Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dear Insurance Company,

I received your letter yesterday that you're raising my annual office policy rates.

I don't know if I'll be able to afford the increase, but will do my best. I know you're doing your utmost to try and keep my rates down, as evidenced by the fact that you spent 44 cents per letter to mail this to several thousand offices across the country.

(click to enlarge)

In times like these an increase of this magnitude might be devastating, but Mary and Annie have heroically chipped in to pay for the increase, with some money they found in the cushions of the waiting room chairs.


The Good Cook said...

Do you ever wonder if there are actual people working at these insurance companies? Just last month we received a "late notice" from our health insurance. Seems they had miscalculated our monthly rate and were sending us the "outstanding" invoice for the difference.

The difference? $0.01.

Yup. 1 penny.

Paper, plus postage for 1 penny? um....

The Mother said...

Luckily, the postal service gods have the insurance company's back. Bulk mail rates are MUCH lower than our one-at-a-time rates. So they probably only spent 28 cents sending you the letter, giving them a whopping profit of 14 cents. Per office. Just think, with hundreds of offices across the country, they might have actually made hundred of dollars!

Jo said...

This puts me in mind of the thrice-monthly letters I get from my mortgage company, reminding me to sign up for electronic statements and e-payments.

I've been using e-payment and electronic statements since I bought the house three years ago.


stargirl65 said...

Was this for health insurance? Malpractice? or more like Workmen's Comp?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Stargirl- my office fire & theft policy.

Anonymous said...

One of our very large, level 1 trauma centers (608+ beds)local teaching hospitals here in IL sent me a letter that if I didn't pay my past due balance in 30 days they would be forced to send me to collections for the amount owed.

The amount owed was...............brace yourself, for this one, folks.......................I owed the hospital ONE, I repeat ONE CENT! ONE PENNY, 1/100th of a dollar!

The amount of money they spent to send me that letter was clearly ONE DOLLAR or MORE!

So, me being the queen of smart assery (is that even a word) taped a penny to the letter with a note that stated: Now isn't this a waste of money? No wonder why my Tylenol cost $55.00 a piece the last time I was inpatient?

I took it one step farther by willingly spending the money for a return/receipt AND marked the letter personal and confidential and send it directly to the CEO of said hospital. We all know that he has no idea that this type of BULL SHIT was happening right under her nose, right?

A week later I got the green card in the mail and believe it or not HE actually signed it. They must have taken the very official letter up to his office.

He personally sent me a hand written letter regarding the situation.

Call me a B with an ITCH, but man did if feel good!

Jodi from IL

Pharmd Biker said...

to anonymous (jodi i think) above me. what did the letter from the ceo say?

donna said...

OMG! The sky is now truly falling!
How will you cope? Slash the payroll
amounts? Start to sell off assets
to cover the amount? This is a slippery sloap my friend that you
may never recover from! I see
you having to go out of business and
take a job as a bananna picker.
I feel truly sorry for financial
disaster you now face!


Flavius said...

So long as it doesn't dip into the Diet Coke fund, I suppose :)

It's war when that happens.


Chris said...

And that's but one of the many fun side effects of automated correspondence.

No Brains Required.

Joe said...

My bank once spent $0.37 to mail me a check for 12 cents.

That was awesome.

student dr. blaze said...

Yesterday I got a letter from a collection agency saying that I owed Local Anesthesiologists, Inc., $77.00 for my surgery in July. What's odd is that the day before, I got a $77.00 REFUND check from Local Anesthesiologists, Inc. Talk about WTF! The company has paid for collections on an account that was positive. The worst part? Now I have to make a zillion phone calls to fix it. I should've known better than to allow an anesthesiologist named "Nutter" touch me.

Michelle said...

I work on the regulatory side of workers compensation, and we see stuff like that all the time. The state statutes or regulations actually require insurance companies to notify policyholders whenever rates change during a policy term or from the renewal quote. Believe me - insurance companies hate having to apply rate changes after renewal quotes have gone out or policies are issued. It's a programming nightmare, and sometimes the amount of premium impacted is less than the cost it is for them to make the change, but regulations require it. The rate increase you have may not be a large increase for the actual rate. However, for a W/C policy, a rate is multiplied by the payroll and then divided by $100 to get the basic, or manual premium. If a rate was previously 10 cents, and increased to 42 cents, it's a 400+% increase. Consider a policy with $1,000,000 in payroll. At 10 cents per $100 of payroll it's a $1,000 policy. Now take that same payroll amount and rate it at 42 cents per $100. It becomes a $4,200 policy. Big difference (maybe not for someone that has $1M in payroll, but this is just as an example). Insurance costs, especially those required by law like comp, are closely monitored from a consumer advocate perspective. Although it seems like a waste of money to send you a notice of a 42 cent rate, if it resulted in a huge change for you, either way, and you weren't notified, you would probably be pretty ticked off.

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