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June 18, 2009 1:41 AM   Subscribe

AskMe saved me more than TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Thank you! Thank you!

It's been almost a year later, but AskMe came through in a huge way for me. I posted this question last year and the advice I got there led me to a resolution I needed - I was informed today that CareFirst BlueChoice had to refund all premiums along with interest.

I really had no idea what else to do. And I think I can say that without AskMe, I would have cancelled my credit card and swallowed the loss. So wow, thanks!

(If you click on my website in my profile, you can read a longer writeup of the situation.)
posted by visual mechanic to MetaFilter-Related at 1:41 AM (52 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Personal health insurance where you used to live costs a thousand bucks a month? Hell's bells.
posted by flabdablet at 1:54 AM on June 18, 2009


Ten grand, eh? Will you marry me?
posted by Jofus at 1:55 AM on June 18, 2009


It was for a whole family. And yes. I know, it's a lot.
posted by visual mechanic at 1:57 AM on June 18, 2009


Jofus - I'll metafilter marry you.
posted by visual mechanic at 1:57 AM on June 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Personal health insurance where you used to live costs a thousand bucks a month? Hell's bells.

More than that for me. I'm paying more for health insurance (for a healthy family, mind) than I am for my mortgage.

Come on, public option!
posted by DU at 2:59 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jofus & visual mechanic: you're in the wrong thread. Just go three doors down. Mind the step.

And that's great news by the way. I'd love for AskMe to save me $10,000 but I'd hate to have to go through the ordeal of losing it first.
posted by sambosambo at 3:35 AM on June 18, 2009


The weather's kinda shit up here, but first one to spouse me can enjoy our 'free' health care.
posted by gman at 3:58 AM on June 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hmm, 5,000 active users? That's a buck apiece and you're still up.
posted by i_cola at 4:00 AM on June 18, 2009


That's ok, MetaFilter so far has cost me $10,000.

Only $5,000 of that was on sockpuppets, though.
posted by Eideteker at 4:27 AM on June 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


With that money, you can get 500 of something here or in town.
posted by fleacircus at 5:03 AM on June 18, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm glad you prevailed. I also had trouble with Carefirst BlueCross BlueShield of Maryland. Like you, I complained to the local insurance controllers, but none of them would act on my complaint, saying they didn't have jurisdiction (I lived in DC, had coverage through my employer in VA, and the insurance company was in MD).

I ended up suing the insurance company in small claims court (this was for substantially less money than your situation), where I sought treble damages under RICO. They tried to take my deposition ostensibly to find out why I thought they were racketeering, so I countered that I would need discovery from them before I could answer such questions - in particular a corporate witness under rule 12(b)(6) and well as documents. Shortly after that they settled for half of my claim, i.e., 150% of actual damages, a fair punishment for their malfeasance.

So satisfying.
posted by exogenous at 5:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [21 favorites]


That's really awesome. And what a great story.

And I know you can't self post - But I can link to your blog so more explanation can be found at:
http://www.chasingmist.com/2009/06/18/i-fought-the-insurance-company-and-i-%20won/

*crosses fingers & hopes an admin edits the main post to use this link *
posted by seanyboy at 6:10 AM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yay visual mechanic!
posted by schyler523 at 6:25 AM on June 18, 2009


And FYI a thousand bucks a month for a family health insurance plan (or should I say "health" "insurance" "plan") isn't out of the ordinary at all. That's the norm, unfortunately. So really, people, do not vote for anyone who will ever even consider taxing these benefits.

Congrats to you visual mechanic, I'm glad you've come out on top after this long struggle.
posted by Mister_A at 6:34 AM on June 18, 2009


AskMe saved me more than TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. Thank you! Thank you!

Man. I pictured this as being a line in an infomercial, like for an amazing juicer or container system. You know, when the "real person" slobbers all over the product before it cuts back to Billy Mays or whoever the hell.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 6:42 AM on June 18, 2009


seanyboy: "And I know you can't self post"

This is the grey, not the blue + telling a great story that's site-appropriate = self-linking is probably just fine.
Especially if he had marked it as such, and maybe just included it in the "more inside".
posted by Plutor at 6:48 AM on June 18, 2009


exogenous YAML. now.
posted by longsleeves at 7:03 AM on June 18, 2009


You know, when the "real person" slobbers all over the product before it cuts back to Billy Mays or whoever the hell.

HE SAVED TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS BY USING OXI-CLEAN! IT'S GOT THE AWESOME MONEY-SAVING POWER OF ORANGES. IT'S ALL PART OF THE SECRET FORMULA... ORANGES!
posted by educatedslacker at 7:26 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Okay, but how many spouses has it saved you?
posted by Eideteker at 7:34 AM on June 18, 2009


Is this where I send Metafilter my gold jewellery?
posted by dirigibleman at 7:56 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


exogenous YAML. now.

Thanks, I think?
posted by exogenous at 8:02 AM on June 18, 2009


That's wonderful news. I added the link to your story up in the post where it belongs. Self-linking is something we want people to give a lot of thought to, but this tells your story well and is clearly not an SEO attempt :)
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:10 AM on June 18, 2009


And I hope this blog post shows up when people google them. So if you want to link to it from your blog when you talk about CareFirst, be my guess. They were trying to steal money. And they almost got away with it, if it weren’t for this rascally kid.

I would recommend, then, changing the title of your blog post (if it's still possible to do so) and change it to something like: "How Bluechoice Carefirst scammed me, and how I beat them".

You should also add Share This to your WP blog.

Also, dugg.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:12 AM on June 18, 2009


More weddings! And a dowry! Yay!
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:35 AM on June 18, 2009


WOOHOO! Time to stick it to the man!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:55 AM on June 18, 2009


Great story. I memailed the 2 people you'd marked as best answers, in case they didn't see this yet. Good for you for being persistent!
posted by selfmedicating at 9:11 AM on June 18, 2009


I added the link to your story up in the post where it belongs.

You might want to put in a note to that effect. I was ready to point out that the poster self-linked immediately after saying "But I don't want to self link here." Until reading your comment, Jessamyn, that made me think the poster was up to no. damn. good.

But now I know differently and will go on about my day!

posted by mudpuppie at 9:21 AM on June 18, 2009


I was thinking it makes me look at best a little clueless having the link in the statement that says I don't want to self-link.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:26 AM on June 18, 2009


OK I FIXED IT!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2009


Thanks! That was quick.
posted by visual mechanic at 9:28 AM on June 18, 2009


visual mechanic, awesome story. Congratulations. You might want to update the AskMe question as well, since it's still open.
posted by nooneyouknow at 9:46 AM on June 18, 2009


Fantastic! Glad to hear you prevailed! :)
posted by zarq at 10:03 AM on June 18, 2009


visual mechanic: "Jofus - I'll metafilter marry you."

Is that like a work spouse?
posted by IndigoRain at 10:43 AM on June 18, 2009


I'm happy for you. But I'll be even happier once you actually have a cleared check from them in your checking account – which, if I'm parsing your blog post correctly, you don't?
posted by WCityMike at 10:58 AM on June 18, 2009


I pay $0 dollars a month. My employer pays $60 for "premium" healthcare for me.

If you're paying $1000/month for healthcare, regardless of the size of your family, or their conditions, I don't understand why Americans aren't rioting in the streets, and why their employers aren't encouraging them.

*shakes head, walks away whistling, thinks about getting a free MRI scan*
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on June 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


We can't afford to riot! What if we got hurt? That'd be expensive.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:40 AM on June 18, 2009 [28 favorites]


If you're paying $1000/month for healthcare, regardless of the size of your family, or their conditions, I don't understand why Americans aren't rioting in the streets, and why their employers aren't encouraging them.

That's okay; sometimes we don't understand why people don't riot over near-50% income taxes, or not being allowed to go outside without a head-to-toe covering, or having your daily movement tracked by thousands of CCTV cameras. You play the hand you're dealt.

*walks away whistling, thinks about using some of his tax refund to buy his wife a trashy outfit to wear in public, knows the government won't know about it if he pays cash*
posted by davejay at 11:43 AM on June 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter once saved me a bundle on Orange Juice.
posted by meeshell at 12:51 PM on June 18, 2009


I've had this story pop up in my RSS reader twice in the last hour, so it's definitely getting some attention. Good for you!
posted by bwanabetty at 12:54 PM on June 18, 2009


My PayPal address is listed in my profile. :P

In all seriousness, I'm very happy that it all appears to be working out for you. Hopefully the lady from the Insurance authority will take an interest in their overall attitude to these things above and beyond your individual case. I'm willing to bet you aren't alone in running into this type of issue.
posted by jeversol at 1:28 PM on June 18, 2009


This is perhaps one of the best successes of Ask Me I've ever seen in my short time here at Metafilter.

May God give the rest of us an equally blessed day.
posted by zizzle at 1:48 PM on June 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Come on, public option!

pinko
posted by mattoxic at 5:26 PM on June 18, 2009


I can't tell you how nice it is to hear an insurance company story with a good ending. I think too many of us can think of negative experiences with those guys.
posted by batgrlHG at 6:29 PM on June 18, 2009


*walks away whistling, thinks about using some of his tax refund to buy his wife a trashy outfit to wear in public, knows the government won't know about it if he pays cash*

Ooooh they know about it now. And you're gonna get it!
posted by Salvor Hardin at 6:53 AM on June 19, 2009


Heartwarming! Send Tara a nice note and cc her supervisor, if you haven't already.
posted by palliser at 7:34 AM on June 19, 2009


Let us know if you actually get the money back in the time required. It's an insurance company, afterall.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:48 AM on June 19, 2009


Shouldn't you be buying us a drink?
posted by rtimmel at 11:06 AM on June 19, 2009


That's okay; sometimes we don't understand why people don't riot over near-50% income taxes, or not being allowed to go outside without a head-to-toe covering, or having your daily movement tracked by thousands of CCTV cameras. You play the hand you're dealt.

lol, fair enough, although the last time I bothered to calculate my tax rate, it was 11% total for the year, it's 22C and beautiful outside right now, and I can't remember last time I saw a CCTV camera... maybe at the mall?

posted by blue_beetle at 11:06 AM on June 19, 2009


Six percent interest, too? Nice.
posted by headnsouth at 3:58 AM on June 22, 2009


Correction to my comment above : I asked for a witness under 30(b)(6), not 12(b)(6). It's been awhile.
posted by exogenous at 6:10 AM on June 22, 2009


I finished my afternoon reading of Metafilter today and headed over to Consumerist where I read about this, which led me back here to Metafilter. WTF Metafilter, the internet doesn't start and end with you.

Congrats visualmechanic, it's so nice to hear when things right themselves
posted by poppo at 12:11 PM on June 22, 2009


I meant to post this here, right away, but I forgot.

You should add your story to The Health Care Stories at OFA.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:44 PM on June 24, 2009


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