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Think You Have Health Insurance? Maybe Not if You Paid by Credit Card...

twig's picture

If it can't get its tentacles into your checking account, then Anthem Blue Cross will cancel your policy -- even if you have a perfect payment record.

Actually, you can use plastic, but ABC is planning on adding a $15 per month fee for the "convenience," and you have to call them every month to process the payment.

Quote of the day (from the woman who was canceled):

"I've tried to explain to my friends and family in Europe how the healthcare system works here," Kreuzhage said. "They just can't conceive of a system that works like this."

Ha! Tell me about it!!


Submitted by jawbone on

they might find it convenient to "lose" your requests (telephoned and written) for cancelling a policy. Which is what happened to me.

Since I had a funny feeling about how fast they would honor my request to cancel, I paid a small fee to my credit union to get a guarantee they'd refuse to allow w/drawals from my acct by Aetna.

Aetna was stymied the first month, then came back at my acct. with two months' premiums at one time the next month. The credit union's computer didn't recognize that as the amount from Aetna to be refused. It almost wiped out my checking account (about $2400), and I didn't notice it until later when I noticed fees for overdrawing my acct.

Because I'd paid for the no auto payments to Aetna stay, I had no problem with getting the fees waived and my money returned.

But Aetna tried it the next month! Was overdrawn, but got my money back and fees refunded.

And then they did it the following month, with additional monthly premiums each time.

Finally, my credit union changed the wi/hold payment to state no auto request for any amount could be honored for Aetna.

So: Either don't allow direct w/drawal (and worry about forgetting due dates) OR make sure you have a stop auto payment which covers any and all amounts.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

Calling them parasites would be a compliment.

Actually, that reminds me -- a few months ago, I asked the doc's assistant which was the best insurance company because I was thinking of changing mine. She said "There isn't a best one, they're all terrible." And this is from someone in a HUGE practice, with thousands of patients.

So that's what the mandate is doing -- forcing us to do business with awful companies, when there's a more efficient, cost-effective, humane way of providing health care with better outcomes. Nice, huh?

bungalowkitchens's picture
Submitted by bungalowkitchens on

If you wanted to pay the premium monthly, you HAD to put it on a credit card, otherwise, they made you pay two months at a time (because everybody has $2400 just laying around... yeah, the premium was $1200 a month. Combined with the deductible and the out of pocket maximum I was paying $17,000 a year for health insurance. On an income of $27,000 a year...)

Last year I finally managed to get (partially) employer-paid health insurance- now I'm paying $330 a month. Of course, it has a $2000 deductible, so I can't actually afford to use it.

Having run up $26,000 in credit card debt- nearly all of it Blue Cross premiums, I filed for bankruptcy last year.

About the only thing I got out of it was frequent flyer miles, since I figured if I was gonna charge $1200 a month, I might as well get an airline card. I used the last of them last summer to fly to DC for a NACA event to try and get my mortgage modified. GMAC turned me down, of course. I kinda wish I'd used them to go somewhere nice....

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

For people in their 50s or 60s, who are getting "full" coverage, that's not an unusual sum. This is one of the reasons that I keep criticizing Obamacare - it does absolutely nothing about the price disparity between young and old clients.

Submitted by jawbone on

Especially in the higher cost markets (I'm in NJ). That's for just one person, btw.

When my lower decutible went up to $1800 a month, I bailed downward.

The I downgraded to another higher deductible, higher co-pay. I looked into their lowest cost coverage, but when I figured out how much my deductibles and co-pays would be with the next lowest, given I need regular testing and check-ups for my thyroid cancer and an annual radioactive iodine whole body scan, I realized I would have been paying more than with the level of coverage I ended up with. I called a couple nore times to double check on outlays, and each time got the same answer from the tel reps.

However, paying for individual insurance virtually cleaned out my savings and I did go naked for a few months before Medicare.

Which was scary because everytime I actually thought seriously about dropping to much lower catastrphic type coverage something serious came up.

The first was my cancer diagnosis.

The second was spilling the boiing water on myself and ending up in a Burn Unit for a month.

And now I luck out to have Obama as the ostensible Dem prez who wants to make Medicare more expensive just as I'm beginning Medicare....

bungalowkitchens's picture
Submitted by bungalowkitchens on

After I switched to the crappy Kaiser plan my employer offers, I applied for financial assistance from Kaiser. At first I was approved (because I'd been spending so damn much money with Blue Cross), but it's only good for six months. When I re-applied after six months, I was denied. According to Kaiser, I would have to have spent more than 10% of my gross income (about $4800- my income is only that high because I am now renting out FOUR rooms in my house. Of course the mortgage costs $32,000 a year- but expenses don't count, apparently) on medical expenses (not counting premiums). Of course, in the previous six months I hadn't spent ANYTHING, seeing as how I was getting Kaiser's financial assistance, which essentially made everything free except the premiums. This allowed me a few months of taking a really expensive drug for my psoriasis ($900 a month) because I didn't have to pay for it.

So it isn't even Catch-22- more like Catch-44. Once you get financial assistance, after six months you won't qualify for financial assistance because you didn't spend any money. And if I had $2000 for the deductible, which is considerably less than $4800, I wouldn't need the financial assistance.

I'm 59- you can imagine how thrilled I am at the prospect of the Medicare eligibility age going up.