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Rant on ‘Cover Colorado’ and United Healthcare

November 20, 2010




“Make him stop! He’s telling the truth and we can’t bear that! It’s so unfair! The truth must be suppressed at all costs!” Boo hoo!  We’re being victimized by having someone tell the truth about  who we are and what we actually are doing.”

Having a COPD diagnosis, I was declared completely  “uninsurable” by all Health Profit Insurance Corporations.  My Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) was not enough to stop me  from mountain biking, backpacking  30 rugged  miles in 4 days or framing a house or taking 30-mile hikes in one day.  I have never been in a hospital since May 1950 when, as  young pre-school child, I had my appendix out.  Nonetheless, despite 60 years without a single hospital stay,  I was disqualified  from being eligible for any kind of health care insurance: I was  “too high risk”.

My last resort was “Cover Colorado”, a dubious referral to Untied Healthcare, whose sleazy behavior is a story in itself, and a disgrace to America. It is intertwined with the story of the credit union.  The Cover Colorado program provided  selected coverage by prefered providers after their  $10,000 deductible had been met. Until then, nothing. In practice, they refused to acknowledge any out-of-pocket expense or credit any such expenses toward the very large deductible. Their inevitable response was they couldn’t credit this to my deductible because they didnt’ receive all the additional information they had requested.  Of course, they never once requested additional info from either me or any of my professional providers. Not once. My health care providers told me they’d gotten no response and no cooperation from United Healthcare and gave me a stack of paperwork, saying “maybe you can have better luck.” If I phoned them, about that or about the fact the card they sent me had an invalid number,  they’d say they’d look into it and get back to me. They never did. They (UHC) charged e $455 a month, which is over $ 5,460  a year in premiums plus the $10,00 deductible which means the first $15,460 in medical expenses is mine, and after that, United HealthFraud may or may not start kicking in.

I never expected them to pay anything but I naively did expect them to credit my out-of-pocket expenses towards the high deductible.  To believe that I am lying in telling you all this,  you must also  believe that the medical offices of one family practitioner, one  board-certified ophthalmologist, one board-certified urologist, and the staff of  two respected regional hospitals (where I had blood draws) are also lying. What are the odds?

A condition of pseudo-insurance by United HealthCare under “Cover Colorado” was automatic deduction of premiums  from a checking account. In theory, the deduction was supposed to be on the lat banking day of the month. In practice, NuVista Credit Union took it out any time of the month they felt like. One month, the deduction didn’t happen until he seventh (7th) of the following month. Another month,  it was jerked out a week (seven days) before the lat d day of the month. If this created problems for me, then that was “my fault” according to them. The arrangement was the last business day of each month but if they didn’t honor that arrangement, well, that became my problem, at least in their eyes.

One month, worried I may not have the necessary amount in my NuVista Credit Union account,  I mailed a check for $500 to them, drawn on another local bank, with a filled-out deposit slip. I mailed it in  Delta, a town exactly 20 miles from Montrose, when the HQ of NuVista Credit Union was located.

I was notified, two weeks alter, that my health insurance wad cancelled because they automatic withdrawal had “bounced” for insufficient funds.

I phoned them and was told they’d taken the  automatic withdrawal out a week early because there was an upcoming holiday and they had staff meetings the week before. So sorry, your fault, your problem.

United Healthcare phoned me, in response to my written appeal, of  their cancellation of my health coverage,   did not respond for over two months. Then they called one day,  saying although they had cancelled my health insurance two full months ago, they coud reinstate it only if I immediately authorized a lump sum withdrawal of four (4) months’ premiums  ($1,820) tomorrow to cover the months I hadn’t had insurance with them plus the next two months.  I said I wasn’t sure I had that much in my checking account at that moment, and I couldn’t leave work today to check it out.  Untied Healthcare  told me “take it or leave it”. I asked why I was expected to pay for the 3 months after they had cancelled my coverage and  provided not even the pretense of coverage. I was told  “that’s just the way we do things” and “take it or leave it” by the United Healthcare  representative.

I chose to leave it. In practice, I’d  been paying them over $5,400 a year  literally for nothing.  And if I did have a huge medical crisis whose costs exceeded $15,400 in out-of-pocket expenses,  I could never trust them to cover any of those expenses either. They had, in my experience, shown themselves to be completely deceptive,  unreliable, undependable,  uuntrustworthy, and  downright dishonest.

That’s why i supported a single-payer system for the US, the only real health care reform that seems to have really worked in other countries.

And that’s my beef with  United Health Fraud, an organization I can only regard as a sleazy criminal bunco racket that  should be put out of business.

 Rant over.

[Note: earlier I accidentally posted a rough draft of this that was ruder and cruder. I regret that  Accordingly thisi s  an edited version, slightly revised to focus more on the facts and less on my emotional reactions to those events.]









One Comment leave one →
  1. May 20, 2013 5:24 AM

    Familiar story…..i have a mri clearly showing degenerative disc disease…i’ve been on fentanyl and lyrica for 2 February my legs started going numb, did the steroid shot, my feet and legs are so numb walking is a problem…i’m now have digestive problems.

    Finally found a surgeon to help me but Cover Colorado says “it’s not medically necessary”.

    They won’t help me but life continues on….so shall I get behind the wheel if numb legs and feet are not a risk ….I have to retrieve food. And I can’t possibly walk to the bus, bike, how long before i wear out all my favors from friends.

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