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Monday, September 3, 2018

No News, Bad News, Stupid News, Good News

No News, Bad News, Stupid News, Good News

My health insurance is through my old firm as a part of a retirees benefits.  I’m not sure I get any special benefit.  I pay through the nose, but it is convenient and mostly on a par with any other plan that has lets you choose your doctor and does not have ridiculously high deductible and out of pocket expenses.

In order to maintain coverage on my 20 year-old-son, I am required each year to confirm to the plan that he is enrolled in college.  They do not ask for proof, simply check a box on-line that confirms he is enrolled.

This year when I went on-line, they did not like my password.  To get a new password required a five day wait.  I had around 30 days to comply but decided instead of doing it on-line, I would just call.

I called, gave them my “Person Number” (I hate that, could they be any colder?) and some other information and then verified, “Yes, my son is enrolled in school.” I was told I was good to go.

Done…easy peasy.

Two days before the deadline to advise that “Yes, my son is still in school” I received a notice that my son’s coverage would expire because I had not verified his enrollment in college.

I called again.  I verified his enrollment again.  They acknowledged that I had called previously and did not know why I had to call again, but everything was now taken care of.

Easy peasy, but just a bit queasy.

Three days later I received a notice that as I failed to verify my son’s enrollment in college his coverage was terminated.

I called again.  They acknowledged again that they had record (they record calls) of both of my calls, but as the date had passed, I would still have to submit a form to some gobble-de-gook group to dispute the termination of coverage.

I did not like this answer and spoke to a supervisor.  She said she would take care of it as I had clearly complied within the required time.

I called back a week later and was told that, no, I needed to submit a request disputing the coverage termination.

At this point I was more than a little pissed. 

Number one, I was not trying to beat anyone out of money, I was paying quite a lot for my son’s coverage.  Number two, I could not find anything in the 2010 Affordable Care Act that required a dependent under 26 to be attending school.

I spoke to a manager complaining that:

“I called and verified my son’s attendance twice and your records confirmed that….”SO JUST FIX IT!!”

“I’m sorry sir, we have specific rules to settle disputes.”

“BTW, How does your plan not comply with the 2010 Affordable Care Act?”

“It states clearly that our plan only covers dependents that are enrolled in college.”

“Yes, that was before 2010, how do you now avoid Federal Law?”

“Well, that is just our policy.”

“Your policy just ignores the law and it is as simple as that?”

“Sir, I understand your frustration.”

“I don’t think you do.”

“You need to fill out a dispute claim, I am sending a form to your address.”

“Frigin-fraggle frumptitty blaven-splat!”

End of call.

Mrs. C, reacting to the pulsating vein in my temples made a suggestion.

“Maybe his school offers coverage.”

His school does offer coverage.

 It is as good or better than the previous coverage that was declined. 

It costs less than half of what I have been paying. 

I had unknowingly already paid for it this year with his tuition so all I needed to do is have Spencer go on-line and enroll. 

I have paid two months of premiums for Spencer’s coverage that the other company declined and have built up a credit.

The money I have saved by the insurance companies screw-up will pay for most of a planned cruise in Hawaii later this year.

I don’t plan to dispute the cancellation of previous coverage.

I am still pissed-off at the incompetence of my Insurance Plan, and wish I could find a way to stick it to them!!!

Let it go Joe, let it go.

Oh yeah, Thanks Mrs. C, you are the best!


  1. You’re just letting them rent space in your head

  2. I am enraged for you at that insurance company's incompetence, policies, and customer service. Yet I am thrilled for you that you found another policy which saves money. Also, I am relieved that you have a Mrs. C to keep things in perspective. Have a couple of dirty-water cocktails, and look forward to that cruise!

  3. Here's how you get their goat ~ call about the dispute again and then mention that "never mind, it turns out the college has better coverage for less money, and thanks for the dispute or I would never know. The wife and I are going to Hawaii on your dime". Make sure you speak to the supervisor. "-)

  4. It’s enough to make a saint swear, dealing with these incompetents.

  5. At first I was stunned by the five day wait to get a new password, then I read the rest. O.M.G!! The whole things seems more than a bit shady to me. I'd be searching for a better company with clearer information and ideals. Thank goodness the school does coverage.

  6. I feel your frustration. It's the same in the UK. Things have definitely got worse now that things are done 'on-line' which I am beginning to hate.

  7. Fill ouit that complaint form re the law changing and them not changing....they deserve it. Report them.

  8. They may not feel it, but when you are on that cruise, lift a glass to toast them for freeing up some cash. Also, I would find out where corporate headquarters are and write a complaint right to the CEO.

    1. I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie, else these idiots may determine that I should have coverage retroactively and the credit I have built up for coverage that I now do not need will be gobbled up and I am back in the red tape battle again.

  9. Amazing, ain't it? When I was unemployed for a bit we found out both daughters had coverage at school included as part of their 'activities fee' but the schools didn't advertise that fact as they hoped people would only use it if necessary. Well, it was necessary and we were grateful ....

  10. I'm from the UK and thank God every day for our National Health Service which is completely free to everyone. I'm not pretending it's perfect - there is much that could be improved - but at least we don't have to fill out forms and talk to stupid people in offices to make sure we're covered!!

  11. Wow, I kind of like It's a crazy world's idea.
    Was glad to see your comment, I thought I had bored you away.

  12. Super annoying, and yes, they are not complying with the law, unless this includes dental and eye coverage. For both my daughters, I just took the form to the admissions office and got it signed. For my son, the school was the problem, forcing you to do it online, and not till weeks into the semester, in case the student dropped out or under full time status.

    Same huge university was a pain in the ass about having to opt out of health insurance AND legal coverage each semester or it was added to your bill. Needless to say, I was so happy when my son graduated.

  13. Universal Free Health Care for All. That is the answer. BTW, I'm NOT a Bernie supporter.

    1. Well, I don't know anything that is worth a damn that is free, but we could use more choices and if government could provide some additional viable options I would not be against it.

  14. I love this Joe. I would have been right there with you. Glad it worked out better for you.’r

  15. Who was it that said we have the best system in the world? I'm just shaking my head here...


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