Thursday, December 31, 2015

The U.S. Health Insurance System Sucks

United Health Care (UHC) is my current health insurance company, through a private policy bought through a broker.

Recently, UHC said they were getting out of Obamacare policies.  This was attributed to costs, but I just found out why - it is due to incompetence and bad service.

They cancelled the type of policy I bought in 2015, and tried to auto-enroll me in a more expensive policy.  By the way, I got no claims paid in 2015 due to my deductible.  I was paying over $650 a month for coverage.

I tried to cancel the auto-enrollment via fax.  I sent an application for a new UHC policy to my broker who forwarded it to them.

By letter and phone, I was told:

  1. I am auto enrolled in a new expensive plan.
  2. I am not auto enrolled in the new plan
  3. I am enrolled in the new plan
  4. My old insurance is cancelled.
  5. My new insurance application is being processed
  6. My new insurance application needs payment information (it was included in the application)
  7. They need payment confirmation (whatever that is) for my new plan.
  8. I tried phoning their number 4 times, and they hung up on me due to call volume
  9. I cannot do anything online except deal with my old 2015 policy.
  10. Finally, they accepted my call and I was on hold for 90 minutes trying to update the payment information, and then I finally got them to cancel the auto-renewed plan.
  11. But the premium is $100 more than I paid last year, and the coverage is less.  I will likely spend at least $10,000 on health insurance and health costs (copays, deductibles..) in 2016.  I probably will not even get a tax deduction for this.
  12. It only took me about 3-4 hours on the phone and 2 hours on the computer and an hour filling out forms to get enrolled.
The Canadians have it right with government provided health insurance.  It costs less per person as a percent of GDP, and Canadians live longer.  No time and money wasted on all the bureaucracy of US private health insurance.

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