"Hello, This Is Peggy..." Who Knew US Health Insurance Companies Have Peggy From The Philippines On The Payroll?
Blue Shield of California recently closed its last California call center located in Northern California. With no warning and no explanation, all phone calls from doctors and hospitals were re-routed to call centers in the Philippines. Trying to get patients' medical bills paid has always been difficult, but now that Peggy and Pebbles and Bepper (Pepper) are answering the phone, it is next to impossible. The language barrier is significant and the customer service deficit is serious. These workers are trained to deny and delay legitimate payment, by any means necessary.
Offshoring and outsourcing are not a new phenomenon with U.S. health insurers. Every major health insurer in this country participates. Cigna, Aetna, Health Net, United Health Care, Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield, etc., have all shipped American jobs overseas by the thousands and they continue to do so on a daily basis.
Health care premiums go through the roof every year and your health insurer becomes richer and richer, and a big part of the profit comes from firing American workers and replacing them with poorly trained foreign workers.
Don't like American jobs being sent to the Philippines, India, Pakistan and Canada? The jobs that have traditionally supported American families are still disappearing, even in today's anti-outsourcing environment and America's insurers play a big role.
Foreign Nationals Don't Just Get American Jobs, They Get ALL Of Your Personal Information, Too!
In order to answer questions about your medical bills, "Peggy" has to have all of your personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, social security number, employer, health history, diagnoses, medical treatments and much, much more.
Because I am a health care worker in the U.S., I am bound by all of the privacy laws that protect American patients. If I, as a Patient Financial Services analyst for a hospital, breach your information, I can and should go to jail. If, however, I am "Peggy" in the Philippines and I steal your identity or use your medical information in some nefarious way, I will not be punished. The U.S. has no enforcement powers in the Philippines, India, Pakistan or Canada.
Outourcing Means No Privacy Protection