Points of clarification. I am an independent agent and deal with all kinds of companies. Concerning your specific issues with Celtic:
The extra $5 bucks. I am going to guess that you elected monthly billing and NOT EFT. There is a handling charge for the former. It is common with all plans of this type from all carriers - except for those who will NOT do monthly direct bill (and there are more than a few of those). The surcharge is clearly described in the payment options.
Claims handling; Celtic products are medically underwritten, and in most states do not accept most pre-ex conditions. It is a function of how carriers have to operate within each state's legal guidelines. They may or may not request doctor's records before issuing a policy. They DO check with the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) and a similar national data base of pharmacy records. These two data bases are populated by reports submitted by various companies (Health, Life, Disabilty) and then accessed by members to verify medical history of potential clients. The data base companies do not and cannot verify reports.
You have filed a claim within the first year of your policy. Company will need to verify this was NOT a pre-ex, which could potentially disqualify your policy if it is determined there was something you did NOT report on the application. It's called fraud. On the other hand, underwriters react to what is in doctor records, and trust me when I tell you, I have seem many cases where the doctor records were full of careless errors. (The mystery hospital?) Also, many cases of doctor CYA - comments to keep them clear and yet not necessarily accurate as to what was told to you.
Last but not least, uncooperative service reps. They are barred by federal law (HIPPA) from discussing any personal medical information over the phone. All dialog must be in writing signed by the patient. Most often, that information will be sent back to your doctor and not you.
Again, this is a safety measure to prevent unschooled clients from making medical diagnosis or overreacting to data (for example, tests showed your BP at an alarming level). Otherwise, the company is subject to nasty fines and the representative could be quickly fired. Call your congressman - HIPPA was passed for "our privacy protection". You must know this so you don't go off on the service representative who has their hands tied.
Last piece of advice - if you are going to buy insurance online, then you better consider yourself an expert. It is clear from your dissatisfaction statement, you do not know a lot about how companies operate and what laws tie them in knots.
Next time, get a qualified independent agent who can help you through this jungle. From what you have said in your posting, Celtic is following routine procedure on claims adjudication and staying within the confines of state and federal laws. Your rant, while an expression of obvious frustration, is based on a tremendous lack of knowledge. Not your fault - no one is expected to be an expert in this mess - but that is the role you took when you decided to go it on your own.
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN -- I received a letter from my former insurance carrier that indicated that they were no longer going to continue having the type of coverage that I had, but offered that we could switch to Celtic as of the first of the year (2012). It sounded great and mentioned also that we were guaranteed coverage and that we could not be refused because of a pre-existing condition.
By the 1st of the year came I had received a letter welcoming me to Celtic insurance along with the following: booklet of the items covered, two cards showing a certificate number, and effective date of 1/01/2012. Also, a billing for the first quarterly premium, which was paid and sent out right away because it was later in December that this information all arrived in the mail. I just found out last week that my policy was terminated on 1/1/2012. They won't really give me a reason why it was terminated. They would only gave a fax number that I could fax an appeal of some sort. I plan to do that, but we all know how that is going to go.
They claim the premium amount paid will be refunded although I have not seen it yet, nor a formal written termination notice. They only told me this over the phone. Apparently, I never had coverage from day one. They were not very forthcoming with me and don't seem to care about their paying customers.