I hate Cobra benefits with a passion. There I said it.
And, the more exposure I have to them, the more I’m beginning to truly think about them as snakelike…. They sink their teeth into you and you die a slow painful death.
When I first lost my job, I went on Cobra rather than switching directly to my husband’s company, my (silly) logic was, that I’d find a job quickly and rather than start health insurance with his company, and have to change a month or so later, I’d just switch to cobra. (Hubby & I each had our own medical benefits from our individual companies. We were however both on my dental benefits as my company’s plan was better).
Let me give you an overview of the last 6 months:
July – I get my first notification from them and it shows that I’m covered for medical & dental benefits for JUST myself (WHAT? My dental plan has always been for 2 people)
Mid-July – After numerous phone calls to them, I get hubby added BACK onto my plan
August – I’m getting new bills saying I owe them back payments from July for hubby’s dental. The only thing is… my old employer covered my full cobra payment for my first month of my unemployment (Uhm… no, I don’t owe you any money!)
Mid-August – I’ve had something like 3 conversations, with 3 different people trying to “audit” my account so that my monthly payments are indeed correct & paid in full
September – I think everything is finally fixed but, I realize that I was insane to think I’d have a job quickly so I call to cancel my medical benefits (I’m finally going onto hubby’s work plan) BUT, I elect to continue my cobra dental benefits for both hubby & myself…. I ask for this to go into effect October 1st.
Mid-Oct – I receive a notification confirming cancellation of ALL my cobra benefits (dental included – WTH??)
Mid-Oct – I make countless more phone calls to try to straighten this out (each person tells me that my account is being “audited” but no one ever follows up with me).
November – I’m scheduled to go the dentist this month… do I or do I not have coverage??
Mid-November – I finally get someone on the phone who seems to have a clue.. she tells me that I’m re-activated for dental coverage for 2 people but that they are still auditing my account because there still seems to be an unpaid balance. (If this wasn’t so damn irritating, it would be comical!)
End of November – I think this is when I receive my first return call from the company. She tells me that they have been billing me incorrectly the entire time (literally the wrong amount) and that based on what I’ve paid them, I have enough of a credit to last me thru June of 2010 (holy crap.. that’s a huge overpayment!). I’m sort of beside myself but at least I don’t need to make any more payments for 6 months. I ask what happens if I get a job, and she says they’ll refund any balance to me (yeah, I believe this one… .NOT!)
So, I finish the year with a huge credit, continued dental coverage for myself & hubby and some clean, cavity free teeth from my covered dental visit. I’m celebrating a small victory even if it has taken 6 MONTHS to get this all straightened out.
2010 comes around and guess what I got in the mail this week… A “Certificate of continued health plan coverage” from the insurance company. I swear, I could not make this crap up!
So, as I sit here today with seemingly double medical coverage… I haven’t mailed them a check for 2 months and I have no intention of mailing them a check until June… do I call them and open up another can of worms or do I just pretend I never even got this letter. It’s not like I actually get any answers when I contact someone there?
So, I think I’ll declare this little battle over and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I find another job soon. And, if this happens I’m sure I’ll have another wonderful story to share about trying to get my “refund” from this company!