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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

More Evidence of America's Greatness


Opening an envelope from an international travel insurer, I expected a check but found a form letter containing a dozen boxes, each listing a reason why payment was denied. An “X” through one box revealed that I had not submitted my invoice on an HICF 1500 claims form.

That’s the form American doctors send to American health insurers. It’s hopelessly complex, full of codes, questions, boxes, and charges – far longer than my simple invoice. Despite this, it’s badly organized. One must enter today’s date three times.

I found a HICF form and filled it out, leaving many cryptic questions blank, guessing answers where I wasn’t certain, and inventing a long, fictional breakdown of my services because I charge a flat fee. An American insurance clerk would post it on the office bulletin board for general amusement.

Two weeks later, a check arrived. Foreign insurers are not up to speed, but they’re trying.

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