Monday, 18 July 2011

Health Insurance (again)

So I have come full circle.  The problem started with my health insurance 2 years ago when I fell behind with the premiums.  So I changed insurers as Insurer 1 stopped paying my medical bills until I had caught up with the arrears.  Insurer 2 were happy to pay my medical bills so I continued to pay the new insurer and get my medical bills paid.  I thought I had "resigned" the contract with insurer 1.  But no, I was not allowed to change insurers with arrears outstanding and they would not accept a payment plan from me although I offered this on at least 3 occasions. Insurer 1 should have informed insurer 2 that I could not proceed with a contract with them, but they didn't.
Insurer 2 then said because I had signed a contract with them also, that I had to pay them as well.  So in effect, I would have t pay 2 health insurers which there was no way I could afford. Insurer 1 kept billing me.  I kept telling them that I was no longer insured with them, so to stop billing me.  I saw the social services, but he misadvised me, so all the while insurer 1 kept registering my non payment as a debt.  I then had the government debt people chasing me for money which I didn't believe I owed and couldn't afford anyway.
Finally this year my psychiatrist referred me to the social worker based in the psychiatric department (no doubt he wanted paying too!) and she started getting involved.  Basically insurers 1 &2 were acting against the law.
Following so far?
Another three months down the line, insurer 2 started issuing refunds to me, although I had specifically said to pay back to insurer 1.  Of course, they weren't going to do this as that would show liability.  In the meantime I was referred to the normal social services department as my social worker had done all she could within her remit.
Hence I have now received another letter from insurer 1 repeating what I was told 2 years ago.  "We will not pay your medical bills untill all arrears have been paid".
In effect, this means I can no longer afford medication, I cannot afford to go to my GP, I cannot afford to go to my psychiatrist.  Normally after I have visitedeither of these /collected medication, I am billed.  This gets sent to the insurer, who then refunds me the total bill less 10%.  I can then pay the bill with a small contribution from myself so that it is paid in full.  I can negotiate part payment, but still have to pay my insurance premiums, so it is one or the other.
Basically, I'm screwed.  After half an hour of crying this afternoon I put my energies into sorting out exactly which bills were still outstanding.  I have an appointment with social services in the morning and they know that they have to deal with the insurance companies on my behalf as I am not mentally capable any more of communicating with them - it's too much and I don't always know the words to converse in German. 
I am also waiting for my unemployment benefit (3 months now) so I phoned them today.  They told me they still need more paperwork.  Would have been nice if they had written to me to let me know what was missing, so I photocopied every job related bit of paper from the last two years and sent it to them with a covering note to say if there was anything further missing all they have to do is look up my file from last October from when I last signed on and it will all be there.  Of course, being Swiss that probably won't be good enough and I will have to do the rounds of all my employers in the last 2 years to get copies of paperwork which the unemployment office ALREADY HAS!
Frustrated? YES. Upset? YES. Skint? YES (i have about five pounds to my name right now).
I know the meeting with social services will be awful tomorrow because I will get hysterical and cry because I can't take the pressure any more.  It's all too much.

1 comment:

  1. The entire healthcare system is so messed up. If people need help, they should have access to it. I am so sorry you are having to go through this!