Woman got 500 letters from healthcare company in 5 days [VIDEO]

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/25/woman-got-500-letters-from-hea.html

‘I thought it was a joke’


They’re just trying to help Maine’s dying paper industry.


More proof that health insurance is best left in the hands of for-profit companies rather than bad ol’ government, right “free” market fundies?


See, this just proves once again that the free market is simply more efficient than letting the government run things. Just look at the American efficiency of that billing department- they’re so on top of things that they’re billing for procedures that weren’t even performed.

Now contrast this with the socialist hellhole that is the UK’s NHS- they’re performing so badly that the customers there don’t even get bills at all.


I had the same thing happen in the exact same situation with the same insurance company. But I only got about 200 letters.


What was the deal? Did they have an explanation? A resolution? Inquiring minds want to know!


I love the fact that – assuming they pay standard postage rates, and they were all relating to the same $54 claim (excluding the ones for the $0 claim) – they spent 4.6 times the amount they were denying to get the letters to her.

I’m lucky I’m not that efficient.


My mom had something similar happen after the death of my father, something like 300 letters over the course of two weeks.

Still unresolved.


I had a paperless version of this happen to me; that’s how I found out that someone had stolen a provider’s identity (along with a bunch of other sensitive information) and had been filing a massive amount of fraudulent claims against my insurance company.


I’m going to go with “computer glitch.” Some software error that spit out a denial of claim letter because of some rare (looping) interaction of unrelated internal bookkeeping processes that was going on, that it mistakenly interpreted as requiring a letter each time it happened.

I suspect that the humans at the company don’t know why it’s happening and can’t find out - some programmer (or team thereof) is required to plumb the guts of the system to solve the mystery, but they probably won’t bother because it’s rare enough that it’s cheaper to just send out the hundreds (or thousands) of unnecessary letters each year.

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No explanation other than the letter refusing to pay the amount. My son was in post secondary education at the time and they were trying to bill hours for something to our insurance. It was literally 200+ different claims. I just ignored them.

Just wait until the bills for postage start arriving… one at a time.

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On the bright side, it could have been 500 robo calls.

Harry Potter LARPing gone wrong?

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This shit happens. Has nothing to do with our healthcare system. Has more to do with the issues with system implementations and testing. What is the point of this article again?

Even if they look right, I never pay medical bills right away.

Sometines when an HCP doesn’t recieve immediate payment they take another pass at the insurance company and the amount I owe goes down. Doesn’t seem to happen often but after seeing it once it is my default.

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Well, it does, in the sense that in a single-payer system, these kinds of letters don’t get sent out in the first place, so no one gets 500 of them. There’s just a completely different set of bugs that people have to deal with…


When healthcare.gov was a shitshow at launch some people pointed to that as evidence that government can’t do anything right and healthcare should be left to private insurers who will care about their paying customers and provide functional, customer-friendly websites/customer service.

This is a counterexample. Another is the hour of my life I just wasted trying to log in to my private insurance to get a reimbursement out of my HSA, because they’d migrated to a new sign-in service on one of the network of dozens of different interconnected half-functional websites I must navigate to figure out how to pay my doctor

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Nothing “free” about this market, when it’s bought and paid for by lobbying dollars, eh? Maybe Warren (or somebody) can help us with this shit, after the Globular Color Wheel is gone.

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I have personal experience with United, and they are a bunch of vile, bloodsucking parasites.

When I lived in Japan and was on their national health plan, I never had any bureaucratic hassles at all.