Now that I'm gainfully employed, with benefits, I figured I'd take my healthcare plan for a spin and get some contact lenses. I hadn't had an eye exam in over a year, so I'd have to do that before ordering the lenses.
I called up my old eye doctor's office and asked them if they take United Healthcare. "Sure," they said, "come on in!"
I got the exam and then we went to deal with the billing. They looked me up in the UHC database and I didn't exist. So we called up our friends at United. After a lot of back and forth, the doctor put me on the phone with the representative. She helpfully explained that my doctor was part of United Healthcare, but I was covered by United Healthcare Vision, which used to be something called Spectera, but now it's part of United Healthcare. So if it's part of United Healthcare, I asked, why aren't I covered? "It's just a name change," the representative offered. "Yes, but names mean something," I explained, "that's the reason I came to this provider, because my vision insurer is called United Healthcare." "United Healthcare Vision," she corrected me. Eventually, she insisted that I'd have to pay for everything and file a claim for an out-of-network visit. Which will cost me more money, of course. I told her that I was hopeful that we get a Public Healthcare Option soon, and said goodbye.
I started to think about it. What a brilliant/evil business move on UHC's part. Buy an ailing vision insurer that most providers have dropped, change the name to something resembling your company's, but don't incorporate your own providers, and don't tell anyone. That will lead to confusion for patients, which in our fucked up health insurance system always means profits for the insurer!
Congratulations, you assholes. You got me.
Can I haz Public Option now?