May 12, 2008

The Dog Eat Dog World of Selling Health Insurance

Now that I'm back in the States I have to purchase health insurance. Although I didn't have to do this in the UK, I was actually walking a thin line there as the National Health Service is quite scary and many folks purchase their own plans. Luckily I never got sick! (Also never stepped in dog poop.)

I put very basic info into an online health insurance broker website and within 30 seconds I was answering phone calls and receiving emails. It was like being in a tank with Parana. I said to the first caller that I was still shopping around and he said, "Well then next time don't put your phone number on the Internet" and hung up. The next person went for the hard sell when I said I was still gathering info and possibly talking to someone locally he snickered and said, "Yeah, well, they will be locked into only one provider." Then he hung up.

The frustrating bit is that the website said NO SPAM and I didn't check the box for email offers. It must be a brutal world out there for health insurance sales people.

Another man just called me and said that he wouldn't send information because they are a non-profit and want to save money. I asked him to email information (free?) and he said that they only meet in person to make sure I don't weight 400 lbs and I am not in a wheelchair. Then he said that he's never heard of anyone who didn't want a visit. He finished his pitch by saying that they weren't going to hold a gun to my head or chain me to a chair and beat me.

This scared me. Am I having culture shock? I am freaked out by these totally aggressive sales pitches.