Happy New Year, You’re Not Covered

There’s nothing like attempting to get your meds refilled and finding out that you’ve been dropped from your medical coverage. 

That was my 1/1/16. It was shocking considering I’d dragged myself down to the benefits office when I discovered an administrative error had dropped my coverage. They assured me they’d corrected the error and there would be no gap in coverage. They also said to ignore any coverage termination notices. So with my re-enrollment papers in my hot little hand, I trusted that the genial benefits person had corrected the problem.

But, on the first Monday of the new year, I called BS health insurance hoping maybe the paperwork was stuck in the system somewhere. I was greet with a firm no and told my coverage terminated 12/31.

Sitting in the lobby of the benefits department I thought, “Why in God’s green earth would anyone think I wanted to terminate my policy?” I was seething inside. Fully armed and ready for combat, luckily, I was greeted by yet another genial and confident benefits analyst.

Bob* worked diligently to get my insurance reinstated. I sat while he called BS health insurance and told them of the error. I watched him listen to them tell him I was on a termination list.  He assured them I was still employed by the city and that I should not be terminated.  He asked them both in spoken work and via email to reinstate both my medical coverage and prescription benefits without any gap in coverage. He was assured that it would be done.

By the time I got back to the office and logged into my computer, BS insurance had reinstated my policy. Well, that is until the next day, when I logged in to check and I’d been terminated again.  The second termination was upsetting since I had my first rheumatology appointment that day. I went to my appoint and figured that it would all be solved that day. To my dismay, there was no resolution.  I would in fact hear from my doctors office again that I was uninsured.

Let me back up for a few months to fill in the back story from open enrollment.  We have to fill in a paper form to change anything related to benefits. This year, I opted to change dental coverage and increase my childcare spending deductions.  On the form it clearly states, any coverage not shown to change or drop on the form will continue as it as in the prior year. Well December 5th, I get notice that I elected to drop my coverage.  Um, nope, sure didn’t.

So December 7th, I was in the benefits office explaining the situation. The original genial benefits analyst asked for my original form. No, I didn’t have it. And shouldn’t they have an electronic or hard copy.  Apparently, they did because when she came back she re-enrolled me in the BS health insurance plan.

It is now, January 7, and here I sit with no coverage. I have been embarrassed by the billing person at my doctor’s office and the local Walgreen’s.  Everyone insisting my coverage is terminated. It’s frustrating and scary.

If this never gets fixed, I could go a year without coverage.  I may have missed open enrollment for Obamacare and have tax liability that is in no way my fault.  With all this on my shoulders, I am dismayed and stressed out.  I’ve spent countless hours on the phone due to prescription refills and coverage issues to make sure I was taken care of. I will continue to fight on as my daughter may get sick again and I have to worry about monthly refills for several prescriptions.

The only real resolution I feel is my visit to the benefits department prompted the city to take action and go to BS health insurance to attempt to get us all re-insured. Unfortunately, I don’t feel BS cares about our needs much.

I wonder how many city employees are without healthcare right now and when we will all feel confident in our benefits department again.

 

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