I have always been enrolled on Health Insurance schemes as it is part of my employment package. I never really bothered about the type of services HMOs provide as I never really had any serious medical needs.
This time it was different as I was expecting my first baby and I need all the best care I could get in Nigeria. Experience with my last HMO left me skeptical as regards efficiency of HMOs so I was mentally prepared for disappointment and of course augmenting the type of services I expect from my pocket. My company decided to increase the number of HMOs available to staff and Avon HMO was selected. My main concern was about a change in the level of care I would receive so I chose Avon HMO based on positive referrals.
During the enrollment period, I was on annual leave and I did not have access to my email, I was not able to complete registration. Coincidentally, I had booked an antenatal appointment with a hospital before I left and I was worried. Worried because I did not have an Avon HMO ID card nor was my name registered, I did not know if the hospital would turn me away or make me pay out of pocket.
I resumed at work on a Friday and as my appointment was for the next day, I immediately contacted Avon HMO around 5pm! (when every organization should be closing and staff preparing for the weekend). I spoke to my Avon HMO Client Services Manager who was extremely understanding and reassured me that all would be fine. He asked for my staff ID number and the preferred hospital, which fortunately was on the Avon HMO Provider Network. From this point, Avon HMO handled everything; my details were passed to the Avon HMO Call Centre who in turn called my hospital to authorize care. Their customer service skills were faultless and their responsiveness meant that I was able to attend my appointment without delay or hassle.
No one knows when they will be need of medical attention but it pays to have an HMO that is empathetic and quickly responds to your needs. I am particularly impressed because this all happened in less than 24 hours of registration. Come rain or shine, Avon HMO will be there for me