Universal Health Care customers: "We feel betrayed, lied to"

10:51 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Universal customers say they feel "betrayed" and "lied to"

People stand outside the office of Universal Health Care after federal agents raided the building Thursday morning.
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Paul Weston is fired up, fed up and frustrated. He feels betrayed by the very company he says he always trusted, the company that holds the key to his well being - Universal Health Care.

"Don't do it. You can't count on them," Weston told 10 News while sitting at the kitchen table in his Spring Hill home. "They lost my trust."

The 61-year-old deals with chronic pain in his lower back and hips and sees a specialist. 

"I might have to have major back surgery," he said. "I've been active my whole life until now and have been dealing with disability issues."

Universal Health Care has always been crucial to Paul's physical condition. When he saw the news that federal agents raided the company's downtown St. Pete headquarters on Thursday leaving 800 people without a job and a massive national healthcare investigation looming, the self-professed loyal 10 News viewer was disappointed and disgusted all at once. 

"Companies like this think you're just a number."

The company told told all policyholders they would be covered until Monday, April 1st.

Well, when Paul went to his doctor's appointment a few days ago, they told him just the opposite - that he wasn't covered. 

"I couldn't believe it. They didn't keep their word," Paul said with a sigh.

The staff at his doctor's office told him that if he wanted to continue with his appointment, he would have to pay seven times the amount for his co-pay. 

"I didn't have it," Paul said. "I had to cancel the appointment.  I was done."

Paul spent hours looking for a new doctor who would have to issue a new referral for a new specialist. "It was time consuming," he admitted. "It's been a nightmare."

Right now, Universal customers are scrambling to change their policies, like Paul. He thinks the higher-ups in the company have massive problems with mismanagement.

Federal agents have worked around the clock for the past 24-hours since the raid- seizing computers and going through files to investigate the company. 

Thousands of customers all over the Bay Area are now trying to finalize their policies before April 1st, when Medicare plans with Universal are liquidated. 

If customers miss the deadline, they could end up paying more, possibly much more.

"What about the elderly who are waiting on operations or have to take life or death medication. What about them," asked Paul. "I feel sorry for them. This isn't right."

If you are a Universal Health Care customer and have questions, you can  call 1-800-MEDICARE or if you have Medicaid, you can call 1-888-367-6554.

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