Monday, 3 December 2012

Insurance Company Hell...

Before I declined the settlement offer from my insurance company, I blatantly asked them if they'd make my life a living hell for declining. They said no; things would continue as long as I had a doctor's note stating I was disabled.

Guess what? I probably should have accepted the settlement offer... They are making my life even more of a living hell than it already is, something I didn't think could be possible.

First... They assigned a new Wellness Counsellor to me. Wellness? No. He is an Anthony Robbins wannabe, who doesn't understand that getting better isn't about how I phrase things. (In fact, the way I phrase things became worse - much more negative - over the last  several months BECAUSE of shoddy treatment from the insurance company.  My angst level has increased many, many times because of their antics and lack of true empathy..).

Anyways, I digress. Back to new guy. The 'vibe' from him is NOT good. In fact, I'm terrified of him. He's one of the 'big guns' I guess. You know. The type that thinks they can fix people overnight. I do not trust him with my well-being. He doesn't seem to get it. Platitudes do NOT make effective support.  And, once again, he didn't LISTEN to me.

The way he was speaking (he didn't say it directly) he expects me to be back at work... oh... within the next month or so. And, get this, at my old job at my previous employer... (Just typing that increased my anxiety levels CONSIDERABLY). I told him I was bullied there... and he wants me to return to the place of my torture.

Why doesn't he get it? I can't return to the place where my self-esteem - my self worth - was stomped on and destroyed. Contract or no contract. He did advise that I won't have to return to my hellish former work environment if I get a doctor's note saying it would be detrimental to my health.

Of course, he giddily said my former employers were 'nice' and they were anxious for my return. Maybe the contact was - and to be fair, the contact is lovely and she likes me - but not my boss. My boss who has tried to get me to resign many times since I went on disability. And, folks, it's the same company that fired my former coworker the day after she returned to work after taking a week off because of stress. To return would mean hell... and subsequent firing when they were 'safe' to do so.

I explained to him: I don't want a back to work plan. I need a plan to get BETTER. Then, once I'm even marginally better, I can start thinking about returning to work  No one wants a suicidal, zombie with panic attacks to work for them. D'uh.  I even told him that. Not listening. Just barging through.

(And, why am I more suicidal over the last several months? Stress from the insurance company. Why do they have to add more pressure to my already hellish life? I WANT to get better. I NEED to get better. There's no way that's going to happen if I don't feel safe. Otherwise the anxiety takes over and no progress is made. Dealing with the insurance company has made things much, much worse.)

He did say that he'd arrange for a cognitive behavioural therapist (CBT), who will be paid for by the insurance company. I've been hoping to try CBT to see if it makes a difference. At first, I was relieved... I'd be getting help faster than I can in the health care system.

Upon reflection... the idea is not so cool - especially because he said that there would be 6-8 sessions, and more if I required them (tone of voice: you won't need any more because you'll have returned to work and been 'cured').

And, I can't help but question the ethics of someone in the 'system'. How can I be assured unbiased help when the psychologist is buddy-buddy with the insurance company? (Makes me nauseous just to think/type it).

My gut is that 'Wellness Guy" is in cahoots with the counsellor, and I'll be forced to return to work without feeling any better... further entrenching my depression and anxiety. Of course, I'll be out of their hands, so they won't care; it won't be an issue for them any more.

When I spoke to the counsellors I've been seeing, they suggested that I needed a deeper form of therapy - one that focuses on self-acceptance. They said that CBT will not be particularly helpful because I know the vocabulary. When I emailed this to "Wellness Guy", he 'tut-tutted' me, saying that he would take that into consideration when selecting a psychologist.  I don't think Mr. Know-It-All (yes, he comes across that way) actually has a clue.

Second... (Finally... the first was a bit long winded). In a typical insurance move... my monthly disability payment has not gone through yet - despite assurances to the contrary.  I really think the insurance company's goal is to make my life a living hell, to force me to either kill myself or return to work before I'm ready. Both options lead to their desired goal: me off their system. It's pretty sickening.

I called my contact at the insurance company who advised that it was an honest mistake (and I do believe her), and I was assured I'd receive my payment the next day... Three days in, and I haven't  received any money. I'm upset. But, given that it was an honest mistake, I can live with it (despite being unable to pay my day home/maxing out my overdraft etc.)

However, I do believe that the insurance company doesn't care for my well-being. All they care about is their bottom line. I feel betrayed by them. And, I can never regain that trust.

How can I get better when I no longer feel safe? Will I be forced off insurance before I'm ready and end up worse off than ever before? I don't know. I'm overly anxious about the entire thing. Thank goodness I see my doctor this week.

She's the one who warned me that the insurance company might make my life even more of a living hell if I didn't accept the settlement offer. Little did she know the truth in her assumptions.