The email started off like this, “The phone is ringing. Caller ID says it’s UnitedHealthcare… What do they want? Pick up the phone and find out.”
For those of you that are regular readers, you already know that I find talking on the phone as enjoyable as a hemorrhoidectomy without anesthesia. So when someone tells me that my health insurance company is calling and I should answer the phone, the first thing that I say is, “screw that.”
I guess the person writing the email knew that first sentence would result in more than just my “screw that” response, so they followed up with something I would expect from a Publishers Clearing House pitch.
“This is one call you don’t want to miss. In fact, it might change your life.”
I can’t think of many things my insurance company is going to tell me that will change my life, unless they’re calling to say I’ve won free healthcare for myself and six Latvian prostitutes for life. But even that isn’t something anyone would consider life changing.
For 10 more paragraphs, the writer continued to explain the benefits of answering the phone, including my personal favorite – the “Wellness Coach.”
Imagine that job. You’re the healthcare equivalent of Anthony Robbins. Only instead of hawking your latest book on how to make friends and money at the same time, you’re pitching a low sodium diet because the company is spending too much money covering prescription high blood pressure medicine.
Like the sleazy stock broker pitching the stock-of-the-week, the Wellness Coach rings up subscribers in an attempt to get them to change their lifestyle not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the insurance company. You know that’s what it’s all about right? The person on the other end of the phone could care less about your weight, your blood pressure, your glucose levels or your sperm count. They’re there to try to motivate you to change your way of life so claims go down and profits rise while your rates continue to increase every year whether you’re eating more fiber or not.
Granted there may be a few of you who would welcome a call from your health insurance provider. But not me. With each unsolicited call I get during the day, I use the “Block Caller” feature of Google Voice to ensure that next time they call, they won’t make it through. (If you have Google Voice and haven’t taken advantage of that feature, try it… you’ll quickly realize it’s better than sex. Well, maybe not. But close.)
I replied to the email asking how I could opt-out of these intrusive phone calls and I’m awaiting a response. Just because I give them money each month shouldn’t subject me to unwanted calls, so I’m thinking there has to be some way to be taken off their list even though the email points out, with emphasis, “these are not sales calls.”
Am I asking for too much?