There is a part of everyone’s life that deals with diabetes that needs to be discussed. It is the navigation of the rough waters in the sea of insurance waves.
This is not a unique occurrence dealing with people who have diabetes in their household; it hits every home who has any illness whatsoever where insurance companies are involved. Cancer, autism, peanut allergies, MS, CF, and on and on and on goes the list. If you or your child has been diagnosed with diabetes there is an aspect to a side of diabetes that many do not prepare you.
In addition to the management, the education, the carb counting, the living healthy, and the medical side to diabetes; you will also be dealing with insurance companies. Either by covered insurance or by government assistance. Navigating the roadway of ‘coverage’ is not an easy one. We all do it so know you are not alone.
Insurance is a business. Simple fact to remember. A business’ goal is to make money; ergo an insurance company’s job is to make money. In exchange for the money they receive, they supply the financial assistance you need to obtain the correct medical care and prescriptions for you and your family. Maybe not the products you would like but ones that will get the job done (in most cases).
When you call, it is not that the person on the other side of the phone does not care about you; their job is to assist as many people as possible in a given day so people are not complaining that no one answered their question or picked up the phone when they called.
But they can help. They should help.
Know your questions, write them down before you get on the call. Know all the numbers, names, and addresses that are needed for the person on the phone to assist you. Keep notes on everything that happens from one call to the next and for heaven’s sake get a name or an i.d. number of the person with whom you spoke.
Inbound calls number in the tens of thousands per day. The more information you have in front of you, the more the person on the phone may be able to help you. It’s not easy dealing with people on the phone when the caller does not know anything they should know from their own Doctor’s address to the name of the medicine their kids are taking.
When you call, be direct, be fair, be polite, and know ‘your stuff’. A caller is usually dealing with one problem or one set of problems that the caller knows every aspect leading up to the call……..know that the insurance company representative KNOWS NOTHING about your problem.
Now, surely there are times that you want to ring the neck of the person on the other end; when that happens, hang up and call back or ask to speak to a supervisor. Be ready and allow the time for you to finish the call. “I am leaving in 5 minutes, let me call the insurance company first….” is probably a practice you will want to stay away from at all costs.
Insurance companies are services organizations; their objectives do not always align with your goals. It is our job to give as much information as possible to reach our goals using their objectives. The water can be rough sometimes, but THEY can be navigated if you prepare yourself before the call.
It will not always be smooth, but it does not always have to leave you with the felling that you need to take a nap after the call either. Insurance companies are a needed entity; period. Might as well learn how to row with them as oppose to against them.
I am a diabetes dad.
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