Blue Shield

Blue Shield was my health insurance provider ’til this month. Now it is Kaiser Permanente.

I switched because:

– My experience with Dr. Norma Salceda, The Culver City Ass-Poker, left a bad taste in my mouth about what doctors are in their system.

– I tried to upgrade my dental plan so I could pick my own dentist, and after eight phone calls to six different numbers, including multiple transfers and disconnections, and NO PROGRESS, I started to get the feeling that maybe Blue Shield was not the right health insurance choice for me and maybe I should pay attention to that feeling and not patiently wait to get ass-poked again.

Now, in order to sign up with Blue Shield, I had to sign up for their automated billing.

In order to cancel with Blue Shield, I must do this:

Phone number no worky!

But this phone number doesn’t work.

So I wrote a letter.

June 18, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

I have switched to another health care provider. As of July 1, 2010, I would like to terminate my health and dental insurance with Blue Shield.

Please let me know if any further communication is necessary.

Victoria Hoke

Then I read the thing about how you have to cancel by phone ten days before the billing date in order to avoid being charged. I did not want to be charged.

June 21, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

As I wrote on June 18, I have switched to another health care provider. As of July 1, 2010, I would like to terminate my health and dental insurance with Blue Shield.

Please let me know if any further action is necessary.

It has been difficult to confirm my health care cancellation request by phone (dialing the prescribed 1-800-431-2809 number, the system terminates my call.) Thus I have been unable to cancel by phone more than ten days before the billing date. However I will not be paying for coverage for the month of July. Please let me know if this is a problem.

Victoria Hoke

I contacted the USAA, the company of the credit card with which I signed up for automatic billing. I like USAA. USAA is rad. Said they, “We are unable to block specific merchants from charging your account. However, if you are unable to resolve this with the merchant, please be advised that you can dispute the transaction online.” Cool.

On June 28 I got a letter from Blue Shield saying they were canceling my insurance effective July 1st.

Also on June 28, Blue Shield charged me for July.

Ninety-one clams is a lot of clams!

Today I wrote this:

Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance
P.O. Box 272610
Chico, CA 95927-2610

July 9, 2010

To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for terminating my Blue Shield health and dental insurance, effective July 1.

Yet I note that Blue Shield has billed for the month of July. I am working with my credit card company to dispute this charge: [Screencap of charge]

Remember that I was unable to cancel this service more than ten days before the billing date, because the cancellation method required by the IFP automatic payment form (documented below) does not work: [Screencap of policy]

When I dial 1-800-431-2809, no matter what buttons I press or what I tell the nice robot man, I invariably hear: “We’re sorry. Your call was unable to be completed. Please hang up and dial the toll-free number again.”

I encourage you to try the 1-800-431-2809 number yourself because it’s pretty funny.

Note that Blue Shield’s insistence on phone service and my inability to actually reach humans by phone are what caused me to switch health insurance providers in the first place.

I appreciate the help I’ve received from staff like you. You are the solution, not the problem. Plus you probably qualify for sainthood because once we customers have navigated Blue Shield’s crazy-making phone system to reach you, you generally get a crazy-made version of us, and you still do a good job.

I hope you understand why I refuse to pay the $ 91.80 I was charged for the month of July.

If there is a way to contact a human being by phone about this, I would deeply appreciate knowing it. Perhaps someone in your department that you dislike. I am nice but I can be very annoying.

Victoria Hoke

Will update.


Draws. Sweats. Eats too much sugar-free candy.

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5 Responses

  1. SEESTOR says:

    update please!

  2. B says:

    Thank you for wonderful amusement and inspiration on a day that I really needed it!

  3. Sarah says:

    I wonder if the fake number was on purpose. In my head it sort of goes with some suit asking for ideas on how to retain customers, with a new guy jokingly putting up the idea, and Suit thinking it’s brilliant. Things are always more funny in my head than after they reach the keyboard though. You, my dear Tory, are keyboard funny and this is why I still stalk you.

  4. Rasmussen says:

    I have several friends that swear by USAA. And I love Blogger vs. Big Mean Corporation posts. Good luck.

    Your last sentence of the letter is awesome.

  5. Adri says:

    Oh man. You are hilarious. I can’t wait to see if you get a response!

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