Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays from Your Employer...or Maybe Not so Happy

Brrr!!! It's cold out there today, and they are forecasting our first snow of the season for this Sunday...not much, of course, and probably by Sunday, it will somehow become rain instead, but  at least we got as far as the forecast this time, right?  Actually, we've had nothing more than a dusting of snow in the city these past few years and much as I love and want the snow, I guess that is really a blessing in disguise.  City snow can be beautiful, but on the second day it becomes dirty, slippery, treacherous to walk on...and I, with an old back injury practically crawl down the street...hanging on to whatever I can get my hands on. 

Last night I was watching a 'Bones' rerun and hubby called that I had a phone call.  Now, I am not a phone person...haven't been one for about 10 years ago...not since I worked in the halfway house where I received a minimum of 50 calls per day of people trying to get in.  And I have been pretty lucky about not receiving many phone calls since I joined the "Do Not Call" list.  It has really worked for me.  Of course, the company's I do business with such as Verizon and Cablevision are still able to call with their offers, but all these'cold calling' companies have been cut off., and since I am an old-fashioned type of gal--still have the plug in home phone and an answering machine--I am pretty much able to avoid any phone conversation if I so wish.  Of course, when hubby is around and happens to pick up the phone, I don't have much of a choice...because he is not very discreet when he calls me to the phone.

But, last night I was pretty glad that he had called me in for a "customer service" call.  Turns out it was from HIP, the insurance company I chose from the list that our employer provides for us.  Once a year we are provided with a list of approved providers and given the opportunity to change our plan, but I've been happy with what I had these past few years, so I always check off 'remain the same'.  Not happy about the yearly rise in fees, but happy with the insurance nonetheless.  So, the nice customer service rep told me they were calling everyone to make sure all of the information they had was correct.  Address?  Fine... Doctor?  Fine, remains the same..A few other questions and then came the biggie...."And I see here that you have switched to the HIP HMO?"    "WHAT????"  "It says here that you have switched.  Isn't that what you wanted?"  So what part of "Remain the Same" did they not understand? "Well, what's the difference in the two?"  "Well, in the plan you had, you didn't need a referral to see a specialist.  Now you do."...Not good.  I suffer with sinus issues and have been attending the clinic at New York Eye and Ear now for about 20 years.  With this new plan, I cannot go to them without a referral.

Moving on.  So, then she tells me that "Everyone I called tonight from this company has been switched, and all knew nothing about it."  I ask her to switch me back, but she says I have to go through our human resource department.  So, the first thing I get in I call....along with all the other unhappy employees...but, of course, I get the voice mail.   Now, mind you, the amount I pay towards my insurance has gone up by $26 a month.  That is quite a hike, and the way I look at it is, I am paying more for less.  I honestly don't know much about how this stuff works, and what my employer has to pay towards it, but right now I am under the opinion that they switched everyone, not thinking we would all find out at once, because it is cheaper on their end to have the low HMO HIP.

After all, the penny-pinchers have already notified us that there will be no Christmas party or bonus for staff this year...but of course, they make sure they have their boat cruise every September....supposedly for staff, but its mostly the bureaucrats that go because "staff" has to work...but I am not getting into that today.  It's holiday season...enough ranting already.  Just had to get that one off my chest.  Love you all for listening.


  1. -sigh- And a Damn! Even if it is holiday season.

  2. Grrr - company politics! I hope the higher ups all get coal for Christmas!