My United Healthcare Debacle

To Brian Thompson, the CEO of United Healthcare. Sir, your company needs to get its act together!

For years I have been on the Medicare Advantage plan and have had no issues. When I moved to Sarasota in December, I decided to “upgrade” my Medicare supplemental plan. Advantage has been lovely and cheap, but I worried that it would not be helpful if I should have a major health event—similar to the stroke I am about to experience after dealing with United Healthcare for the last two weeks.

I chose Plan G and paid for it in full for 2024. When I went to the United Healthcare website on January 2 to check out my new plan, it informed me I had no medical coverage. Five calls later I was assured it was just a glitch in the system. No worries, five people told me, you have medical coverage.

Today, my dermatologist office called to say that I had no medical coverage for my Wednesday appointment.

“Oh,” I responded. “I just changed to Plan G. Here’s the new number from my card.”

Silence, then “still doesn’t show you have coverage,” the woman required.

Grumbling on my part, followed by “I’ll call and get back to you.”

Today, is Martin Luther King Day. If the revered man had lived long enough to deal with Medicare and United Healthcare, I’m guessing he would have had issues at one point. It’s part of the great medical conspiracy to add suffering to whatever illness we are experiencing. Since he’s no longer with us, we celebrate and honor his memory and United Healthcare is closed as a result.

No problem, I thought, as I called back my dermatologist office and explained the situation.

“I’ll just pay for the appointment myself until we can get this straightened out,” I said.

“Can’t do that,” the woman said. “We have a contract and if you self-pay we could lose our contract.”

“You have to be kidding me?”

“We can cancel your appointment and you can reschedule,” she continued.

“Look, this is already a rescheduling of the appointment you said I didn’t have when I showed up at your office three months ago,” I responded. It’s a good thing I went to Zumba this morning because my blood pressure was surely on the rise. “I’ll call their office tomorrow and get this straightened out. Don’t cancel my appointment!”

I hung up, pounded on my desk, and screamed obscenities, scaring my man who was down the hall. He appeared quickly at my office door.

“It’s United Healthcare, Medicare, AARP, doctors’ offices . . . are these people put on Earth to make our lives a living hell?” I asked. He had no answer for me. I didn’t need one.

So, Brian Thompson, whatever you are doing on this holiday, I hope you are relaxing and enjoying yourself. When you get back in your office tomorrow, I expect you to straighten out the mess that your company has created to ruin my day . . . and possibly the days of other of your 48 million customers. Please get your act together.



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