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...............