Ugh, I have the worst headache right now and I should really be sleeping, but instead I’m going to share with you my most amazingly awesome experience of the day. Insert sarcastic eyeroll here.
Sidekick needs to see a doctor, STAT (as it seems babies so often do). We recently switched over to Kaiser Permanente for our new medical provider, so I logged onto their online account management system and it prompted me to “add a child to my family list” to schedule an appointment for him. I entered his medical record number and immediately got an error message stating that because my son was listed at a different address than me, they were unable to process my request. Huh. Someone must have mis-typed his information. So I called the customer service number on the back of the card and explained the situation.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but only the primary account holder can make updates to the account.”
“My husband? He’s at work. I just need to get this address problem fixed so I can schedule an appointment for my son.”
“We’re open 24 hours per day 7 days a week, so your husband can call as soon as he gets off work and he can make that update for you.”
Apparently since my husband is the one who pays for our medical coverage, he’s the only one who can make updates to our children’s account information.
Nevermind that I carried these children in my womb for nine months. Nevermind that my husband already filled out Kaiser Permanente’s online form authorizing me to act on his behalf…apparently that only applies to “non-account-related decisions,” according to the customer service rep.
And nevermind that my husband works 14-hour days, 4 days in a row and doesn’t have the time or energy to be making calls in between his shifts. Nevermind that I take care of all bill-payment and medical and most financial decisions.
The customer service agent and I went around in circles a few times before I realized there was only one solution: I would have to pretend to be a man. I hung up and hit redial, entering my husband’s medical record number and mustering the deepest voice I could.
“Ahem, yes, hello. My son’s address information was entered incorrectly in your system. I need to get that fixed so that I can manage his account online.”
I heard a lot of keyboard-tapping at the other end of the line before the woman responded, “Okay……….sir. I’m just going to need you to verify your date of birth, social security number and address before I can make that update.”
She clearly wasn’t buying it. Fortunately, I know my husband’s details quite possibly better than he knows them himself, and I passed their little identity quiz. Update made, doctor appointment scheduled.
Moral of the story: only breadwinners can manage their children’s medical accounts. The rest of us had better become experts at imitating our significant other.