I know what you're saying. What? But you've always been so satisfied with Medtronic's customer service, Elizabeth! What could they have done to drive you to the point of a total meltdown?
Well, this is what.
In February, I put Eric on MaineCare. Because I do not trust Maine's governor, who seems hell-bent on slashing MaineCare to the bone, I maintained his Anthem policy as well, using what's left of my savings to pay the monthly premium. My thinking was that MaineCare would pay the bits Anthem wouldn't, but Anthem would safeguard Eric if (as I feel quite certain will be the case) our dear governor decides that 3 test strips a day is adequate for children with diabetes. And I duly entered MaineCare into Medtronic's database as his secondary insurance.
A month or so ago, I got a bill for Eric's CGM and pump supplies. Given that we're still in the deductible, I was not surprised to note that Anthem had not covered all the costs, but I was surprised to see that only the Anthem policy was listed on the bill, so I put a note into the envelope saying that they needed to bill MaineCare for Eric's pump supplies and returned it. I then went online and once again updated Eric's insurance info, figuring that somehow, I must not have saved it properly.
Then I get a call from Medtronic today. Speaking with the woman on the phone, I learned that my balance was up to $1600. I was baffled: why had my recent orders not been put through MaineCare? The CSR told me that they did not have the secondary insurance info on his account. How could that be? I had not only entered into CareLink twice, I'd also sent it on the note I'd returned to them a month ago. And, as I told the CSR, I knew that MaineCare covers insulin pump supplies because I'd assured myself that this was the case (although I did not know that they cover CGMs, and that was another reason I was keeping the Anthem policy).
After reading the card info to her on the phone, the CSR said, "Oh, now I see. It's because we're not contracted with MaineCare."
I was puzzled. "What do you mean, you're not contracted with them?"
"We do not have a contract to provide supplies to MaineCare recipients," she explained. "They DO cover pump supplies, but they don't cover them coming from us."
I was horrified. "How can that be? Medtronic is the biggest manufacturer of insulin pumps in the US? Does this mean... I have to put Eric on a different pump?"
"Oh, no," she said. "They pay for pump supplies for our pumps, but from a third-party supplier. I can give you..."
This was all I heard. I had a meltdown at that point.
I have been ordering supplies from Medtronic with MaineCare in place for three months now. NO ONE HAD EVER TOLD ME THAT I COULD NOT ORDER SUPPLIES DIRECT FROM THE MANUFACTURER. No one at DHHS, no one at Medtronic. No one. Moreover, when I checked MaineCare's online coverage info (and believe me, I did check), it said merely that insulin pump supplies were covered. It did not say anything about being covered only through some third party.
And it's not like I hadn't said to either group of bureaucrats that I do not have a regular full-time job and cannot afford to pay out of pocket. I've said so REPEATEDLY.
I don't recall exactly what I said to (screamed at?) the CSR. I do recall that I said, "You mean to tell me I owe $1600 that I cannot afford to pay because NOBODY BOTHERED TO TELL ME THIS??" Which I believe gets the point across. She tried to calm me down. I was in the midst of having a panic attack, complete with hyperventilating, so I simply told her I could no longer discuss the matter with her and we would need to talk about it at some other time. And then I hung up on her.
Much calmer now. Venting helps. But still pissed.