*** THIS IS A RANT, PLEASE LEAVE NOW, DO NOT READ BELOW, IT'S JUST A BITTER, FRUSTRATED CRIPPLE WHINING ABOUT SHIT HE CAN'T CHANGE... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED***

I've been battling with my DME for the past 2 years to get a chair and finally I got them to submit it to insurance, so now of course the insurance company is the obstacle.

Insurance companies (BCBS of SC in my case) are like well-oiled machines when it comes to completely ignoring you and not letting you talk to anyone about the issue you have.

A couple months ago an insurance lady I actually got on the phone after only 45 minutes of being transferred and put on hold told me how I could appeal the denial of my titanium upgrade. So I asked my PCP to send the letter appealing the denial. Well eventually they denied the appeal (after telling my doctor that he faxed the appeal to the wrong number, which was the exact number the above lady told me to fax it to), which leads me to today.

I call BCBS at the number the nice lady in the above paragraph gave me. Turns out it's not her phone number... also not the right department for the appeal, and it's only a voicemail so other than leaving a voicemail (ha! like they're ever going to return that!) all I can do is call the precertifcation department. My afternoon went like this:

2:15 pm called precert department, entered my member number on the phone, put on hold, someone answered the phone call, "verified my member number" (read wasted time for a couple minutes), then said they could transfer me to the proper department.
2:25 put on hold again for ten minutes, finally someone answered, "verified" me again and then asked me to hold.... held for fifteen minutes... then they said they could transfer me to the proper department.
2:40 transferred to another department who listened to my spiel about how I wanted to contest the denial, then said they worked in the "small groups" section and would have to transfer me to the "major groups" department that handled my company's insurance... she kindly does provide me with the phone number for "major groups" in case we get "disconnected"... another fifteen minutes on hold.
2:55 "major groups" finally answered, but all the sudden they can't hear my phone, I can hear them perfectly clearly, but they can't hear me, so they hang up on me, which sends me to an automated "how'd we do" survey thing... I rate them poorly as I'm on the way back to work and don't have the time to wait on hold again.
5:00 I call back the "major groups" number, because I know they're open until 6pm based on what they told me before we were "disconnected". I'm put on hold for twenty minutes. After twenty minutes I'm told they need to transfer me. "Where to?" I ask... to the PRECERT DEPARTMENT they say... "what in the holy hell?" I ask, that's where I started this whole ordeal three hours ago. "Well they shouldn't have transferred you" the clearly-starting-to-get-annoyed lady says on the other end. I ask to speak to a manager... she resists... I ask again to speak to a manager... she says it's getting close to six. I ask her name again and say "Erin from the "major group" department, I am requesting to speak to YOUR manager at this time, are you telling me that I cannot speak to your manager." She says no, of course she isn't, but I might have to hold...

At this point I know where it's going. It's barely more than half an hour before their department closes, all she has to do is put me on hold for half an hour and her day is over. So she does. She puts me on hold around 5:30, and checks in every ten minutes or so to see if I'm still there, asking if I will continue to hold. Then at 6:01 she picks up the phone again and asks if I would like to leave a message because there is no longer a manager in the building and the department is closed... I say "That's what I figured, you'd just put me on hold until 6 pm and tell me there's nothing you can do" and then hang up the phone.

The whole fucking system is like a well oiled machine, extremely effective in it's singular purpose to confound the patient and prevent them from getting any meaningful information or address any concerns.

But I've got Erin's name and the department she works in. Unfortunately for her she was the one stuck holding the hot potato at the end of the day, so I'm gonna call her back at 8:00 tomorrow morning and see how long it actually takes to get a manager on the phone... My guess is three hours, but I'll entertain bets.