First, let me say that I have been disillusioned. When I called Group Health Customer Service today, the person who answered my call was not a flower; it was Marcie. I checked to make sure I’d heard correctly. “I’m sorry, your name is…?” “I’m Marcie,” she chirped. Marcie. Gone are my fantasies of women with alternating aliases (“Do you want to be Hyacinth today? I’ll be Jonquil.” “Why can’t I be Rose? I never get to be Rose.”) or a strange Group Health hiring policy. (“Hmm. Your middle name is Buttercup, Ms. Jones? Well, then, it turns out that we can hire you… but you’ll have to use your middle name at work.”)

Second, let me say that I have been disappointed. Having waited – none too patiently, I will confess – for 3 weeks to receive the Annual Limit Tracking Summary (ALTS) from Group Health, and having found – gleefully, and with a certain amount of disgust at its obviousness – the error within 15 minutes of laying eyes on the ALTS, I was hoping – naively, perhaps even foolishly – that I could get this sorted out today. I was wrong.

While Marcie could see that the ALTS had been sent to us, she could not actually see the ALTS. She could see the Explanation of Benefits form with the offending $1560, but she couldn’t do anything with it.

“Well, I guess I’m going to have to send this to the auditor. What would be a good number for me to reach you at when I hear from them?”

I gave her my cell phone number. “And how long will that take?”

“Oh, it will be a few weeks. They’re pretty backed up over there.”

I explained that I had waited 3 weeks for the ALTS, and that we had an outstanding bill from UWMC for which they wanted payment, and that it was $1560 higher than it should be because of Group Health’s accounting error.

“I’m sorry, hon. I’ll put a rush on it. That’s the best I can do.”

At least she didn’t say that Group Health would refund any overpayment that we made. I think I like her better than the flowers.