Are you a creative person, writer, novelist, or anyone who feels like our precious time is being wasted ironing out issues with companies? I firmly believe when one consumer fights for fairness, they help all of us. With that in mind, here’s some of what works for me, especially when I’ve experienced horribly challenging times with health insurance such as the time I dealt with going through the terribleness of cancer and also when I injured my knee.
What are your tips for how to get decent service from big companies?
If your health coverage is through your employer, chances are the personnel department mediates things for you.
The rest of us like me must slug it out on our own. Before listing some of the tactics I’ve gathered which can be used anywhere and with any type of business, I owe great thanks to Obamacare.
Here in California it’s implemented as Covered California (Obamacare’s official name is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for short.) Thanks to ObamaCare, it is illegal for insurance companies to discriminate against gender and pre-existing conditions other than tobacco use. Moreover, it ensures everyone is covered.
Note to Californians: Most know Covered California subsidizes health insurance for individuals with low incomes. (Medi-Cal helps those with zero income.) Few are aware it can broker for anyone. They’re a formidable mediator with excellent customer service! Thanks to them, it was a heck of a lot easier to work out my insurance problems.
- Above all else, stay solution-oriented and tenacious.
- Be emphatic about what you need and why. Make sure they know how important this is to you. Don’t settle for their doing what’s easiest for them, not you.
- Telephoning in addition to emailing can give more immediate and thorough results. Phone when they’re least busy: early on weekdays. Barring that, after 7pm. Forget about weekends. Even if they’re open, they’re likely super busy and their decision-makers are off-duty.
- Don’t waste time. Again, telephoning and not leaving things to all to email is the most effective. When using the phone, the moment they start to give you the runaround, ask to speak to their supervisor. If they’re totally obtuse, hang up and redial so you might encournter someone different to speak with. Later, be sure to fill out an online grievance form.
- If a grievance is not rectified within 30 days, it’s easy to file a lawsuit with the state. To find out how to do this without having to pay a private lawyer, google “how to file a consumer lawsuit.” In the case of health insurance, your broker can advise you.
- Don’t take things personally. Stay focused. For everyone but you, it’s just business.
- Refuse “No.”
- Keep notes regarding: A) who you spoke with, B) number you dialed, date, and time of day, C) a transaction case ID number or whatever identifier they might use, i.e., a “ticket number.”
Good luck! I’m rooting for you for all our sakes! Please add your tips below…