The definition of competence!

Since I am not one who ever does things the easy way, I find myself frequently struggling with “the man”. It is my firm belief that bureaucracy is the worst thing that mankind ever had the misfortune of creating. Even the word itself is impossible to spell, thanks to an abundance of unnecessary letters. My life these days is defined by my battles with bureaucracy.

For many, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (or so they call it in these parts) is the epitome of bureaucratic non-efficiency. I have many an issue with them too, but that is a rant for another time. I have recently had the joy of dealings with another bureaucracy that makes the Registry look downright competent.

I speak of the wonderful Office of Health and Human Services for Massachusetts. These are the ones who manage Medicaid and other aspects of our glorious state healthcare system, the new model for the nation. I unfortunately must partake in their services, ever since MA decided that Health Insurance is mandatory … since I am severely underemployed. I won’t go too deeply into the 4 months it took me to actually qualify for the insurance, due to such things as not having a proper picture ID on file (since obviously they need to know what I look like in their offices), or the phone system with 14000 menu entries, 2 of which actually reach humans.

I will just mention the letter I received yesterday. To ensure that we are not cheating the system, we are required to fill out a form once a year to prove that we are still eligible for the insurance. I say form, but technically it is reapplying (since they ask for all the same info they already have). I unfortunately misread the date it was due, so got it in the mail last minute, meaning they may have received the form maybe a day late. This of course meant they cancelled my insurance.

But not to worry. I was allowed to request a hearing to contest this. I just had to fill out another form and make sure it got to the right place within a week. Then they would get back to me with a hearing date so I could explain my case. But if I missed this due date … well too bad. So I sent it the next day.

A few weeks later I got my new insurance card and welcome packet … as if I were just starting the insurance. Seems like the hearing was not necessary after all. This was a couple of months ago.

Yesterday I got a letter from The Board Of Hearings, scheduling my hearing date for the near future. But if I don’t need the hearing anymore, I should call them and tell them this so they can free up the slot. So I need to tell the people who decided I didn’t need a hearing that I don’t need a hearing.

Truly a lesson in efficiency!!