No wonder MSP costs escalating

Rigamarole leads to time consuming exercise to straighten out bills

Editor, The News:

B.C. auditor general John Doyle says that the outsourcing of MSP and PharmaCare administration to Maximus has failed to bring expected benefits and that the U.S. company has not been held to account by government.

From my experience with MSP, that is a major understatement.

Back in April, I transferred my and my wife’s MSP account from my pension account to her pension account. At the end of the month, I received a two-page letter telling me that my account was overdue and if I didn’t pay the outstanding debt, it would be turned over to a collection agency for collection.

I phoned my wife’s company to see if it was paying our MSP payments and was assured they were. I then attempted to contact MSP, and when I finally was able to talk to someone and explained that the money was now coming from my wife’s account, I was yelled at and told I had to pay, and asked what credit card would I put the outstanding amount on?

I told her that there was no way I would pay double.

Every month I got new threats and demands of the alleged accumulating debt. I tried two more times to communicate with MSP employees with nothing more than abuse for my efforts.

Here it was October and the threatening letters just kept coming, so finally I phoned my wife’s pension administers just to make sure our bills were being paid and was assured they were.

The lady also explained that MSP was normally five to six months behind, and there were two companies involved, neither one of which had a clue what the other was doing.

I told her I was going to get my MLA involved as my account had been turned over to a collection agency and I had had it with this wasteful stupidity.

The lady asked me to give her a chance to clear this mess up and, sure enough, she phoned back and said it was all fixed up, not to worry, at least till the end of the month, when guess what showed up in my mail box again?

Another threatening letter.

I went over to my MLA Michael Sather and showed him what was happening. This is what it took to solve this seemingly simple miscommunication.

After seven months of hassle and a phone call from my MLA, Mr. Sather to the minister of finance, the letters finally stopped.

What a waste. I don’t know what this boondoggle cost in office costs and people’s time, not to mention bad feelings and outright anger, but it is difficult to imagine a more incompetent system in this day and age.

No wonder MSP costs continually keep escalating and service keeps deteriorating.

Wayne Clark

Maple Ridge