The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Retirement Circus

I am starting to understand why some people do not retire. No, I am not getting bored or feeling unnecessary. I am getting frustrated. Aggravated. Intensely angry at the treatment by the company who bought out my former company and by the company/companies which handle the administration of my retirement and benefits.

Next month (November), for a period of some 14 days, I will have the opportunity to choose a different health coverage option then my current one. If there is an alternative option. There might be. There are indications that there might be. But I don't know for sure because...

I don't have all the information.

I don't have that information because they have not sent it to me. They have not sent it to me because... well, I don't know why.

They believe that I am an "eBenefits Participant". No, that wasn't a typo. there is a lower case "e" in front of the upper case "B". I know this because I received a postcard in the mail (US Mail, "snailmail", USPS, etc) calling me that.

I have never received one email from the company or the companies handling the administration of my retirement benefits since my retirement. I have never been able to log in to any retirement website.

But because I really disliked the health plan, administered by Aetna, that was dumped on me two years ago when SBC took over ATT (and started using that name) I decided I had best see if I had some choice in the matter.

Now, my choices are always going to be limited. I live in a small town and I may be the only ATT retiree in the county. So my health plan may not be known to the medical folks around here. I can expect that. I suspected I might have trouble when the last time I called Aetna for information about what doctors were in my network, they couldn't find my ZIP code and had no idea what, or where, Sebring was.

So, I go to the web site suggested in that postcard. I find I cannot log in. Probably because I have never logged in before. But, oddly enough, I could not establish a log in because they had some information about me they had somehow gathered from the ether. I located an email contact where I could request assistance and emailed my plea for assistance.

They complied with a reset of my password and left me to guess at my login. But I eventually figured it out and got logged in. This was a "Global Login" which turned out to not be so global. It got me into a page from which I could presumably link to other web pages where I could get information about my health benefit options and choices.

But I had to log into those. With a different login. I found the right login name (different than my first one) but had no idea what the password might be. Surprisingly, I was told I didn't have one. Password, that is. And then I managed to register for what may have been the first time.

Yet, after registering and logging in, I found I had a profile. In that profile, I found I had an "other email address" which was the one I had before retiring and moving here (ie, three years old!). I had no "preferred email address" nor could I find a way to add it (though I was informed that I could do so while viewing my profile). They did have my current, correct, postal address.

Anyway, within these web pages, I was continually told I could review my choices for health coverage for 2010 and even get a glimpse of how I would be entering any changes, if I so chose to change anything. But that never materialized. Each link would take me to another page which had no information except generalized info but which would offer me a link to another page which they promised would provide the stuff I needed. Except those links either brought me back to the original page or reported a Page Not Found error.

I sent off another email to another email address asking for assistance and was directed to a toll free number and the first web site address.

Any bets on which path I will take?

5 comments:

Gregory said...

sorry but I had to laugh (would hate to be in your shoes) reminding me of the 2 chipmunks on buggs bunny. I thought they called this the information age, not the "no information age"

Douglas said...

Gregory, as we used to say at work, "We are in the business of selling communication, we don't actually do any."

powdergirl said...

A classic case of "the shoemakers children have no shoes."

Good luck with that, sounds like a real pain in the ass.

Gregory said...

sorry but I had to laugh (would hate to be in your shoes) reminding me of the 2 chipmunks on buggs bunny. I thought they called this the information age, not the "no information age"

powdergirl said...

A classic case of "the shoemakers children have no shoes."

Good luck with that, sounds like a real pain in the ass.