dying on the blue cross



once again, i’ve stumbled into a bureaucratic rabbit hole:

in short, i filled out a ‘healthy incentives’ survey in order to qualify for the most cost effective program offered by my health insurance provider.  somehow it all went wrong at *step 1.

  1. *i filled out the survey 
  2. felt happy that i had completed a horribly tedious piece of paperwork and based upon the results, would easily qualify for the program
  3. got a letter from blue cross
  4. letter said they never received my survey and i was now automatically enrolled in the higher cost plan
  5. i called them (where things got worse)
  6. music i was subjected to while on hold during the experience: smooth jazz, easy listening, elevator cover music
  7. departments i spoke with/was on hold with/opted into with my keyboard pounding : customer service, non-compliance, nursing, engagement center, health resource coordination center
  8. lots of 800 and 888 numbers and extensions involved
  9. conversations along the way: 

  ‘ who gave you this number?’

‘the letter you sent me listed it as the one to call.’

‘who told you to call us?’

‘you did.’

‘can we call you back?’


‘our department doesn’t handle this kind of thing.’

‘i really have no idea who deals with this.’

10. after lots of transferring action, holds, disconnects, etc. – more conversation:

‘i can see the form you filled out online, and it does look like you qualified for the healthy incentives option, but you never pushed the button at the end to get your official score.’

‘so, you do see that i’ve filled it out?’


‘and it shows i am healthy and do actually qualify?’


‘but because i didn’t push the button it doesn’t count?’


‘yes, it counts?’

‘no. yes, it does not count.’

‘what can i do about it?’

‘well it is after the deadline now.’

‘what can i do about it?’

‘i guess file a complaint.’

‘will i be paying the higher rate in the meantime?’

and – after 1 hour and 47 minutes, my favorite and final response:

‘i would definitely not be able to answer that.’

(i believe that if i was to fill out the survey again after this, i may not qualify as ‘healthy’ due to a rise in my blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. though of course this is just a guess, because there is definitely no one who would be able to answer that.)


13 responses »

      • Isn’t that how we all survive the stupidity? Humor is the great equalizer. Buckley once said “I won’t insult your intelligence by accusing you of meaning what you just said.” Got to love it.


  1. Arrggg….I hate when things like that happen. I cannot believe that they are NOT going to let you on the other plan. Call the newpaper…some have those help columns…if you can get on it then I bet the insurance company figures out a way to fix their error…yes…their error…what if you DID press the button and it did not work?

    Feckin *grumble, grumble* … *kicks them for you*


    • boxwine – thank you so much, yes it truly is one level of dante’s inferno. read my only rules rush in blog for yet another taste of bureaucratic hell ) thanks for reading, following, and reblogging, i’m enjoying yours as well and look forward to reading more from you – beth


  2. I recently needed tech support to get on-line when staying at a Marriott…on hold for 10 minutes being told, every 3 minutes, that the company offering it was a “leading edge” blah di blah and how much they cared for my business.

    No, you don’t. Not with annoying “hold” noises.


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