I have entered the world of health insurance, and I am not happy. Having been on my dad’s insurance plan since my zygote stage, the plan had become like a friend to me – comforting me every time I had to go to a doctor’s appointment, and refusing to give me money that it promised to pay long ago. It’s been a pillar of unstable stability, and it’s shedding me like a sleep-deprived mother dropping off her four-year old, Minion-speaking son at preschool after an extended weekend. Where’s the loyalty? Where’s the love? Did the annual Christmas card that they sent me mean nothing?
So, it is with a heavy heart that I entered into the land of HMO, PPO, and HBO. Exploring the insurance agencies’ websites, I saw that I could customize my plan through a maze of filters. Did I want the bronze plan? The gold plan? The platinum plan? I looked for the Iron Man plan, but, of course, that was nowhere to be found, most likely due to disputes with Robert Downey Jr. over creative differences.
Six hours, four cups of coffee, two holes in the wall, and one mysterious eye twitch later, I conceded that I needed help. I called my state’s authority on the new health insurance policies and requirements and was met with a machine that really seemed to care about my call. It told me so several times. Unfortunately, the machine was so enamored with me that it wouldn’t let me speak to a human. ‘Round and ’round we went, me pressing numbers corresponding to menu options, corresponding to more menu options, corresponding to more menu options, only to be met with the machine telling me to enter policy numbers it knew I didn’t have – and that it still cared about me. We were locked in a battle of Where’s Waldo: Health Insurance Edition, and like all of my other love affairs, our relationship ended badly with me screaming, “Give me a real human being!”
After multiple shrieks that caused my neighbors to rush over in a panic (Was I hurt? Was I dying? No, I was searching for health insurance plans. They understood.), I was met with a calm, male voice asking what he could do for me. I told him my dilemma, and he told me that I should go to the website and check out the available plans. This did not inspire confidence in him.
I told him that I had indeed checked out the website and had seen several plans that may be viable options. I began to tell him the titles of the plans, but he stopped me and told me that an insurance broker would be able to help me more than he. Well, at least he was humble. He e-mailed me a 926-page list of brokers and I asked him if he could help me narrow down my search. He could not. In a last-ditch effort, I asked if he could tell me the difference between an HMO, PPO, and POS. He could not. I asked him if he could give me Nancy Pelosi’s number. After all, she was one of the strongest advocates for the Affordable Health Care Act, and surely she would understand my predicament and would be able to guide me in my search. He could not.
So, I calmly bid him adieu, printed out the list of brokers, pinned the pages to my wall, closed my eyes, and threw a dart at the papers. It landed on Honest Lenny’s Insurance and Landscaping Service. I will be contacting Lenny in the morning, and, hopefully, like the machine that just couldn’t stand to let me go, he too will care about my call.