This week I received my quarterly health insurance bill. Boy, was I in for a shock. It showed a 49% increase in my premium.
Convinced it was in error, I naively called the company’s call center to get it corrected. The rep was nonchalant about the whole thing, acting as though a 49% increase was normative. When I protested, he began offering lame excuses:
- The rates always go up
- It’s because of inflation
- There have been too many claims
Each time, I dismissed his explanation, telling him that his stated reason was insufficient to justify a 49% increase in my premium.
Not able to dissuade me, he finally relented, sighed, and offered a plausible and convincing reason. “The rate increase is the result of added costs that we are incurring because of the Obama healthcare reform,” he said. His tone was somber and sincere. He was no longer mechanically talking at me, but was personally talking with me. I believed him.
He then worked with me, offering options. I ended up increasing my deductible several thousand dollars in order to keep my premium in check.
His first three reasons where, I am sure, the standard script that he was supposed to follow. What I am not sure of, is if he deviated from his script in placing the blame on healthcare reform or if that was an official corporate statement.
What I do know, is that I agree with him. It is what I feared all along, that healthcare reform would end up costing me more and offering me less.
Read more in Peter Lyle DeHaan’s Healthcare Call Center Essentials, available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book.
Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is the publisher and editor-in-chief of AnswerStat and Medical Call Center News covering the healthcare call center industry. Read his latest book, Sticky Customer Service.