Monday, March 20, 2006

Can one person make a difference?

Let's hope so.

Buried halfway down page two of the letter I got from Kaiser Permanente informing me that I was ineligible for coverage lurked a sentence stating that, if I was currently covered by a KP group plan and was turned down for an individual plan upon conversion, I might be eligible for a "portability plan." This, apparently, is a special type of coverage offered to those in my situation, i.e., folks who were worthy of coverage under a group plan but who are now suddenly UNWORTHY of coverage when attempting to convert that plan to individual coverage.

During the course of trying to figure all this out, I talked to five or six KP employees who had that certain tone in their voice -- you know, the one that indicates clearly that they're making it up as they go along: "Uh, yeah. Yeah! Sure. Um. I think we can help you. I think you should be accepted. I, uh, don't see any reason why not." (Beware that last statement, the statement of the truly false prophet.) Fortunately, I wrote down the name of the one Kaiser employee who actually seemed to know what he was talking about. So I called "Steven M" -- who I'd dealt with a few weeks ago -- and updated him on my situation. He assured me that, yes, the forms I'd sent in were the correct ones and that, in fact, I was eligible for the portability plan, that I was currently covered and would be covered for the foreseeable future.

Three cheers and a tiger for me!

My relief is muted, however, because Kaiser has yet to bill me. And I suspect that, if were hit by an out-of-control snowboarder tomorrow and needed treatment of "board burn" to my tender bits, KP would try to figure out some way to gong me, say, because I hadn't made a payment yet under the portability plan.

Am I being too untrusting? I can tell my your snorts of derision that you don't think so.

Anyway, I have been assured by someone who sounds knowledgeable that I'm covered. However, in tracking him down, I found out that he was a relatively new employee. So does that mean that he doesn't yet know that he's not supposed to be helpful, or merely that he's not yet jaded. I don't know, but let's hope that I was fortunate enough to find one person who can make a difference for the better.

1 comment:

Tavia said...

It probably means that he's about to be fired.