Don’t you just love the expression, it will drive you to drink? Not that I need much to rev my engine in the direction of a chilled glass of Sancerre. Most times I like to sip, savor and annoy the Big Irishman, hubby, light of my life, ball and chain, as I wax poetic about the nuanced bouquet. Mostly I do this for theatrical effect. After all, I am an Italian girl.
“I taste granite, no flint, definitely flint!” As if anyone actually sucked on a rock?
“Mmm” I make yummy sound effects. “There’s a lovely floral note as if the grapes were kissed by bees from the outer edge of the Loire Valley! I can practically hear their buzzing wings!”
But there are other times when a glass of wine is absolutely medicinal. No chit chat at all, only the buzzing sound of the electric wine opener bearing into the cork, followed by the lovely waterfall sound of the liquid filling my glass.
Yesterday was one of those days. Actually it was yesterday and the day before that steered me onto the libation highway. This happened because Health Republic Insurance of New York, decided to bail on all of its members, effective November 30th.
I smugly thought that I was ahead of the game. On November 14th, I navigated for hours through the NY State of Health website, actually spoke to a real person on the phone, after being on hold for 58 minutes, and eventually choose a plan. That was no small feat.
The rep assured me the invoice would be mailed by the new insurance company and coverage was effective December 1. I should have known that part was too easy.
Late Friday afternoon, as in the Friday after Thanksgiving, the Big Irishman got a call from his doctor’s office requesting the new insurance information for a routine procedure scheduled for the following Wednesday. So, first thing Monday morning I attempted to gather the pertinent information.
Attending the Black Friday sale at Walmart would have been a more a civilized and sane way to spend the day. Armed with coffee and what I thought were insurance ID numbers, I picked up the phone.
Naturally, the first voice was the automated voice prompter that I had to replay because I forgot the plethora of choices by the end of message. I hit 0 because I wanted to speak to a real person but the mechanical voice intoned that I had chosen an invalid prompt. I knew I was in for a long day when the voice said, wait times are longer than expected. The voice suggested to go on line to have my questions answered. Was she kidding? I’d rather suck on a rock.
After being on hold for an interminable amount of time, I was transferred to a different department. The first rep only handled people interested in signing up. Not for the suckers who just wanted plan information and ID cards. Back on hold, I was forced to carry the phone around as I took care of personal business. To keep my hands free, I had to leave it on speaker phone and listen over and over again, that my call was important and to remain on the line.
When the rep finally picked up, she told me that ID numbers given to me by the NY State of Health were not the correct numbers. After searching by the Big Irishman’s social security number, that I had to scramble though an old address book to find, she located the application. BUT, since I was not the policy holder she couldn’t talk to me. So I called the Big Irishman on my cell phone. I held the land line next to the cell phone and had the rep yell for his permission to prolong the painful registration process with me.
Next, after all that, she told me that the premium must be paid before the policy was effective. I had to pay online and then call back. I did that, got a payment confirmation code, called back and got placed on hold. When I finally got a rep, he told me that it would take 24-26 hours for the payment to be posted, then it had to be sent to enrollment and then it would reach his department.
Are you sticking me!? I wanted to scream but that would only have caused him to drop the call. So I dug deep and explained that I had a confirmation number, the money had been paid and all that I needed was a lousy ID card otherwise the doctor’s office would process the procedure as self- pay. There was nothing he could do.
Fast forward to Day two. Finally after many calls, much frustration and downright begging, I got someone to expedite the process. At the close of the business day, I printed out the ID cards, that are only good for 10 days, and ran to my wine refrigerator.
You’re probably thinking all’s well that ends well. But there’s one more problem. The new insurance is only good for the month of December. I still have to go through the laborious process of securing a new plan for 2016. Now I call that Murphy’s Law.