Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Healthcare Makes Me Sick!

Our healthcare insurance carrier is conducting themselves in a manner that is changing my perception of their industry-- for the worse!  Their industry is under a lot of scrutiny these days, and I'm beginning to believe they deserve it.

My Perspective To-Date
I run a small business and am sympathetic to the plight of the small businessman (or woman).  Our taxes and fees are increasing, and doing business-- especially in California, is challenging.

But I have always defended the insurance industry as I would any legitimate business.  They provide a service, and they have a right to do so profitably.

Our Situation
Without going into specifics, our health insurance company made fast changes to their plans that cost us and our team members thousands in the last year.  These were done without warning, and they were entirely unsympathetic to our plight.

The person in our office responsible for dealing with them was under so much stress from them that I personally took on the responsibility earlier this month.  I've been working with them for three weeks, and now I understand why she was nearly at tears.  They have been insensitive, uncaring, and unresponsive.

Big Isn't Always Better
Before starting our small business in the mid-1980s I was in executive service for General Motors.  They had pirated me from a similar role in Ford Motor Company.  I understand working in a large corporation, and know that sometimes they can be difficult to navigate.  Sometimes their personnel can be unsympathetic to customers' needs.  But an objective and caring manager can create a culture where the customer is king (or queen) and reasonable needs are met.  The best part is that everyone wins in that scenario!

My New Perspective
I'm beginning to believe that those who hate the healthcare insurance industry are justified.  I can't believe I'm saying that, but after trying to deal with them for three weeks, they have completely turned me around!

I spoke with their CEO's office, and they are trying to navigate the corporate culture to resolve our issue.  Unfortunately, the first person I was referred to had the sole responsibility of defending and explaining their plan.  Not helpful.  Next is that person's manager and the national VP.  I hope I will be writing a follow-up post that says they made everything right, and that my original position (that of defending their right to do business and to do it profitably) is still in tact.


Tony said...

Nick...did anything come of this yet?

Nick Nicholaou said...

Nope! Their system wore me down, and my complaint went away... just like it's designed to!