Welcome to Amerigroup . . . Are you crazy?

Dedicated to Scott St. Clair and Dr. Ron Sterling

OK . . . so I got signed up with Obamacare on schedule, right? As of now, I haven’t been to see a doctor once, so I haven’t gotten anything good from the program yet.

What I HAVE gotten, though, is this:

4  Amerigroup~RealSolutions membership cards
1  Letter from DSHS offering me food stamps (declined)
1  Letter from DSHS denying me health care benefits*

 *for failing to show up for my food stamps appointment

and . . .

Approx. 30 robo-calls (sometimes two in one day) from Amerigroup Final Solutions telling me I need to call them back urgently so they can share some “important” information with me.

I never call the Amerigroup number back. Why? Because I tried that once and guess what happened? Instead of giving me the so-called urgent information, their machine just grilled me for information about my health. Personal information of the kindthat you would only want to discuss with a live human being, preferably a medical professional:

    • Do you have cancer?
    • Have you had a stroke?
    • Are you living with HIV?

Don’t get me wrong. I like the concept of Obamacare.

The CONCEPT of Obamacare.

I’m po’, and I need that shit. But what I do NOT need is for some computer to be calling and asking me about my business. That is exactly the kind of thing Republicans said they were worried about, is it not?

    • Loss of privacy
    • Loss of dignity
    • Loss of freedom

Here. Listen to a recording of my one call with Amerigroup:

David Preston calls Amerigroup~Real Solutions (2.12.14)

(Some bits of personal info have been edited out of the recording.)

As you’re listening to this, please, note the following:

¶ It’s so easy to game the survey it’s laughable

It has limited voice recognition capabilities, so all I had to do to fool it into thinking I was my wife Phea was to say “Yes” to their question: “Is this Phea?” and then give her birthdate. From there I could have proceeded to give all kinds of misleading or just plain wrong information about her health status.

Do you have HIV? –Sure do.
Depression? –Afraid so.
Diagnosed with schizophrenia? –Well, yes and no . . .

¶ They say you can talk to an “agent” at the end

Yeah. You can talk to an agent at the end of the survey, all right. But the agent is clearly no help at all. Worse than nothing, in fact.

What’s the survey for? I asked.
Don’t know, says Agent Tracy.
Have you ever taken that survey yourself? I say
None of your business, she replies.

Hm. Oh, I get it. So your machine can ask me if I have AIDS I can’t ask your representative if she’s ever taken the same survey . . . because that’s a PERSONAL question!

When I asked Agent Tracy why they couldn’t just have someone call me personally and ask for that information, she explained that they’re simply too busy to do that. “We have thousands of insureds,” she said. “We can’t take the time to contact each of them individually.”

To top it off, Tracy is not even in Washington state. She’s at a call center in God-Knows-Wheresville. (Could be a federal detention center for all I know.)

She said that she’d have a manager call me back the next business day, but [surprise] nobody’s ever called me back. And I’m sure nobody ever will.

And in the meantime, Amerigroup’s machine keeps ringing me every goddam day, asking me to call them back. (It’s URGENT!!)

Now remember . . . Amerigroup is not a health care provider. They couldn’t help me put a Band-Aid on my finger, and this Tracy lady probably wouldn’t know a hypodermic if it stuck her in the ass.

Nope. Amerigroup is just an insurance company, one I was given no choice over but had to accept by virtue of the federal mandate that I sing up for medical insurance.

* * * * *

Like I said, I’m not going to call this outfit back or answer any more questions about my health until I get to talk to a live human being. I’m expecting a letter from Amerigroup any day now telling me that my Obamacare’s been cancelled because I’m not being responsive. After that I’m expecting a visit from some IRS goons who will inform me that me they’re garnishing my wages (what wages?) or sending me to prison for non-compliance with Obamacare.

With a little luck, though, the IRS Obamacare punishment section will be run on the same business model as Amerigroup, and instead of paying me a personal visit they’ll just have a robo-dialer call me and tell me to report to a federal detention center at my earliest convenience.

As we go to press I hear the phone ringing . . .

Hold on a sec, blogoszoids. I’ll be back with you shortly . . .

[ . . .]

This is inmate #4859609 blogging to you from the Federal Corrections Facility in scenic Sheridan, Oregon.

God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America . . .

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4 Responses to Welcome to Amerigroup . . . Are you crazy?

  1. Duckitude says:

    Geez, Mr. D, sounds like the Abu Ghraib of health care…. Amerigroup, a little torture will do ya, Amerigroup, they’ll make you feel so damn small… After they finish fucking your head up real good, You’ll be able to say “yes” to schizophreni-ah!

    And, that is what we are, small — anyone with less than $1 mil yearly net income? Very, very small and with no leverage at all… because, there are so few of us who give a crap about rational, mindful, and relatively community-minded behaviors and have goals for ‘advancing’ humanism and can stay on track and un-entertained for more than a few hours a week. ”

    I am decidedly NOT AMUSED.”

    Whoever said religion was the opiate of the sheeples” had no idea what perverted capitalism could bring to their future — “Entertainment is the opiate of the sheeples” and you better make sure it is as frivolous as possible, because, otherwise, it will go right over the sheeples’ empty heads.

    I keep registering my dismay with “feel good” legislation that has almost no substance… see Seattle Weekly comments at http://www.seattleweekly.com/news/951471-129/suicide-prevention-bill-clears-hurdle-in-olympia

    Take care, it IS a jungle out there….

  2. Rats In A Cage says:

    “They couldn’t help me put a Band-Aid on my finger, and this Tracy lady probably wouldn’t know a hypodermic if it stuck her in the ass.” True dat.

    Nice piece D. Thanks!

  3. DBP says:

    This link was sent to me by the redoubtable Duckitude:

    “Got Obamacare – Can’t find doctors”


    This piece is on CNN, so you can’t dismiss it as being just some Obama-hating claptrap. It’s about a lady who’s coverage got significantly worse after signing up for O-care. I hear all kinds of liberal commentators praising Obamacare, and I don’t doubt that it’s working well for SOME people. But clearly, some people are getting hurt by it. And I’m glad we’re hearing their stories too.

    ” . . . many Americans who’ve enrolled on the Obamacare exchanges are realizing they have access to a relatively limited set of doctors and hospitals. In many areas, the largest hospitals are not participating and many doctors are not accepting the coverage. That’s by design. To keep premiums down for silver and bronze plans, insurers narrowed the networks of doctors and hospitals, often excluding the priciest and most specialized providers.”

  4. Kate says:

    This is really funny. You do realize that if you talked to a person or filled out a form, the information you gave them would be entered into a computer, don’t you? You also realize that your insurance company, because they will be paying your medical bills, will know what general medical issues you have? This is normal in the modern, automated world. Welcome to 2016.

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