Here is a completely true, unembellished (okay – there’s one embellishment. See if you can spot it!) account of our attempts thus far to procure a breast pump through our insurance company, who we’ll just call Federated Kafkaesque Insurance. A company who appears to believe very strongly that there’s not much you can’t just “walk off,” and that people get too hung up on material things.
A friend says to be sure and tell our insurance company that we’re wanting a breast pump, because that’s usually covered. Great! We say. We’ll give them a call. Outside, dark clouds roll in as deep, mocking laughter echoes from the very ground.
My wife calls the insurance company to ask if the cover breast pumps. Yes, they say. They will cover it for 3 months. The way it works is we purchase it, and then they reimburse us. “Wait,” my wife says. “Which is it? Is it covered for 3 months, or do we purchase it?” “Yes,” the insurance agent says. “But which?” “You buy it, we reimburse you, and it’s covered for 3 months.”
A second agent clarifies: if you want to rent it for 3 months, you can, but you need a prescription. Or you can buy it and we’ll reimburse you. You don’t need a prescription for that.
“Hello, medical supply headquarters. Do you carry Brand X breast pump and do you take Federated Kafkaesque Insurance?” “Yes to both.” “Hurray!” “Yes. And there is a branch office in your town; you need to call them.”
*calling the local branch office* “No, we don’t take FKI.” “Yes, you do. I just talked your headquarters.” “Right. They do. They’re in a different county. We don’t.” “But you’re the same company.” “We’re in a different county.” “Can you get it from them, then?” “No.” “Can I get it from them?” “No, because you live in this county.”
Next call: *Long explanation of the troubles thus far.* “Hold on for a moment.” *pause* “Okay, I know exactly what needs to happen, your troubles are over. The office right next door carries the pump and takes the insurance. Let me just transfer you over.” *click* “No, we don’t carry that.” “But the person I talked to is next door. She said she walked over and got the information.” “Well, we don’t.” “Can you transfer me back?” “We don’t have that capability.” “But she just transferred me to you.” “We don’t have that capability.” *hangs up*
“Hi, I was referred to your medical supply company. Do you carry Brand X Breast Pump?” “Let me look in the computer… No, we carry Brand Y.” “Oh, well, does it have features A, B and C?” “I don’t know.” *pause* “Could you check?” (clearly irritated) “Well, no. In order to do that, I’d have to go all the way out to the floor and physically look at the product.” “Oh… I see… um…”
“If I drive to city Z (3.5 hours away) and physically purchase Brand X breast pump from this company, will it be covered by insurance?” “I think so.” “That’s a long drive for ‘I think so…’” “It should be covered. Yes.” “O…kay…” We have yet to be able to find out where this company is and when it’s open.
And the saga continues…
**Did you find the embellishment? That’s right! There was no dark clouds & evil laughter coming from the ground. The laughter just sort of echoed from out of nowhere.**