Friday, November 13, 2009

Shadows of Old Name Follows

Ever where I turn these days, at least once a month I am reminded that a shadow of my previous self is lurking beyond the edge of light ready to strike, revealing the existence of my previous life. The pieces of mail I receive from the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, in addition to correspondence from companies that I had dealings with in my old life.

It was much easier changing my name through the courts system than it has ever been in trying to update financial institutions information and with my health care provider. Not to mention that I will never be able to change my name on documents I receive in connection with the Military Retirement Section and Finance records. Especially my Retiree Account Statement always shows my previous name. When I updated my name change with my Health Care Provider, they have a computerized system where one can check and verify all medical appointment, and authorization for procedures with payments and costs. One has to use one’s social security number to access the system and after submitting copies of the court documents for my name change, it blocked my access to all records because of the name difference. I had to make several phone calls and spend several hours trying to get my access reset.

Because I have taken Kay maiden name along with mine, it makes it difficult to process medical related paperwork in the beginning. The Social Security system recognized one form of my name, my Military healthcare recognizes another grouping, and the VA will only recognize the combination of our maiden names to get any medical appointments settled. The only problem is that my Military ID card has only the initial for my middle name, which is Kay’s maiden name; and it make explanations of the difference with the VA and the Military Records comical.

This week, I needed to refill some of my prescriptions and learned that they had not been authorized for reduced payments through my health care provider. Tricare had changed the company that had been using to fill prescriptions and needed a correct name. It had been two years or so since I had legally changed my name and I assumed that the new company had been given my old name instead of Sarah; and I was furious. Since it was Veteran Day everything was closed and I would not be able to contact them until Thursday, and I was out of one of my meds. The pharmacy would only let me purchase for full price, and I thought if I did pay full price, I would have to jump through many and large hoops to get any refunds when I got my name problems corrected. It was only when I had called Humana Health Care and I realized they were closed for the holiday, I realized the pharmacy tech had not submitted my full name. It seems that they had always used Sara, without the “H” and everything was fine; but with the new company, they rejected the refill request because it did not have the “H”. So when I pointed out that there was a misspelling of my first name, she added the ‘h’ and both refills were processed with no problems. I was very relieved that I did not have to fight the system again to correct my name.

It took the rest of the day for me to calm down enough to enjoy the week.

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