I don’t think anyone inspires more fear and loathing than health insurers and the IRS. After an 18% premium hike in January put my insurance within spitting distance of my mortgage payment, I’ve been trying to get a cheaper, higher-deductible policy from the same company. They’ve been dragging their feet.
They’ve already got a file on me dating back to 1992, so you’d think it would be just a matter of changing my policy number. But, no. They needed another application, and now they’re carefully… and slowly… dissecting it.
Last Saturday morning, they phoned to quiz me on a few points. Seems the underwriter had “questions.”
I gave nothing more than what I wrote on my application. There’s nothing to tell. No surgery, no prescriptions, not even follow-up. I felt they were trying to catch me off-guard on a weekend, hoping I’d spill some juicy, life-threatening secret.
The truth is that I have no serious health issues except hypertension (which they aren’t helping), but it’s under control. But it’s disgustingly apparently they’re slavering for any excuse to keep my rate jacked up while providing less coverage.
Meanwhile, the clock’s ticking on my current policy. The premium is due February 1, and I haven’t sent it in yet, hoping for February 1 inception on the new coverage so I can save $110.
My agent says I’m paranoid, and maybe he’s right. He swears I have a 30-day grace period on February. But it wouldn’t surprise me if my insurer drags this out past February 1 so they can:
1) cancel me to create a coverage gap they can exploit (an “accidental” error they’ll take months to correct while I pay more for it), and
2) report the late payment to the credit bureaus to put a ding in my credit rating.
I’ve always dealt with them in good faith, being honest about my health and punctual with payments. They’ve done nothing but evade, deny, extort, and exaggerate minor, one-time ailments from my distant past into time bombs too risky to cover for less than a fortune.
Something is fundamentally wrong with a health system where we’re forced to keep forking over large sums of money to companies whose manner of doing business we find morally and ethically repugnant, and who are too often opposed to helping us maintain the health we’re supposedly paying them to “protect.”
After a Saturday morning assault, I’m bracing for whatever they dish out next.