My Beef with United Healthcare

Heath care is going to the dogs. This is nothing new. This post is not original. We all have our stories. I just need to post about mine or I am going to explode.

United Healthcare, our insurance company for 7 years now at my company – the company where *I* make the decision as to what insurance company we use, the very same company that settled a multimillion dollar lawsuit just this week – has gone so far off the deep end in cutting costs that it makes my stomach drop thinking about the plunge.

I have spend hours. Hours. HOURS HOURS HOURS. Hours over the last two months on the phone trying to get authorized for a medication I have been taking since 2005. A medication that is expensive. A medication, when taken in conjunction with two other medications, makes my night terrors go away. A medication that I by and large pay for myself because I have an HSA, and all costs go to my deductible.

I have followed United Healthcare’s procedures. To the letter. I have been ignored. They have been incompetent, dropped the ball, and put money first over the care of a patient. Over the wishes of my doctor, over my best interests medically.

And I pay alot for insurance.

Imagine the clusterfuck for people who don’t?

This article has 22 comments

  1. J at

    UGH UGH UGH. I hate stories like this. I keep hoping we’ll get some people in power who will work for *Socialized Medicine*, not *Universal Healthcare*. Making sure everyone has it isn’t the same as making sure it pays for what it should pay for, or making sure everyone TRULY has it. On and on.

    I’m sorry. I hope you can get this idiocy straightened out soon.

  2. samantha jo campen

    Our old health insurance company basically ruined us with Theo’s birth. We are so crazy in debt it’s not even funny. And I think what you think: if we have insurance and are now broke, what the HELL do people do who have less money than us and/or have NO insurance at all? Then I feel bad complaining because I should be greatful. But THEN I think, “Well, if I were starving and someone gave me a shit sandwich I wouldn’t be greatful for it.” I have such high hopes for Obama.

    And I’m so sorry you’re going through that. Ugh. Let’s run away to Cananda or France!

  3. BethanyWD

    GAH. I am so sorry. Something’s got to give in terms of healthcare in this country.

    I once fought (successfully) for the coverage for a surgery. My appeal included a six page letter, 650 pages of medical records, and 4 xrays.

  4. Xtian

    I am so so sorry to hear of these woes! =( Saddened of course that you even are in this situation, let alone that you are having difficulties with the entity you essentially ‘hired’ to provide health care for your company. Insurance companies suck and are greedy and that’s just the tip of things. Like everyone else who is commenting here, I’m grateful to have mine, but I still feel strongly there is much-needed reform. Here’s to the new administration!! Keep us posted…

  5. Lora

    We had UHC for a while in 2007 and they never actually paid for a thing. My husband had to go to the hospital for a suspected heart attack and they said it wasn’t covered because he didn’t ACTUALLY have a heart attack. We paid our premiums every month and then paid for every.single.thing. at the doctor’s office/hospital. All I can say is that I was glad we aren’t a “sickly” family and didn’t need to go very often!

  6. Anonymous

    It kills me what insurance companies can get away with these days!

  7. Chris

    If you are not getting a response, it may be time to file a formal grievance. Be sure to use that term. A complaint is not the same thing.

    In a former life I was the Quality Assurance Manager for a large HMO on the mental health side. This is probably the best way to get their attention because these go against their NCQA ratings. They will have 30 days to resolve the issue.

    Good luck!

  8. carrie

    Oh, I am so angry FOR you Aimee. I cannot imagine what I would do without my migraine medication – and it is soooooo expensive without insurance, like $30 per pill. Thankfully I have good insurance…for now.

    Keep talking and being vocal. This kind of stuff SHOULD NOT happen! No way.

  9. talesofmy30s

    We’ve been lucky so far with UHC, but ugh!

    There has to be a better way.

  10. Nadine

    Ow, that sucks! I hope it turns out OK. Health care and social security in the US are the only two topics on which I doubt our wish to move to the US. Health care is perfect here, compared to the US.

    Good luck, and keep us posted!

  11. zipper

    that is egregious!

  12. Bridge

    They are horrible!!! my old company-yuck!!!!

  13. fruitlady

    I am so sorry Aim. I wish there was something I could do for you.

  14. potentialandexpectations

    What an infuriating situation! You have my complete sympathies.

    I have just spent the last year having an unwanted crash course in the way the US healthcare system works… or doesn’t work. I have never been so convinced in the need for massive change. It is an utter farce.

    Keep talking about it, keep being vocal. That’s the only way we are going to create change.

  15. Christina

    Ugh, it’s disgusting how health insurance companies take away the human element of what they do. It’s all about profits.

    Of course, this is coming from someone who has no insurance for any of her family at the moment, because no private insurance will cover us entirely, and we make too much at the moment to get assistance from the state.

    It’s no wonder I’m depressed. (And paying $100 a month for the pills to keep me from being not-quite-so-depressed.)

    Here’s hoping Obama can do something abotu healthcare. I think we should all have the option to buy into the healthcare plan Congress uses.

  16. Maurice Reeves

    I feel your pain! We’re paying $371/paycheck (not per month, per paycheck) for our PPO coverage and just a few days ago we had the rugs ripped out from under us being told our costs were going up $57 a paycheck and a lot of our coverages are being slashed. It’s left us reeling. And like you said, we’re the “lucky ones” with health care.

  17. Dean

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Here is the deleted comment from Janet… thanks for chiming in, friend.
    You’re preachin’ to the choir. I have United, HAD an HSA until this month (now it’s PPO) and was in the same boat with my medication. It’s so expensive but it has to be the brand name because the generic is very inferior. They won’t allow me to buy it at their negotiated price nor will they allow it to be applied to our deductible. They don’t care that the doctor specified name-brand. They don’t care that it’s over $200 per month for one medication. I now order it from Canada because I have no choice. They also just raised the deductible (on the HSA plan we dumped AND the PPO we now have) by 50% and the premium by another 20%. Note that the premium went up 25% or so last year, too. That’s a 45% increase in two years. I know socialized medicine isn’t a perfect solution but this is obscene. Something’s gotta give. I hate United. For me AND you.

  19. Oz

    Arrrggggh. I’m so sorry.

    We have UHC but I’ve been lucky and haven’t had any headaches. I’m sure the day will come, though.

  20. Caffeinatrix

    Sorry, that deleted post was me. I used the wrong Google ID and forgot to copy my post before I deleted it. Am stupid. Anyway, I’m sure you got a copy of my comment so you got the story. You can re-post it if you want. I would but it’s too long to re-write!

  21. bill

    I also work for a company that switched to United Health Care. I have worked for 30 years and have had Aetna, Kaiser, Guardian,Blue Cross, and now UHC. It is always tough to work out coverage but UHC has hit my all time low. Not to sound paranoid but at this point I am convinced they have found that having reps that are incompetent and give mixed answers actually benefits them finanacially. If they force you to do excessive leg work and suck up your time on the phone my guess is a lot of people give up and end up paying. I hate it and feel like I have a degree in debate and argumentation after dealing with UHC.

    Good luck getting the care you need without ending up broke.

    Bill Cameron

  22. W. R. Davis

    United Healthcare refused to renew our group policy (for the small business we own) in the middle of my husband’s cancer treatments. We have paid for health insurance for years, and have paid the ever-increasing rates they charge us. Their excuse is that not enough of our employees accepted coverage. The rates have gone so high that our employees can’t afford it, nor can we absorb the entire cost for them.
    It is reprehensible that they can yank this out from under us at this time, just when we need it most! We told them they just signed his death warrant – their answer was that they are a business and have to make a profit.

    A sad ironic twist – My husband is a Purple Heart decorated combat veteran, and they cancelled our coverage on Memorial Day.

    This situation should not be permitted – our legislators must take action to stop this. In the meantime, his cancer treatments are on hold, while we scramble to find coverage. How nice that United Healthcare is more concerned with profits than people.

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