Getting Insurance Is As Easy As Arguing Over A Shirt For 2 Hours!

January 7, 2014

Humor

I did a commercial last week for an insurance company, in which I walk you through the process of signing up for insurance and explain the new health care laws.  The gist of it is that signing up for health care is easy and the insurance companies are here for you.

You know, lying.

The great irony is that I begin by saying “It’s really quite simple…” then talk for 5 full pages.

Now THAT is a reassuringly charming shirt.

Now THAT is a reassuringly charming shirt.

If you see it, I hope you especially like the shirt I’m wearing, because there was a nearly 2-hour discussion over whether I should wearing it, or a blue one.  Rest assured, everyone’s voice was heard on the issue, and that all agreed the shirt conveyed a sense of professionalism but not salesmanship, and friendliness but not too-casualness.

Most of it was pretty straight-forward, but certain sections really strained my abilities.  For example, for some reason I had trouble sounding upbeat and friendly while saying that, while no one expects it, things like getting diagnosed with cancer can, and do, happen.  I don’t know why it gave me trouble.  Maybe I should have winked while I said it.

What you see in the ad while likely be less… clustered.

What you see in the ad while likely be less… clustered.

There was one section, added specifically for people watching the video in Oregon, in which I explain the that Cover Oregon system is not yet “Fully functional” and I think they should have used the take where I added, “You know, kind of like how a plane that slams into a mountain an explodes has been ‘delayed.’”   I know the health care roll-out got pretty botched nation-wide, but Oregon’s deserves a special prize.  To sign up, you have to go to the website, print the 19-page application, fill it out by hand, then fax it to the Cover Oregon offices who have –  this is true –  one fax machine.  Then, if and when they got to it, they would mail the results to you.

Finally, there was the last line, which I had to repeat 19 times.  The line ends with urging people, if they’re having trouble, to give the company a call because “we’re here for you” and then I smile.  Only my smile looked fake and I sometimes sounded insincere.  Possibly because I was thinking, every single time, “They are totally not here for you.  They are here for your money.”

The biggest irony of it?  I immediately used that money for some medical bills that my insurance won’t cover.

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About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Blog in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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70 Comments on “Getting Insurance Is As Easy As Arguing Over A Shirt For 2 Hours!”

  1. BrainRants Says:

    Biggest mistake our elected officials have ever made.

    Reply

  2. speaker7 Says:

    That is a pretty great shirt.

    Reply

  3. Go Jules Go Says:

    5 pages? Are you sure this isn’t a new mini series? (OMG. Title ideas…GO!)

    “Maybe You Won’t Get Cancer, But If You Do… (Ha Ha No. You Definitely Will.)”

    “Who Do I Have To Fax Around Here To Get An Rxxx?”

    “The Fax About Life Health Insurance”

    “White Collar v. Blue Collar: Let’s Not Shirt The Issue”

    Reply

  4. silkpurseproductions Says:

    You should have some form of ID that says “I am not a representative of your insurance company, I just play one on TV”.

    Reply

  5. Sarah Day Says:

    So real, so funny…although I am the person occasionally writing that copy. At least I can laugh at myself, right? Right?

    Reply

  6. Jackie Cangro Says:

    I see a CLIO award in your future!

    Reply

  7. pjsarecomfyn Says:

    I cringe just thinking about how “here for me” the insurance companies are. grrrr…but I do want to see this commercial.

    Reply

  8. Twindaddy Says:

    Insurance companies have all of our best interests at heart, no doubt.

    Reply

  9. pegoleg Says:

    I WANT to believe your insurance company is going to be there for me, but that shirt is sending the message “We HATE all of our policyholders and hope they die in the street like the dogs they are, right after they pay their premiums.” Maybe they should have gone with the blue.

    Reply

  10. Chris Crash Sharp Says:

    I’m feeling generous and want to see an angel get some wings today. Loved the commentary, very accurate and highlights what I commonly call “The Trainwreck Factor” in this roll out of nationalized health care. As in, it is SO messy, it is like watching a train wreck, complete with multiple slow motion decapitations, flying mothers, babies and locomotives. Yes, this is going to be messy. Nice shirt though!

    Reply

  11. Dana Says:

    Will I be able to see this on YouTube? I’m pretty sure it’s not going to air in Canada, and I *really need* to see the fake smile and hear the insincere “we’re here for you!” line. MUST.

    Reply

  12. Pixie Girl Says:

    Nice shirt!
    Perhaps you need to switch your insurance provider to the one advertised… they might cover the bills?… #wishfulthinking

    Reply

  13. Marilyn Armstrong Says:

    You mean … I shouldn’t believe everything I see on TV? Oh my god, I’m shocked!!

    Reply

  14. Maggie O'C Says:

    It’s hard to believe just how badly Oregon f’d this up when it is this state’s wet dream. I think if they had focused more on selecting a really nice shirt for the program, instead of those singing commercials, they may have seen more return on the gazillion dollar investment.

    I will be looking for you!

    Reply

  15. Paul George Eberlein Says:

    You could copyright the subject of this blog and sell it to an insurance company for big bucks; they might change the slogan to “Getting OUR Insurance Is As Easy As Arguing Over A Shirt For 2 Hours!” Truth in advertising, anyone?

    Reply

  16. Jen and Tonic Says:

    As an Oregonian, Cover Oregon is a huge blunder. There was so much publicity for the damn thing, and then it came out with a great big fizzle. Disappointing.

    Also, the shirt your wearing better be the sexiest shirt ever created to spark a 2 hour discussion.

    Reply

  17. wildramp Says:

    I live in Oregon now, having moved from West Virginia at the end of the summer and I love it here. The Cover Oregon snafus were a huge surprise since the state was so supportive and marketed with billboards and info everywhere. However, I am enrolled, despite the issues and very happy about it! Way better than my WV coverage which was Cobraed and more expensive

    Reply

  18. List of X Says:

    I think this shirt should be repealed. I bet it’s unconstitutional and millions of people will lose their insurance because of it.

    Reply

  19. Sandy Sue Says:

    Oh, B-man. Didn’t they teach you anything in acting school? BE the insurance dick!

    Reply

  20. stephrogers Says:

    I totally would’ve gone with the blue shirt, the white one makes you look like an insurance salesman.

    Reply

  21. Vanessa-Jane Chapman Says:

    Actually they should have made you wear a light purple shirt because apparently light purple makes people want to send money. It’s totally true, I read it on the internet so it must be :)

    Reply

  22. rossmurray1 Says:

    Meanwhile, the copywriter is going, “The talent is butchering my beautiful prose!”

    Reply

  23. rachelocal Says:

    I have a pressing question: did they make you change in and out of the opposing shirts repeatedly for two hours while they decided?

    Reply

  24. Mayomix Says:

    Hopefully no disgruntled, unhealthy insurance customers attempt to accost you on the streets. ;-p

    Reply

  25. Life With The Top Down Says:

    The controversy over the shirt is so insane, but I know it’s exactly how it works. Meeting, for meeting about having a meeting to discuss the meeting. 2 H O U R S over the color of a shirt and we wonder why shit takes so long to get done in this world. It’s really a miracle that a “fake smile” and “insincerity” are all you had in the end.
    I hope I get the opportunity to see this masterpiece here on the east coast.

    Reply

  26. WSW Says:

    “Not yet fully functional.” The phrase that gave us Viagra, softens the blow of kidney failure, and every day unleashes countless desperate calls to tech support in Hyderabad (most of which result in torrents of profanity-laced rants and frustration-fueled threats to the personal safety of Hindus named Ryan). What a world.

    Reply

  27. aaforringer Says:

    But did you get to keep the shirt?

    Reply

  28. they still let me vote Says:

    I deplore the lack of detail on the EXACT shade of blue on the (brutally) discarded shirt….AND as to the “tie /cravat” question we are left completely in the dark (Black perhaps).

    One assumes trousers were omitted completely……

    Am I alone in seeing a conspiracy here? striking at the very (off-white) heart of democracy….

    If it helps I can offer political sanctuary to the blue (shade to be declared) shirt until the heat dies down

    Reply

  29. they still let me vote Says:

    I have another pressing question….

    was the shirt ironed?

    Reply

  30. Maria Matthews Says:

    Loved this post as it struck a chord. In Ireland we are being asked to pick the Health policy that will be tailored to suit our needs. Out of pure devilment, I rang my provider and explained that my family history was: diabetes, heart problems, asthma, Strokes, and my husbands: cancer of varying parts of the body, heart, diabetes and heart, so which package should I opt for? After a lot of floundering by the sales person most of which was inarticulate, I suggested I stay with the middle of the road package we currently have and asked for a discount. At this point I was told that a discount could only be given for new customers. So… if you are loyal you are rewarded with ???? The answer to that question still remains a mystery to be solved at a later date

    Reply

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