So, if you've paid attendance to my past rants (read: been hit over the head with them), you know that Beatrix was denied individual health insurance due to being born with a small heart issue (even though she had had insurance when she was born, etc., etc., etc.) Thanks to our amazing and hardworking broker, Allison, we got her on the Minnesota guaranteed plan (MCHA, through Medica), which insures people who are denied from regular insurance — for which we have the privilege of paying a $3,000 annual deductible just for Beatrix alone and a monthly premium set at 120% of the standard rate.
Last month my bank account was hacked into and we had to close that and open a new one. At the same time, we opened and HSA to maximize our tax savings, especially since (see above) a full 25% plus of our gross income goes to medical insurance. Beatrix's insurance is on auto-deduction, so I called in yesterday to switch the deduction to the new account.
Which is where I got stalled. You see:
- We are required to have Beatrix's payment on auto-deduct, per the terms of the insurance billing.
- They could not switch the deduction information by phone or online. We needed to fill out a whole new form. Once submitted, the form took 30ish days to process. Until they got that form, they would continue trying to deduct from the old account, hitting us with an NSF fee.
- On the form, we had to write in the bank routing number and account number, pretty standard. However, we also had to attach a voided check. Therein lies the problem; the new account does not have checks. No problem, I process direct deposits and withdrawals all the time, just call and explain we won’t be attaching the check, right?
- Uh, no. They can’t process the form without the check. Because “everyone with a checking account has checks.”
- Checks and direct withdrawal (which needs a check) are the only ways they can handle payment. They won’t accept cash. They can’t process credit or debit cards.
Cue a total of about 90 minute of arguing, with the result being I had to go to the bank, get a letter from them confirming the account and routing numbers, and fax the letter with the form (to a long-distance number, natch — they can’t accept it by email) in to MCHA.
I don’t even know where to start with this — with how inane the whole process is, how insecure their “security measures” actually are, how outdated the technology is, or what a PITA. And I’m lucky; I can take the time to do this. If you are poor — if you don’t have a checking account, or an hour and a half to argue, or access to a fax machine that can do long-distance, you’re SOL and you’ve just lost your health care because they can’t find a way to take your money. Which I suppose is exactly what they want, to get you off their insurance rolls so they can pursue more profit.
After all, it was the Medica rep who testified to the legislature last year that if all Minnesota kids were covered, insurance rates would skyrocket, because they depend on children’s rates to subsidize higher expenses.