This supplements my current vlog.
April 30, 2011:
A couple of months ago, my insurance company (Aetna) raised my rate $50. The initial notification letter offered a few alternative policies with lower premiums. As encouraged in this initial correspondance, I called Aetna for a new rate. An enthusiastic agent informed me that since the initial letter, the laws had improved the situation for California residents. He offered a brand-new policy with a $1000 higher deductible that would lower my premium over $100. When the statement came, however, it actually lowered it by only $3.
I complained to Aetna. I had, in effect, given Aetna a gift in the form of raising my deductible and switching my policy for an end result which was a net loss for the customer, and a net gain for Aetna. The monotone voice on the phone was perplexed at the rate I'd been offered initially. She offered no response or apology other than to offer another rate that will lower my rate $50.
The new policy offered, by the way, was the same policy in the initial letter that the first agent had dismissed as being no longer active or availabile.
Something is better than nothing, right? Well, today I got a letter from Aetna indicating that my brand-new rate, not yet applied, will be increased in July by almost $50, bringing my total savings after all this to $6.
Thank you to the health insurance industry and for the lack of effective political leadership (on both sides of the aisle, folks).
Oh, well. At least I still have insurance. For now.
May 6, 2011 Update:
My new rate was to be applied early yesterday morning to my checking account - I have an auto-pay arrangement with Aetna. Unfortunately there was a "glitch" (Aetna's words), and Aetna instead debited $7,051 from my checking account (no, I do not keep that kind of cash in that account - this debit caused my account to be vastly overdrawn). I discovered this debit at 5am - before customer service at either my bank or Aetna was available.
I had to spend nearly an hour and a half that morning, all told, on the phone with Aetna and my bank to correct and arrange for immediate credit back into my account - not to mention the following couple of hours monitoring my account to make certain that the credit was applied. All this while already at work.
I wonder how Aetna treats customers who are actually sick....