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Joe Bernhardt: Why I cut my membership card

November 30, 2018

Editor:

After reading Dave Plotner’s letter to editor (Oct. 24) it makes me wonder why, when you think you are an intellectually average and a person of common sense, we walk away from these seminars with peace of mind knowing we have done the right thing for our families. Especially when you feel you are protecting your spouse if the situation should involve yourself. Then we are awakened with reality.

I, like Plotner and others, knew when I picked up the phone the ambulance services would be the least of our worries. That membership card was all we needed, or so told. Like Dave, I also was faced with the impending death of my beautiful wife. My scenario was a 2 a.m. 911 call on July 10, 2017, followed by a trip to the emergency room, subsequent hospitalization, a terminal diagnosis and a July 15 transfer to hospice. Twenty-three hours later she was with God.

Now I start receiving bills from the ambulance company. I refer them to the membership company that I signed up for. First I received a letter denying my trip to hospice claim. I was informed they do not cover hospice or nursing homes, only emergency trips. I told them the trip was issued by a hospice doctor. Nope, doesn’t count. Read the fine print on the bi-fold your membership cards came on, I was told. Yep, there it is.

Some 60 days later I received another bill for the hospital trip. I call. They are processing it. Want to know why? Medicare pays. I was informed by membership officials that the company isn’t an insurance company — it is only a provider of supplemental coverage for authorized services. In reality, they usually are only responsible for your co-pay. They procrastinate for they want to make sure you deductible has been covered by other claims. Hospital claim will do that. The same goes for air services. The length of this bill prompted me to pay it and be reimbursed. The initial trip was July 10, 2017. I received a letter dated Jan. 29, 2018. that they were pleased to announce the claim had been settled in full and my reimbursement check in the amount of $21.15 was attached.

I had the hardest time convincing myself to stay away from the seminars, but like Dave Plotner, I just cut my cards.

Joe Bernhardt

Lake Havasu City

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