Thursday, July 01, 2004

Don't Worry, I'm Insured

I'm here to tell you that Satan is alive and well here on Earth. He's taken the form of insurance companies. These days you can buy insurance for just about everything: health, auto, life, pets, etc. Hell, you can buy insurance for your insurance.

The problem with insurance is that even though you pay through the ass hairs for it, they don't cover ANYTHING. In my profession, I've had many, many run-ins with insurance adjusters. They're philosophy is to deny every claim and only pay when forced to. That way, they can make more money than even Mike Tyson can spend and we get sick and die and won't call anymore begging for money. And when they DO pay, they cut the provider's bill to shreds, thereby pissing off the doctors, who in turn get tight in their care or stop practicing altogether. That's why the hospital charges you $25 for one Tylenol and $100 for an arm sling. Geez, why can't you just BYOT (Bring Your Own Tylenol)? I'd have stayed the fuck home if all they're going to give me is fucking Tylenol. Hey, hospital dude, since I'm buyin', how 'bout some Morphine?? It's also why your family practitioner, who had been in the same location since he earned his medical degree in 1942, has moved to an office building and join a "group" of doctors.

Now, I pay a lot of money to insurance companies every month. I'm talking almost $1,000 between health ($562/mo for me and the fam), auto ($325/mo for my 3 vehicles) and life ($65/mo for $1,000,000 of coverage on my life - yes, I realize I'm worth more dead than alive, I'm hoping my family doesn't). I just want to know, what these fucking bloodsuckers DO pay for? Honestly. I need an answer here.

Let's take my health insurance first. I have a very good friend that is a chiropractor. I have been going to see her on a semi-regular basis for the past five years. All of a sudden, I get a letter from my insurance company saying that they've "done away with 'alternative' care." WTF???? First off, my chiropractor isn't a doctor of chiropractic, she's an MD. A Medical fucking Doctor. Not some quack that opened a chiro superstore and specializes in bonecrunching 75 people a day. She sees approximately 10 people a day and makes sure she's attended to your needs (no, not those needs, although I'd be up for that). Now my insurance company is denying me coverage for something that's helped me stay in better shape (I have a very cranky back, which makes it hard to go to the gym 5 times a week like I usually do), eat healthier (she's forever giving me healthy alternatives to what I normally eat) and live with less stress (massages work wonders, although attending to my needs would certainly boost my mood). Does anyone find the irony here? If I'm in worse shape, eat worse and am stressed out the bunghole, aren't I likely to need doctor care more often? I got news for you, the next time I go to a doctor, I'm going to see what they'll call a "real" fucking doctor, not an "alternative" one. One that will charge these pricks $250 for an office visit, not $75 like my chiropractor does. So, my employer pays my share of the insurance bill, so let's say my total insurance bill is $725 a month. That's close to $9,000 a year from me alone. And they're bitching about $150 every two months for chiro bills, but would have no problem paying $250 a month for doctor care? Someone over at Providence needs to be hit on the head with a tack hammer. I mean they're saving pennies to spend dollars here.

That brings us to auto insurance. $3,900 a year to insure my three vehicles, the Suburban being the most expensive one of all. Auto insurance companies drive me absolutely fucking crazy. Everything is great as long as they're making the automatic withdrawal out of your bank account into theirs, but once the money has to flow the opposite direction, you're dead to them.

Case in point, about five years ago, I was driving on a 4 lane road and got stuck behind a city bus at a light. It was rush hour and traffic was slow. The bus was first in line and I was second, which meant the car directly next to me was fourth or fifth in line. Light turns green, the bus sits there, still picking up people. The five cars next to me were through the light. I turn around to see a van in the next lane just sitting there and I thought he waved me over. So I went to go around the bus. WHAM! Dude t-bones the side of my disposable POS car (commuter car, which I still have). We pull onto a side street (this is key during rush hour traffic; for fuck's sake, do not tie up traffic on a major road during rush hour traffic if you've only had a fender bender with no MAJOR injuries). So we're on the side street and long story short, dude tells me that he was on the phone and talking with his hands. He was not waving me over. Ok, that's fine. I talk on the phone when I'm driving too (I'm a little more careful with the placement of my hands than this dickhead, but I digress). I figure since he was on the phone, it'll be a comparable negligence deal. WRONG! This is the actual conversation I had with my insurance company (SAFECO):

Adjuster: Ok, tell me about how the accident occurred.
Me: ~Relay the whole story, behind bus at light, cars proceed thru light, thought dude waved me over, dude talking on phone with hands, t-bone, etc.~
Adjuster: Oh, so you were in the right hand lane and proceeded into the left hand lane?
Me: Yes.
Adjuster: Hmmmmmm, you were in the right hand lane and wanted to get into the left hand lane.
Me (getting impatient): Yes.
Adjuster: So, why were you getting in the left hand lane again?
Me (about ready to freak): To go around the bus that was sitting there picking up passengers.
Adjuster: And you were in the right hand lane?
Me: Look Serpico, I was in the right hand lane, wanting to get into the left hand lane. Can we move on please?
Adjuster: Sir, no need to get angry. I'm just trying to understand.
Me: Well, write it down for now, move on to another question, read and re-read your notes and then attempt to form a coherent thought.
Adjuster: Ok, so after he hit you, what did you think?
Me: I thought, "why did he hit me, he waved me over?"
Adjuster: But he didn't wave you over.
Me: Yes, I know that now. He was talking with his hands.
Adjuster: Why did you think he waved you over?
Me: Again, write it down and move on.
Adjuster: Soooooooooooooo, what do you think about the accident?
Me: I think it sucks. I also think that most anyone would have gotten into the same accident. Dude was on his cell and talking with his hands, not paying attention to what was going on.
Adjuster: Well, since you were changing lanes, technically it's your fault.
Me: Ok. Well, if that's the way it is, then that's the way it is.
Adjuster: So, what do you think?
Me: I think that I have insurance in case I have an accident. I think need to get my car fixed. I think the damage to both cars is less than $2000 combined. I think you need to tell me where to take my car.
Adjuster: Hmmmmm, well, this doesn't look too good here.

At this point, I'd had about five too many servings of corporatespeak bullshit. I totally lost it.

Me: It doesn't look too good here?
Adjuster: No, it looks like we're going to have to pay.
Me: What the hell are you talking about? It doesn't look too good here? You're going to have to pay a measly two grand when I've been paying you $1,000 a year for the past 7 years with no accidents or tickets?
Adjuster: Well, it's just that we're probably going to have to pay this claim. So it doesn't look too good for us.
Me
(totally out of control): Well, it looks pretty fucking good when you're taking money out of my account each month, doesn't it? It looks pretty fucking good when you guys are out there building ballparks for the Seattle Mariners at a price tag of $500 million, doesn't it? It looks pretty fucking good when you guys are at said ballpark in your 40 fucking person suite with catering service all on the company's dime, doesn't it. Look, don't say another fucking word to me about this claim. The total damage is less than two fucking thousand dollars, or less than what I've given your bloodsucking company in the past 24 months. I've been with your company for approximately 84 months, so you're still ahead approximately five fucking thousand dollars on my business alone. And I know I'm just a small potatoes customer, but I'm sure you guys don't normally turn down a $5,000 profit. So the next words out of your mouth are going to be the name, address and phone number of a fucking body shop. Then, I'm going to take my car there, get it fixed, pay my fucking $250 deductible and return my life to normal. Got it?

Well, let's just say that from then on, I didn't have to deal with the adjuster anymore. He gave me the info I needed, I took my car into the body shop and got it fixed. My blood still boils when I recount that conversation. I hope I caused him to have to use his health insurance after we got off the phone. I also hope that if he did have to go to the doctor that his fucking claim was denied.

As for life insurance, thankfully I haven't had to use it yet, but I'm sure when my beneficiaries go to cash it in, they'll find out that I had to die on a Thursday of a heart attack at 1:53 p.m. while yanking my zippy to midget animal porn or something like that.

Is it too early to start drinking?

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Comments:
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