doing battle with your health insurance provider

We have the best healthcare in the world here in the United States… if you’re training to be a ninja and need to practice your ultimate fighting techinique.

Angry Old Broad is doing battle with the goons at her insurance company. She mentioned it on the Alternate Brain today:

I hate insurance companies.While I’m dealing with a traumatized kid(it took me almost an hour yesterday to get him to stop crying hysterically before I could even take him home from school.And even then,there were several more times yesterday where the poor little guy just fell all to pieces)I should NOT have to contend with all this insurance bullshit.WTF are we paying all these premiums for if the insurance company makes thngs more difficult than they should ever be?This is yet another example as to why we need a national,SIMPLE healthcare plan.Seems to me that it really shouldn’t matter what doctor or dentist one goes to,just that you go to someone who is qualified and does a good job.

I responded in the comments:

you have my deepest sympathy. The missus and I have been battling the insurance company (who get about $14k a year from me and my employer) to get my torn rotator cuff fixed. Still not sleeping very well at night because of the pain.

Here are some things we have learned when dealing with insurance companies:

1. Document EVERY call. Date, time, who you’re speaking with, EVERYTHING that you discuss.

2. Make an org chart if you can. When someone says “I am going to transfer you to my boss,” then draw a little box around their name on the chart, draw a line up, and write their boss’ name down in a new box. It took Mrs. Dog about a week to figure out who worked for whom and what their hours were(!) at our insurance company. Now when someone says “Well, I don’t know if you’re covered for that,” Mrs. Dog shoots back, “Well, your boss, Janet Smith, said we were last week at 9:25 am on Tuesday April 18th.” You’d be amazed what happens when you do this.

3. Every state has an insurance commission, I think. Here is a link to the various state insurance commissions. These are the people whose job it is to provide oversight of the insurance companies operating in your state. If you have a complaint, you can go to them and get a case manager. It’s nice to be able to say “I wonder how [your insurance commissioner]’s office would rate the service you’re giving me” to someone at your insurance company.

4. Finally, hang in there. They make plenty of money. Your new job is to make sure they cover you and pay you some of it back. It’s a war, but it’s winnable.

Anyone who has more tips, please email me since at some point, everyone gets sick. We need to make a bible for battling the insurance companies. Oh… maybe a Wiki….


  1. State insurance might not help if you’re a public employee. I know for a fact they don’t for federal employees. There usually will be specialized regulations details how and where to appeal. They’re pretty finicky about adherence to The Rules as well.

  2. Here’s a tip:

    Today is FREE ICE CREAM DAY at Ben & Jerry’s from Noon-8pm. You can go as many times as you want, and the line moves fast since nobody is paying. The B&J is across from Starbucks, and to the left of the Grill.


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