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Old 06-27-2006, 05:08 PM   #1
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Location: In Connecticut, on the Housatonic River near its mouth at Long Island Sound.
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Default May I complain? (!!!)

I recently entered the bizarre sub-culture called Medicare. Had to have new insurance plan (called, inelegantly, if I may say so, “medigap”) — and one of the infamous Medicare prescription plans.

Let us not dwell on the insanity of the American medical system; it would give us all agita, for one thing. And be utterly useless, for another.

But let me talk about health insurance web sites, as I have had to grapple with many of those, and none of the experiences very nice.

Today I went to my new drug plan site to arrange for mail prescriptions. That way you get three-month prescriptions for roughly two months of money, and you save all that to-ing and fro-ing to the local pharmacy.

Had to sign up. Well, of course I did. Page after page of entries, names, etc., childhood recollections, blah, blah, blah. Then I got to the license agreement. How odd, I thought, but plodded on. I even read all the small print, some of which said that I could not divulge the faintest inkling of any aspect of my relationship with this company. Hmm. Well, okay, I said, soldiering on. (You will note that I am not mentioning a name here, right?)

Then I scroll to the end and click Accept. Thing says you must scroll (note: not read!) to the end before clicking Accept. But I had, I scream. Really, read every word, too. Then I saw a button that said Requirements. Okay, I clicked it. (I swear it had not appeared in all the pages before.)

You must use modern, secure browers it said (paraphrasing here): Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or 6 or Netscape 4. Ooof. How could I possibly keep up with such a rigorous standard?

So I rummaged out good old MSIE 5.2.3 (the most recent version of IE I can run), and went back. This time it let me click on Accept. Whew.

Then I went directly to my target: Ordering prescriptions online. Okay. I needed a form, and found it. Asked to download it. Twelve minutes later, MSIE timed out. Tried again. Timed out again. (There was all this asp stuff; but nothing at all happened.)

Can you imagine that I was vexed? Well, I was. I had divulged my mother’s secret name for me, filled out a gazillion forms, deftly avoided options for regular health-related spam, and who knows what else, only to fail at the door of my objective. Not to mention that I had spent about an hour on all this annoyance.

I searched in vain for an e-mail address. None appeared (though they required that I supply one!). Only 800-phone numbers. So I finally caved in and called. Plink, plink, plink, one instruction to holler at the phone, pause, wait for the next available operator — and then, dial tone.

Went away to complain to DH. Grump. But I need to order these prescriptions. So back to the phone.

This time I got through to a helpful woman who said I could send the prescriptions with a plain piece of paper providing the correct information. Can you imagine something so simple? Why, do you suppose, don’t they tell us that on page one?

Never mind. Just ranting here. I thought you all would understand, if anyone would. . .


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