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Cancelling prescription insurance causes headache



Updated: July 11, 2012 10:20AM

Dear Fixer: I had insurance through UnitedHealthcare to cover prescriptions and decided I did not want it any more.

I called them on Nov. 30 to inquire about what was being covered. I told the representative I didn’t want it any more, to cancel me out. She replied, “OK,” and hung up.

I thought that was the end of it, until I realized I am still being billed.

After several phone calls, they told me I did not cancel within the cancellation period, which I’m sure I did. They said they didn’t have it in writing.

I did cancel and it was not my fault that the rep didn’t do her job and send me the proper papers. I was never told it had to be in writing. Please help. They are billing me every month and I will wind up with bad credit.

Mary Eckhart, Thayer, Ind.

Dear Mary: You told The Fixer that when the phone rep replied “OK,” you thought everything was indeed OK.

We figured this mystery could easily be solved by listening to the recording of that Nov. 30 call.

But finding it proved difficult.

After a few weeks, UnitedHealthcare said they’d found a recording, and it didn’t contain any words about canceling.

But it turned out that was an earlier call you had made at the beginning of November. Luckily, you were able to produce your own phone records showing you called them three times on Nov. 30, including the conversation you said contained the cancellation.

Soon after, they came up with a resolution.

We understand they will cover your payments through the end of this year. This November, you will have another chance to cancel during the disenrollment period. If you do, we suggest you document it well.

Savings bond samaritan

Dear Fixer: I purchased a book from a Goodwill shop in the suburbs. In the book I found a very large savings bond. I tried to contact the owner, but their phone in Palatine has been disconnected. I wrote them a letter with my address, phone number and email address, but so far I have not had a reply.

Please let me know what I should do.

Gloria Makowski, Chicago

Dear Gloria: You told us you were thumbing through a book called Undoing Perpetual Stress when you found a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond stashed between the pages. The good news is that finding the couple to whom it belonged was not stressful at all.

We did some research and located the cell phone number for their adult daughter in Glen Ellyn. Interestingly, The Fixer got on the phone with the daughter at the exact time her mom was calling to tell her that a forwarded letter from a Gloria Makowski had just arrived at their new home in Austin, Texas. Her daughter told her to go ahead and call you, and now you have their new address, where you said you’ll send the bond.

We called the woman later and she said that initially her husband was suspicious, having no memory of losing a savings bond. She added: “It’s nice to know there are good people in the world.” (That’s you, Gloria!)

Technical difficulties

The Fixer is trying to keep a sense of humor about an email address that went on the fritz last week. It was, where we had asked all the small business owners, front-line employees, service people, waitresses, cabbies, call-takers and anyone else that deals directly with the public to send their tales of their most obnoxious customers. Our IT people assure us it’s been fixed, so if you have a great story of obnoxious customers, please try again. We’ll run the best ones later this summer.

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