and had purchased short term and long term disability through my employer. In the first 2 months of the pregnancy I was having a really rough time and having severe morning sickness. It got so bad that I finally couldn't even keep my head off my desk at work, or function at all. I was losing weight very rapidly. So my high-risk OB sent me home and put me on disability. We then spent the next few months battling with my disability insurance company, who tried to claim 'pre-existing condition' because of my Lupus. My OB went to bat for me and wrote them letter after letter explaining that I couldn't work because of the pregnancy...not the Lupus. They tried every single argument they could find, but my doctor kept explaining to them that they were wrong. She ended up writing 15 letters on my behalf over a 4 month period.

While I battled with them, I used up all my sick leave and personal time and finally stopped getting a paycheck. So as our money ran out, I got sicker and sicker and the stress nearly killed me. They made the entire pregnancy miserable and added so much extra stress. While we went through 3 appeals and they drug everything out, my husband and I had our car reposessed, defaulted on a credit card and line of credit...so basically our credit was ruined.

My daughter was born 6 weeks early and spent 21 days in the NICU and I spent 3 days in ICU after she was born. While I was still in the hospital, they finally approved my claim....my husband brought the letter to the hospital to try to bring my spirits up. After I got home, it still took them 4 more weeks to actually pay me. We had to be sent home from Doernbecher with a box of preemie baby clothes, diapers, bottles, formula, everything, because we had no money at that point. Thank God for the caring people at Doernbecher. When my check finally arrived, this company had the gall to send along with it, a $30 gift certificate to a local restaurant, as a way of apologizing for what they had put me through. I was so pissed off at them after all this, that I ripped up the certificate, wrote them a really nasty, carefully worded letter and mailed it all back to them. I basically told them where they could put their gift certificate.

So, trying to make a long story short here, the company, through a snafu on their part, way overpaid me, but didn't tell me for about 2 years, long after the money had been used to pay off all my bad debts they had caused. So they demanded that the money be paid back. And it was over $20,000. At first, they tried to work with us, and allowed payments. Then gradually they kept making us pay larger amounts until we simply couldn't afford it anymore. Then, without warning, they sent it all to a collection agency and things got really miserable after that. They made our life hell! Because my credit was already such a mess, we ignored it and let it stay on my record. Over the years, it went from collection agency to collection agency.

Last month, my husband and I did a refinance for a lower interest rate and the debt came up on my record, so we borrowed the money and finally paid them off in full. The Title Company sent the payment directly to the collection agency. End of story. Or so we thought.

Yesterday, I open my mailbox and there's an envelope from the Insurance Company. At first, I thought it was going to be a final payoff letter, showing my debt paid. Not quite. The statement showed that they had received my payment, but it noted that I had underpaid them by 31 cents. They actually sent me a bill for 31 cents! I couldn't believe it. After all this time, and all the hell they put me through, they wanted a ridiculous 31 cents more.

I fumed around for awhile, called my husband at work, told him about it and said I wasn't paying it. Then I decided I would.

So today I filled an envelope with 31 pennies...and wrote them another carefully worded letter about what I think of insurance companies and the way they do business.

Thanks for letting me vent, guys. I've held all of this in for such a long time and really just needed to unload it and let it go. Sorry for sharing such a long and boring story.

And, by the way, just a warning: you should probably never, ever get me started about how much I truly HATE insurance companies.

Thanks for listening...............

Lori :cool2:

sick n tired
04-11-2009, 02:05 AM
Oh my goodness...I don't think I would have paid the money back in the first place...filed for chapter 11 and let them stew...insurance companies are crap

mountaindreamer
04-11-2009, 05:32 AM
morning lori,

what a horrible nightmare, and it has lasted 13 years. i hope you sent the 31 pennies with "postage due".

you have endured all of their abuse, overcome the financial devastation, raised your daughter while in financial ruin, and now they want 31 cents.

you are so much better that some insurance company, I wonder how they can put their heads on their pillow and sleep at night.

Grime
04-11-2009, 06:23 AM
I wonder how they can put their heads on their pillow and sleep at night.

They don't worry about sleeping at night because you are just a number. I would have filed for bankruptcy and let them eat it.

Lori I'm sorry to hear that you went through this.

DrinkofWtr
04-11-2009, 09:46 AM
Dear Rastagirl:

Your insurance company nightmare was probably with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for I had a nightmare with them when my daughter was born prematurely. First off, they tried to say I had not paid by premium on time and wouldn't pay my baby's hospital and/or Dr. bills which were over $20,000 at the time. This was way back in 1980.

Well, I had one up on them because I knew I was going to have a high risk pregnancy and I had sought the advice of an attorney before she was born. He told me to physically deliver the insurance payment to the agent and get a written receipt, which I did. Low and behold, when she was born they tried to say I had not paid the premium and refused to pay her bills.

After going through the appeal process and all, they were forced to pay the entire hospital and Dr. bill for the birth of my baby. After that, I noticed they refused to insure expectant mother's babies, who tried to obtain insurance after they found out they were pregnant.

Insurance companies try to find every reason whatsoever not to pay claims. They are in the business to make money. They want to collect all the premiums they can, but they don't want to pay out and find every legitimate or
illegitimate reason not to pay.

lucky7
04-11-2009, 02:26 PM
AWWWWW, Lori i am so sorry for what you had to deal with foir so long! Insurance companies can kiss my ***!!!!!!!:moon: cARL AND I HAVE HAD OUR PROBLEMS TOO BUT NOT TO THAT EXTENT, i wish you would have filed for an 11 and let them just get what they deserved. Its over now and you cant, so i think its pretty darn funny about the pennies! You go girl!!!:653:

Rastagirl
04-11-2009, 03:52 PM
Thanks, to each of you for listening and encouraging me....

We've actually given the Chapter 11 thing some good long thought, a few times, over my long history with the all the debt and astronomical medical bills, but my husband and I just never wanted to do that....we always tried so hard to do the right thing and pay our bills...after all, they were our bills that we incurred (I'm talking credit cards or lines of credit).

And the debt with the disability insurance company...we had a hard time with the injustice of having to pay for their mistake, and we tried to fight things, but they had some pretty nasty attorneys threatening us, and we were also fighting with attorneys from my credit union at that same time that went after us for the loan from the reposessed car and the line of credit we had through them. (Man, don't get me started on attorneys either) I just didn't have the energy to go through a Chapter 11. I was emotionally beat to hell.

Anyway, we did the right thing cuz my husband and I are good, honest people, and we were working towards trying to eventually buy a house of our own one day, so we avoided the Chapter 11 thing at all costs. Believe me, we really, really wanted to just walk away from it all. I can't tell you how bad we wanted to do that. But I'm very happy to say that my husband and I saved our pennies (the ones they didn't get) for a down payment, and about 6 years ago, we found a mortgage company that treated us with kindness and respect and listened to our story, and they gave us a loan to buy our first home. Something I thought was never going to happen with all my medical debt. And I will never forget the day we finished signing all the papers at the Title Company and they handed us the keys to our very own home. I cried! And I cried when we walked in the door to our house and I realized that I had beat them all. All the bad guys that work at insurance companies and collection agencies. I finally had a place to put down roots, and feel some security, and raise my children....a place where my children could stay in the same schools, with the same friends, all the way through high school. A place where I had my own yard and I could plant my own flowers and have a dog. And nobody could ever treat me like a renter again.

Those are the things that I value and hold dear when I remember what I've been through with this nasty insurance company. I truly feel like I beat them at their cruel game. Because I did the right thing and they did not. And I sleep quite well at night knowing that.

And lastly, Drink....it wasn't Blue Cross. BCBSO has been my medical insurance company for 27 years, all through my Lupus, and although they collect their hefty premiums from me, they have always paid all my claims and I feel very fortunate they have always treated me well....even when they've paid out almost $250,000 on me.

Thanks again, guys, for lending me an ear and making me feel good. Knew I could count on you. :hug:

Fondly,

Lori :heart:

Angel Oliver
04-11-2009, 05:40 PM
Oh Lori,

How very stressful for you Just remember 'what goes round comes round'.Good on ya for putting all those pennies in an envelope.Best i think that you did pay it, even though it was such a small amount, cause knowing them they would have put interest on it if you didnt pay it. Stuff em Lori.....its over with now, thankfully.

I remember some insurance company in the uk, carnt remember the name just now, but he went bankrupt.So he texted all his staff and sacked them all by text. They took him to court because he was a billionaire.He was killed in car crash a couple of years later. The news had his old staff on the tv and you can imagine what they said about him. Money can make people very greedy and very uncaring.

Sorry you had such a bad experience. Have you got a new company now and are they nicer?

Love
Angel.xxx

Rastagirl
04-11-2009, 06:22 PM
Yes, Angel...

My new long term disability company is the U.S. Federal Government....I get monthly Social Security Disability benefits.

They've got a messed up system too, unfortunately, and they put quite a few people that are truly disabled and trying to get the benefits owed them through hell. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that got approved with a Lupus diagnosis and double hip replacements.

Thankfully, they don't give me any grief...just deposit my money into my account. It's not a lot, but with my husband's income, makes it so I don't have to worry about working.

And Angel...you're right, that's why I paid them the 31 cents, because I knew if I didn't, they'd do just that....keep a record of it and add interest and keep sending me bills. I just wanted to be done with them forever.

I'm a firm believer in 'What comes around, goes around' in life. And I always try to do what's right...and pay it forward.

Hugs,

Lori :147:

lucky7
04-11-2009, 07:14 PM
Yes you did beat them at their cruel game Lori. Good for you, it was tough but look where you came out in the end. Im happy for you, and no they didnt get every penny of yours, just a feW!!! LOL:laugh:

mountaindreamer
04-12-2009, 04:53 PM
Hi Lori,

I hope you had a wonderful Easter in your very own home, with the flowers that you planted in the yard that you own, with the family that you love and who love you.

You and your husband have faced some giant obstacles, you took them on while maintaining your own integrity, and now you have moved on with your heads held high.

congratulations, i am proud to be your friend.

Rastagirl
04-12-2009, 05:35 PM
Thank you, very, very much...Phyllis. Your words brought tears to my eyes. I am so thankful for everything I am blessed with. I never take it for granted one single day of my life.

In my humble opinion, when you have struggled through the muck and the mire in life...and fought hard to stay strong and not give up when you really wanted to...when you have hit bottom, hard....and lived another day to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on...then, and only then, can you face life with the reality of what's truly important and what you want your life to stand for. I made a choice that mine will stand for Faith, Love, Family, Integrity, Kindness, Compassion, Empathy, Joy, Sharing, and Friendship. And I have discovered with all of those comes true happiness. At least for me.

I pray that others will find their happiness as well.

I, too, am very proud to call you my friend, Phyllis.

Fondly,

Lori :heart:

mountaindreamer
04-12-2009, 06:03 PM
Beautiful words from a beautiful woman.