Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Won!

Yes, I won the battle against a corporate giant.

Early January of this year, I had to go to ER due to acute pharyngitis. My health insurance with BCBSIL covers 100% of ER visit, and, just to make sure, a few days after my ER visit, I even re-confirmed this fact over the phone with a customer service representative at BCBSIL.

Then, there came a bill from BCBS which said I owed them $105.50. For a few days, I had thought about just paying the bill without bothering to fight with the insurance company. I felt too lazy to fight. However, I eventually mustered up the strength and confronted them. The person over the phone told me the same thing: my insurance pays 100% of physician and facility charges for ER visit. When I asked her to explain to me then what $105.50 is for, she was unable to explain and told me that she will submit it to be reprocessed.

Two weeks after the last phone conversation with BCBS, I called in today to find out what they decided to do with the bill. I found out that they dropped ALL the charges from my account!

I cannot imagine how much money health insurnace companies are making thanks to all those unsuspecting, too-tired-to-fight people. They say it's a mistake, but I wonder if it is an "intentional" mistake, because they did the exactly same thing to my husband's ER visit. His case still in process, and we will see how long it will take to resolve it.

Please know what your insurance policies are, and make it a habit to inquire about the bill before deciding to send a check. You won't get it, if you don't ask for it. Unfortunately, with a lot of corporate giants, you will be ripped off, if you don't stay alert and fight for yourself.

TAPO (Tenacious, Assertive, Persistent, Obnoxious)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Landing a great deal for airplane tickets

For most things in life, I find the more tenacious you are, the better is the chance that you will get great deals. It's even more so when it comes to finding airplane tickets and vacation deals.

Give yourself enought time to research - 6 months for international trip, at least 4 weeks for domestic trip - and check EVERYDAY!

C.J. and I spent our last winter holidays in Korea. For the trip, we started searching for airplane tickets late May and booked tickets in June. When people were paying $1200-$1300 per person for a two-stop flights, we paid $980 per person for a flight that made only one stop at San Francisco.

I just booked a round trip to Newark, NJ to visit my friend, Gao Jing in NY. I've been checking American Airline website and almost everyday for the past four weeks. This morning, for the exact same flights, was selling them at $329.20 while was selling them at $188.20 which includes tax and all the fees. Not what I expected to find on a Monday!

The secret of finding good deals? Tenaciousness.