Thanks to everyone for all the comments that I have received.
One other thing that I feel needs to be addressed to our politicians and try to get changed:
When anyone calls Humana for any information, it goes directly to the Philippines. That is their call center. There is NO way to get in touch, or transferred to any customer service, or managers in the USA. That was one of my biggest problems with dealing with Humana.
When our tax dollars are going into the big pot that covers Medicare, that money is then given to the “Advantage” plans, and goes to Humana, Anthem or United Healthcare. Our tax dollars should NOT be going to another country where they are employing people to answer the phones and be the gateway to services for American citizens. With unemployment being so high in this nation, can Humana really NOT find people in this country that can answer a phone, look on a computer screen for patient benefits and other information??? I think that this MUST be a requirement for an insurance company that is getting Medicare Tax dollars to spend them in THIS country and employ people here to do these kinds of jobs. There are many (probably millions) here in the US that can answer a phone, and use a computer enough to be able to provide this information to a provider or a patient.
When I have called Anthem, I have gotten people in Argentina, Jamaica, India and the Philipines. I am not sure ALL of the call centers, but I have ended up speaking Spanish with them a few times, (I am fluent in Spanish after living in the Dominican Republic for a couple years), and my Spanish was MUCH better than the Anthem person’s English. The conversation went better when I spoke Spanish with them…..and how ironic is that when we are talking about a Medicare patient where our tax dollars are being spent on their care….and I have to speak Spanish to find out about this government policy for this senior citizen…..
This must change!!!
With a private business, like Microsoft, Logitech, AT&T, Dish Network, etc….they should be able to have offices or call centers wherever they want to have them, because we are free to choose whether we buy their products or not. And, once we call to get some help with maybe getting a webcam to work, and the person can’t speak English enough to help us get it working, then probably next time we won’t buy the same brand. I actually left Dish network a few years ago due to the horrible Technical Support (lack of support) that they had in some other nationm (India I think….if I remember correctly). I switched to AT&T Uverse and have had wonderful service, and the few times I needed help, I have gotten help from someone in THIS country that speaks this language. Personally, I am doing things like that to help support my fellow Americans so they can have a job, even if it is answering a phone to help people with things like this.
But with Medicare and other tax based services, these SHOULD be handled in this nation, and employ other Americans to do this work. There is NO excuse for hiring people in the Philippines that are getting paid our tax dollars. And, another problem with foreign call centers is the time difference. For example the Philippines are are 12 hours different from us…or close to 12 hours, so when I make a call from my office at 3:00 pm, that is the middle of the night there (3:00 am there), and talking to someone that is up all night answering the phone. Maybe that is part of the problem too….it’s hard to know what ALL the problems are with them, but it is probably more of a policy issue with Humana and others.
I have discussed this with my political leaders here, and they have also said that they would like to create a bill, or write rules that would make sure that all the companies doing work with Medicare MUST hire people in this nation to answer phones and get a paycheck that ultimately is from tax dollars.
Just another issue that I feel strongly about. I am not a racist, nor do I have any personal feelings against any other nation (if that were the case, I would not spend so much time, money and energy making limbs for amputees in the Dom Rep, or adopt children from other nations….) but I feel this is a way that people in the USA could have decent jobs, which keeps our tax dollars in this country and creates more work and cash flow in this country.
OK, I think I made my point…haha.
Thanks again, and let’s all keep up the good work, and keep up the good fight.
Jim DeWees, CP