Friday, October 26, 2012

Life Skills from Nursing: Organization

One of the life skills that I have acquired through nursing is organization.  I would not call myself completely organized and caught up, but I have reached the point where I anticipate potential problems and take the necessary steps to avoid a blow-up.

While working at the nursing home, I had crappy health insurance.  Ironic, isn't it?  I ended up needing surgery (nothing major) and a trip to the emergency room (nothing major).  When you receive services in this fashion, multiple providers bill you.  The insurance company paid a few, but not others.  The insurance company is not online, so I could not access my claims to check for payment or denial.  It's a "self-funded plan," supposedly exempt from state insurance rules because it's not really an insurance company.  As far as I am concerned, if it acts like an insurance company, looks like an insurance company, then it's an insurance company.  I wrote letters every few weeks, but received nothing.  The unpaid claims went into collection and my credit tanked.  Not that I was looking to acquire a mortgage any time soon- people with crushing student loan debt don't qualify to become homeowners.

I kept copies of all of my letters and the bills.  I filed complaints with the department within my state government that receives insurance complaints as well as United States Department of Labor.  It feels great to have all of this information handy when a bill collector calls.  No claims were paid yet, but I am on top of the situation.  All because of my organizational skills gained from my nursing career.

In addition, I took tips from the bill collectors.  They recommended contacting the providers to obtain copies of any correspondence from the insurance company.  This was very helpful in countering the insurance company's claims that their requests for information went unanswered.

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