I was a "disease manager" in Obstetrics last year at Wellpoint, the company owned by Anthem, BCBS, and their many other insurance companies. During my interview with them I asked if it would be possible to talk about Lamaze teachniques with the pregnant women to whom I would be speaking. The answer was positive, and I took the job when it was offered.
However, once I was there, several things happened that were discouraging. The time for orientation to their computer program had been halved (much to the chagrin of the instructor, and she left the company afterward), yet the amount of material covered was the same. The other 2 nurses being trained with me, lived near the office and were able to come in very early to practise the computer formats. They supported each other, but wouldn't respond to me when I asked them questions later. I live an hour east of the office in Richmond, VA, so I got there on time, but not early.
Once we were assigned our cubicles, I wasn't allowed to call patients until my VA license (along with other "chartered states") came through. I was licensed to work in California, but I wasn't allowed to call patients there. However, the others could call California patients and others not in the "chartered" states, without being licensed there. I was very disheartened to see that we wouldn't be allowed to say anything to patients that wasn't in the "script", and that erroneous facts were to be given.
We were told a few days later that we had to fulfil educational requirements in other areas of nursing (med-surg, cardio, orth, neuro, etc.). So we had to do that instead of making calls. The others did their requirements at home, on their own time even though we were told to do the "Iris" courses at the office. Due to other time commitments, I was unable to do them at home, and they finished their educational requirements in a few days.
I got my VA R.N. license in a few days, but was still not allowed to call patients, unless they spoke Spanish (I was the only nurse who speaks that language, there). I had been assigned to an experienced nurse, to hear her make calls. She had won several monetary "awards" for calling the most patients for some weeks. It became obvious that quantity rather than quality was the standard there. That nurse spoke so fast and told patients so many things in rapid succession, never asking if they wanted her to tell them the facts they were to be force fed, or asking if they'd understood.
A week later, I was asked to complete a form to obtain BCBS health insurance (yet there was more than 2 months to go before I'd qualify for that). The other nurses didn't have to do that, as they said, as did I that they had health insurance already. HR insisted that I complete the form, which required stating my birth date. I wrote the month and day of that, but was called by my supervisor and told to place the year of my birth on it - 1939! (I don't look or act my age.)
A few hours after that, I received 6 calls from people in various departments, asking for my birth date, which I gave them. Then my supervisor asked me to go to another building a few miles away where security is housed, to write my birth date under the pictures they had taken of me. I did that, and when I got back to the office, I was told that I wasn't "a good fit" by 2 supervisors.
They offered to help me pack up my things, which I said wasn't necessary. Ten minutes later, one of the supervisors came to demand that I write my own letter of "termination" and hand it to him before leaving. I told him that I'd rather write a letter of resignation, so I could still write on applications that I hadn't ever been fired. He asked the other supervisor who said "no". I wrote the letter as one of resignation, anyway. They told me to rewrite it. I refused.
They were pretty aggitated, having told me that I could leave early and be paid for a full day, but it was getting close to the time I would have gone home anyway. I printed as many things as I could, from my computer there, emails, "Iris" certificates, etc. They came and started throwing things into the boxes they had brought, some mine, some not, reaching around and over me. It was crazy!! I asked what I did wrong, but they wouldn't answer my question. I had to turn in my badge and leave in front of many other workers, who had heard everything. It was misery!! I really needed that job.
For 14 years previously, I had been given impossible tasks at about 5 jobs, and quit all of them after being harassed in that way. A friend finally told me that the business she owned with her husband had BCBS coverage fior themselves and their 35 employees. When her husband turned 55 (over 10 years ago), BCBS wrote that $1,000/month would be added to their premium, due to his age.
They thought the health care policy was good and their employees felt secure with it, so they paid the overage. Ten years later, at 65 years of age, BCBS said that Medicare couldn't be the husband's "primary" health insurer, and wanted to charge another $3,500/month for his coverage. He retired and became the company's "consultant". Their son now runs their business.
I received a letter from a law firm in Richmond recently, that stated they had a "class action" lawsuit against Wellpoint, Anthem, BCBS for employee age discrimination. I was happy to see that, and have joined the class. However that lawsuit regards only those in VA who were fired due to age discrimination, I was told when I asked the lawyer about their instigation of other firings in many companies that had their health insurance coverage. I was told that it wasn't possible for them to handle that; and to their knowledge no cases involving companies receiving insurance from them were in litigation for their prohibitive premiums.
So, as you can imagine, I won't recommend that anyone be employed there. I do believe that Universal health care will knock private insurance companies out of business, eventually. I may not live to see that, but I'm rooting for it! The Canadian "single payer" (NOT "socialized medicine") health care program has worked very well for 47 years. The doctors from Canada have been belittled by American doctors at conferences they attend together, due to their lower incomes. However, medical students in Canada haven't entered that field to make millions. Rather, they have a passion for healing others, and very strong ethics (my niece in Toronto is a family care physician who performs palliative care).
Doctors in Canada live well, but not as lavishly as American doctors do, and they work longer hours. They're paid by the hour, in addition to getting fees for services rendered. Canadians have had a sense that they are responsible for the availability of health care for those less fortunate than they are, and have never harbored resistance to that concept. The amount they pay the government for health care isn't viewed as a tax; it is seen as a premium that also covers others unknown to them (when they happen to be asked if they mind that).
Oops, I am sliding off the topic........ well, you see what I mean......