The healthcare provider strikes back: the sequel

SchoolbusWhen we last left our protagonist—that would be me—I had been told by Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield that spraining my ankle while stepping off a stationary ski shuttle bus was an “automobile accident” and that I should contact my car insurer to have my emergency-room bill paid. This makes the claim on the Empire home page that its new plan gives consumers “a more active approach to healthcare” ring strangely true, as it apparently takes a lot of action to get a bill paid. As I suspected, the car insurer was overwhelmed with joy to hear from me—except they pointed out that due to some obscure law having to do with which state the “automobile accident” occurred in, the best remedy was to contact the shuttle-bus operator up in Vermont to see if they’d be willing to pay the bill. Fortunately, the resort where this terrifying car crash happened is now closed for the season, so there are no doubt cubicles full of bored employees sitting around, waiting to dig their teeth into something like this. So far, the moral of our story is this: If, during the course of injuring yourself, you find yourself in the vicinity of—or even looking at— a car, don’t let anyone know, lest your injury be classified as an “automobile accident.”

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor