YOU COULD CALL THIS UPBEAT. NO, REALLY, YOU COULD. – Marilyn Armstrong

I really hate insurance companies. I would have hated them earlier in life, but I didn’t have as much to do with them as I’ve had recently. I should mention that I actually am very fond of Blue Cross. They are about as friendly, cooperative, flexible, and civil as anyone I’ve ever dealt with. I get on the phone mad but by the time I get off, I’m in a better mood. Imagine that! They actually make me feel better!

Dinner or breakfast, it’s delicious

They are an exception, however. When Elizabeth Warren said she didn’t know anyone who liked their insurance company I thought of Blue Cross. THEN I thought about MAPFRE and my lip curled. Grrrr.

So Friday afternoon, I get the mail and one of the items in it is a cancellation notice from my car insurance. Considering that I’ve been paying them relentlessly since this month’s bill came due, I’m baffled. I don’t think anyone at this company knows how to update the computer. Each month, I get a different bill. Not a few pennies. Hundreds of dollars. Sometimes steam blows out my ears and I find myself as sharp-tongued and irritable as I ever get.

They never say they are sorry. These folks were, as John Wayne used to say, “brought up wrong.” They don’t get the whole “word’ thing. They think saying “Hey, sorry for the mix-up. Hope we have it worked out now.” How hard is that? Civility is the oil that keeps life flowing smoothly. Like greasing the wheel.

I’m a chronic over-apologizer. If I accidentally bang into a chair, I will probably apologize to it.  It can’t hurt even if it doesn’t help much.  You learn this stuff as a kid. When it doubt, say you’re sorry. It costs nothing and it makes people feel better. One “I’m sorry” can stop a lawsuit before it happens. A doctor once pointed that out to me. If you just say, “I’m really sorry that happened,” it’s what most people are really looking for. A simple apology. An acknowledgment they were right — or at least not wrong.

pinterest.com

But corporations, insurance companies? They don’t apologize unless you are in the process of buying a lot of product, in which case good manners flow like oil — until the deal is made. Then, back to normal.

That’s how come Medicare for all will work. Medicare is really easy to work with. They answer the phone. IN-PERSON no less. And they know their business. The phone gets answered 24 hours a day.

They do their best to help you, find a way around your problem. They aren’t there to make life harder and are pleased when they can do you a good turn. Just the nice manners and kind attentions will make everyone glad to jump on-board.

Change isn’t always hard. Sometimes, it goes easily, smoothly and before long, no one remembers it ever being different. It feels natural.

That’s the way Medicare will feel. It’s almost like you can finally take a deep breath after holding it in for a long time. I’m still not sure why everyone is in such an uproar about it. It will go fine. Smooth as butter on toast.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

22 thoughts on “YOU COULD CALL THIS UPBEAT. NO, REALLY, YOU COULD. – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I don’t think insurance companies are anyones friend except for our neighbour across the street. They had a fire and for the last year they have been living somewhere else while their house has been completely renovated right down to the studs. Apparently the lady works for the insurance company. Go figure….
    Leslie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fire is about the ONLY thing they (more or less) fully cover. That and a big tree falling on your house unless they decide YOU should have removed the tree (how close was it to the house? did it look rotten?) so normally, the get rid of the tree and fix the house. Otherwise, EVERYTHING is wear and tear or flooding for which you can’t afford the insurance. Oh, if your roof gets lifted by ice dams, they cover that.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m dim and a mushroom, so I have no idea what the deal is with Medicare? Are “they” doing something to it? Is that type of ‘insurance’ going to be the new version of the National Health Service in the U.K.?

    It’s really not the insurance company per se that is so annoying, it’s the PEOPLE. If one’s job is customer service, FFS, make sure the person applying for that job knows what Customer Service IS and how to effectively do the job.

    If the person applying for the job is bound by nonsensical ‘rules’ (one place I worked in that capacity had a 5 minute ‘rule’. If the agent talked to the customer longer than 5 minutes, it was a negative mark in the agent’s employment record with the company. ) Needless to say I didn’t last long in the job.

    Good customer service might take TIME. If that’s a commodity the company doesn’t wish to spend, they should go automated fully. And lose business. I, personally, won’t deal with a company that has the automated option and demands EVERYONE use it.

    Some things can’t be explained to a damned machine. America at least has lost the concept of customer service and of training people to do a good job at that. It’s a bad thing for everyone concerned.

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    1. Medicare is American. It’s insurance for senior citizens and people with disabilities. They are not machines and they
      ARE nice. There is excellent customer service and they will stay on the line with you as long as you need them. 24/7, too. There’s tons of material about this online and off. You should read some of it. It might very well apply to you and make your life a whole lot easier.

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  3. Just to begin with it goes against the grain to pay for something you HOPE you’ll never ever have to need or use, but then the red tape and b.s. that usually goes along with it makes the entire experience horrifying, frustrating, and has you ready to rip your hair out.

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  4. My husband has always had Federal blue cross,, since he worked at the Navy Yard here. When we got to the medicare stage it was a very easy process to get ourselves installed. I’m still stunned at going to the doctor and sailing out again, no copay, no hassles.
    Last winter I ended up in three hospitals (one of those three part symphonies, yep) and by the time they got through with the slice and dice, the bills, god help us all, amounted to over $150,000. for a total of 8 days of treatments, one surgery, and really bad food. Blue Cross picked up some of it, Medicare picked up the rest.
    And yes, they are nice. We had a few questions, called up, someone said, ‘let me get your records’ and that was it. No problems.

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  5. Our Medicare system works pretty well as far as costs go, there are not enough doctors in regional areas and hospitals in Tasmania at least are a joke but at least we don’t have to stress about the money. David was in the hospital for 8 months before he died and I did not have to pay one cent. If I had it would certainly have wiped out everything we had.

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  6. You’re certainly not alone, here Marilyn. As the evidence here alone shows, most people also hate insurance companies – me included. And with good reason.

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  7. To me as a total outsider, Warren looks like a godsent to me – she is intelligent, has more than just ‘plans’ and can explain her strategies as far as I can tell.
    The medicare for all is one hot and very important subject and I wish it to every single person.
    As for politeness, I’m sitting here, foam coming out of my mouth. I order vitamins & such from an English company, have done for some 18 years now and lately received approx one of 3 orders. I’m fighting over my last one who ‘again got lost with no explanation’ about the why and where or what….. and just TODAY I phoned them after having exchanged some 20 mails – they respond by mail 2-10 DAYS after mine and every bloody single one starts with the greetings: ….. ‘Hello from the home of health and happiness.’
    Sadly, it doesn’t stop there. No, the next line is:
    ‘Thanks for getting in touch with us. ….. (4 lines of promo for the sender! Really!). ‘We usually get back to you shortly, at the most 24hrs…..We had an unusual high number of customer mails (so I’m not the only one who is fed up with taking for a fool?!) which prevented us from responding more quickly.’
    And so it went on and on….. So today, I got a reply, not only THREE WEEKS after my last mail, suggesting a second (? Lies, was there a first delivery?) parcel – OR would I prefer a reimbursement?! I wrote back AND TELEPHONED, only to get – hurrah hurrah – hours later, another mail saying that the 4 ordered and paid for ‘Swiss drops with Alpine herbs and no sugar’ were out of stock….. Would I wish to get the ones WITH sugar which are the only ones they still have in stock (I wonder why? When all the other sorts w/o sugar are out of stock)? If not, they will refund that part of the order within the next FIVE WORKING DAYS…..
    Thank You too! It’s not only insurance companies who suck badly!
    —–
    Our quite expensive house insurance pulled out completely when our 100yr old stone wall fell down and on the road…. They talked FIRST with the town people who should have taken over half of the damage costs (for reasons I won’t explain here) and together they decided that NO, neither the town nor the insurance company had to pay anything of the huge damage; it was nature’s doing and therefore nothing was covered…

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  8. sorry you had to deal with the insurance! Makes me glad I don’t live in the USA! I’ve heard insurance can be tricky to deal with! Health insurance I mean!

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