Monday, January 07, 2019

Weird Caller Tricks

So I get a phone call this past Friday from "Pam," who's looking for help with "personal health insurance." Turns out her husband's "idiot boss" had neglected to pay the group health insurance premiums, and as a result that plan had lapsed. At which point her "idiot husband" went on the Exchange (during Open Enrollment) and signed them up for a plan with Molina, to the tune of $2,100 per month (you know, 'affordable'). Pam was unhappy with both of these events (no kidding), and wanted to make some changes.

In the meantime, she had signed up for a UHC short term plan that will expire on the 20th.,

It should also be noted that Pam has a pre-existing shoulder injury for which she receives periodic treatment, and her "idiot husband" was recently diagnosed with a (thus far benign) thyroid nodule.


I explained that there really weren't a lot of insurance options here: since we're outside Open Enrollment, and I don't see any Special Open Enrollment triggers in her situation, there's not much we can do with ACA-compliant plans. Nor would another Short Term plan be advisable, since both her shoulder and now her "idiot husband's" thyroid condition would be pre-existing and thus excluded.

I then turned to some non-insurance (but ACA-compliant) options, and asked if she was familiar with Health Care Sharing arrangements; she was not. So I explained to her that, although I don't write these myself, I do know that there are a lot of folks who think they're pretty good (and also a lot who think they're a rip-off, of course). I also asked if she knew about Direct Primary Care (DPC) and, unsurprisingly, she did not. And so I explained how DPC worked, and how to use the DPC Frontier site to see if there's a nearby practice.

I also explained that many folks combine these two plans, and why that is often effective.

Keep in mind that I've now spent about 45 minutes with her answering questions and offering advice, and that since I wouldn't be selling her anything myself, this was completely uncompensated. On the other hand, The Sticker pretty much dictates this course of action.

At the end of the conversation, I asked if she had any other questions, and she said "no, I'm going to call the Exchange number and get my plan changed." And then she hung up.

Gee, Pam, you're quite welcome.

And rotsa ruck with that.
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