My sister asked me to help our mother with some insurance questions today. Mom had seen some commercials that described different plans, and she wanted to check into them further.
Seemed like a simple request, I thought—and maybe it should have been.
After about two hours of phone calls and web browsing and searching, we discovered some good news for Mom: she was right. There is a plan that will suit her very well.
But to get to that bit of information? What an ordeal!
We started with a web search, progressed to a telephone call and the promptly spent fifteen minutes on hold. The kind agent helped us, but she sent us onto the next company, which was another telephone call. This one progressed well until the agent left to us on hold to find out more information… and suddenly we were with a completely different government agency.
We called back to the insurance company again. They apologized that we had been cut off and told us that the original agent would surely call us back, within an hour. She gave us the direct line and extension “just in case” something happened and we didn’t hear back.
Four hours later, we still had not heard back, and so we set off to try again. Encouraged with our direct extension numbers, we dialed through—four times. Every time, the extension never rang, it just went to dead air.
Eventually, we got smarter. We dialed and then just waited for any agent. This one helpfully found the original application. But, she explained, we needed to go through another governmental process first. (And once we had that done—which might take up to sixty days—then we needed to call them back to enroll.)
The needed governmental paperwork could be done online. First, though, we had to create an account and password—and then answer the security questions. Finally, we could complete the rest of the questions, something that only took another half an hour. Well, actually, Mom still has to find some additional documentation, the website noted, so we are not 100% done yet.
And better yet: once that governmental process is completed, then—and only then—can we go back to the original insurance agency. At that point, we can finally get Mom that wonderful, magical insurance, the one that costs less and covers more.
I’m tired just writing about this whole process. I’m even tempted to delete everything I’ve written–because it must be as maddening to read as it was to go through!
The silver lining about this? This whole thing could have been much more tedious, the agents assured us. Because of the pandemic, it’s been streamlined and the government paperwork doesn’t have to be done in person. It’s even supposed to be finalized faster than it was before the pandemic.
Faster dealings with the government: now there is a silver lining I had no idea I’d find!