I had good luck with Blue Cross & Blue Shield back in Fort Dodge between college and Chicago, so that was the first place I looked. The process was very smooth – hop on a website and fill in some blanks, a couple days later a local agent called and set up the plan I needed. I'm no Olympian but I'm a fairly healthy guy (I failed to mention the incident with the goose to the agent) so it was just a matter of submitting the paperwork to an underwriter. I can't stress how easy this was, we probably spent as much time talking fantasy basketball while the application program loaded on his computer as we did my medical history, because there's only one thing to mention. I had jaw surgery in college to correct an under-bite. The doctors went in, moved things around and bolted my jaw back in place where it belonged. Aside from some swelling it was an easy procedure, so my agent didn't think this would hold up the process of my application. He set me up with a temporary plan to hold me over until the permanent policy kicked in, told me an underwriter might be calling if there were any questions, wished me a nice weekend and that was that.
Two weeks later I was driving back to Chicago from Indianapolis. It had been long day, I was drained and even though Indianapolis is just down the road there's a time zone change and that always strangely takes a lot out of me. I have no trouble working long hours, if I have friends visiting it's easy for me to stay out late bar hopping, but if I have to set my watch back or forth an hour while on a road trip you would think I just went ten rounds with a kangaroo.
Right before I got to the city limits I had a call from Blue Cross & Blue Shield with a couple of questions. I was a little surprised they were calling on Friday evening, but I was approaching Chicago and didn't want to pull over so I had to make it quick, it's illegal to be on your cell phone while driving in the city. He asked to speak with Miss Courtney Nash, a pretty common mistake I thought he made based on my first name.
“It's not Miss, it's Mr. Courtney Nash. But yeah, this is Courtney,” I told him and then it got silent for a moment.
“Oh,” he sounded young and definitely confused. “My mistake, sorry sir... ah... I'm Jeremy with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois. I have some questions in regards to finalizing your new policy. Specifically about your breast implants.”
I pulled the car over.
Jeremy spent the next several minutes asking about my breast implants, which didn't exist. It was standard procedure for opening a new policy, he needed to gather any and all medical info in regards to cosmetic surgery that might one day affect my health. I glanced down to double check and there definitely weren't any implants, so I didn't know what to tell him. We went back and forth for a couple of minutes trying to figure out the mistake, he had it right there on the computer in front of him and finally told me the surgery in question was March 14, 2002. It dawned on me that he was talking about my jaw surgery. Somewhere in the application process there was a note made about implants in my jaw, the bolts used in the surgery were still in my skull and weren't going anywhere. By the time the policy got to Jeremy my jaw implants had been labeled breast implants.
We figured it out and Jeremy finalized the plan, unnecessarily apologized and I drove the rest of the way home. I looked down at my watch, it was good to be back on Chicago time.