Last month I began massage therapy to fix up a whole bunch of problems probably related to my less than ergonomic desk set up. After two sessions, I took my receipts to our Medavie Bluecross Quick Pay office and was told that I needed to have a form completed by the therapist in order to submit my claim. “I will give you one form, but for any further claims the therapist will have to provide you with one. She’ll have to order them from us.” I thought the response was odd, but the person seemed cranky and I was on day 2 of not smoking, so I took the form and left, tail between my legs.
My massage therapist completed the form on my next visit and back I went, this time with three receipts. I was greeted with the bad news that the form wasn’t completed properly because the benefit code for massage therapy wasn’t included. I asked if they knew it and was told there were different codes for different types of massage. The claims officer tried to reach my therapist, but, she was, as therapists usually are, probably therapying on someone else. So, I left again, tail between my legs and rightly frustrated.
My therapist called me with the code and suggested the claims officers know the code and there’s no reason why they couldn’t have completed it. So, down I go again to the Quick Pay office and present them with the code. To which, the claims officer says, “I’ve never seen this code before.” And, she refused to pay me.
Ok, I’m pissed off at this point, can you really blame me? She suggested I leave the claim with her and when she reaches my therapist she will call me or mail the cheque to me. I told her to call me when it is ready and I’ll pick it up.
My therapist called again and said that the person she spoke with at Medavie Bluecross apologized and suggested the reason for the confusion was that there was a relatively new person on the case who didn’t know they could fill in the code.
So, for the fourth time and 3rd time today, I returned to the office and very sternly asked for my money. The claims officer looked at me like she didn’t know what I was talking about. I gave her the correct code and then they all gathered to explain that it was my “plan” that was keeping them from paying me. My “plan” didn’t allow them to pay claims without the code. Then, the supervisor called me Ma’am. Never a good idea. No one apologized to me.
The point is: The claims officers knew the code all along. All massage therapy is covered at the same percentage. They could have entered one for me, paid me and then followed up with my therapist to confirm. That would have been the client-centric thing to do. I was going to get my money in the end, why they made it so difficult for me just doesn’t make sense.
And, if this pops up on your media monitoring Medavie Bluecross, do feel free to comment. I’d love to hear the response to this blatant lack of respect for my time and blood pressure. And, before you tell me that the “plan” is your client, remember, I pay premiums too and I had an extremely poor customer-service experience today in your Halifax office. You’ve got to do better than that.
PS: I wrote the title of this post before I went to the Medavie Bluecross website and discovered their tagline. Spooky!
February 18th, 2009 at 11:57 am
Massage therapy is great! Check your plan though to make sure how much coverage you have per year. Be aware, if your plan is not a group plan, expect your premium to go up next year. The premiums are based on use. Welcome to the world of insurance.
You did good, two days without a smoke and I would have politely asked for the supervisor on the first visit.
February 23rd, 2009 at 2:47 pm
Cripes. If you didn’t need massage therapy before, you’ll need it after that!
March 22nd, 2009 at 11:22 pm
No surprise to me. Blue Cross throws all kinds of red tape and forms between you and your refunds. The strategy is to make it so inconvenient you don’t bother.
They denied a claim for a drug prescribed while my son was inpatient at the hospital, saying the prescribing Dr. needed to fill out this special form, where he needed to justify his choice of a certain drug. I would have had to go to the hospital, get them to access my son’s file, figure out the prescribing doctor, find the guy and present him with 20 minutes of paperwork.
Fat chance. I swallowed the $120 for the drug, just like they wanted me to.