Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

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mark_in_denver
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Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by mark_in_denver »

Hello,
For years our kids and myself got health insurance from my wife's employer (government). We were recently notified that our kids and myself have not been covered since July 1. They stated they never received the signed form saying we were her dependents. My wife swears she mailed that in, like she does every year. We only found out from a large medical bill after one of our kids went to the doctor and we called about it and found the apt wasn't covered.

So now we're not covered under her insurance. I'm not sure what this means, I'm assuming we won't have insurance until the new year after open enrollment starts again? My wife is calling her HR department, but I'm not sure what they will do. Any advice?
delamer
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by delamer »

No option to get it through your job? There are short-term policues that you can get, if not.

If your wife pays part of the premium, didn’t you notice a change in her paycheck?
Tdubs
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Tdubs »

delamer wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:11 pm No option to get it through your job? There are short-term policues that you can get, if not.

If your wife pays part of the premium, didn’t you notice a change in her paycheck?
Does her coverage have an open season in the fall?
000
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by 000 »

If everything else fails, COBRA?

My recollection is one has 60 days from the time the COBRA informational packet is delivered to enroll.
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Kenkat
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Kenkat »

It would be good if she had a copy of the form that she mailed, but that ship may have sailed. If she thinks she mailed it in, I would push pretty hard on the angle that they lost it on the other end, especially with all the disruption with Covid-19, etc. I would at a minimum see if you can get reinstated prior to the next open enrollment period given, you know, that they lost the form and all.
Katietsu
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Katietsu »

000 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:14 pm If everything else fails, COBRA?

My recollection is one has 60 days from the time the COBRA informational packet is delivered to enroll.
Unfortunately, I do not think this qualifies. I would ask though.
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MP123
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by MP123 »

This is a case where a short term policy would make sense if you can't get reinstated.

Also, losing insurance is a "qualifying life event" that might enable you to get on an ACA plan. But I'm not sure that your circumstances would qualify. It might be worth checking with your state's exchange if all else fails.
Katietsu
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Katietsu »

Yes. Argue that she returned it. Our open enrollment is done in May for a July 1 year. Around the first of August 1, we get a form showing what we signed up for and which family members. We are told to contact a number immediately if any of the information is wrong. I can only assume that means that they have a mechanism to fix a mistake.

I do not think this would qualify you for COBRA. I believe this would be a qualifying event to sign up for other insurance. The problem is, you just passed the 60 day special enrollment period.

If you really do need insurance, you should be able to get a private temporary policy until next July. I believe it will not cover pre existing conditions and does not comply with the regular ACA guidelines. You will need to be careful evaluating the plan as there can be significant differences between them.
Topic Author
mark_in_denver
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by mark_in_denver »

Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
000
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by 000 »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:15 pm
000 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:14 pm If everything else fails, COBRA?

My recollection is one has 60 days from the time the COBRA informational packet is delivered to enroll.
Unfortunately, I do not think this qualifies. I would ask though.
Why not?
Katietsu
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Katietsu »

000 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:44 pm
Katietsu wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:15 pm
000 wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 7:14 pm If everything else fails, COBRA?

My recollection is one has 60 days from the time the COBRA informational packet is delivered to enroll.
Unfortunately, I do not think this qualifies. I would ask though.
Why not?
Because the insurance was, in theory, lost by choice not because the family members no longer were eligible for insurance under the workplace plan. The assumption is that the wife chose not to cover her husband and kids. I realize that this is not true in this case from the wife’s side but it is the current operating assumption of the employer.

According to CMS, COBRA qualifying events are: “ The following are qualifying events: the death of the covered employee; a covered employee's termination of employment or reduction of the hours of employment; the covered employee becoming entitled to Medicare; divorce or legal separation from the covered employee; or a dependent child ceasing to be a dependent under the generally applicable requirements of the plan.“

I do not believe that a COBRA packet would be generated in this case. However, these things can be complex enough that I would pursue every possible. I am definitely not an expert on whether this could be qualifying for COBRA.
Last edited by Katietsu on Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
mark_in_denver
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by mark_in_denver »

My wife and I never received any document that we were going to be dropped from Anthem. I get much better notification when our XM is going to expire than our own health insurance. We weren't covered for a little over two months.
000
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by 000 »

I wonder if OP should also start contacting the USPS about this.
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MP123
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by MP123 »

mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Ask if they have a discount for cash payments for uninsured patients. Many facilities would rather have some money now than have to mess around with trying to collect it.

If your bill is unadjusted for insurance negotiated rates realize that the provider would only get a (very) small percentage if the insurer was paying it rather than you as an uninsured patient.

And be extra careful until midnight...
Katietsu
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Katietsu »

Congratulations. I am glad to hear this worked out.

My experience with a couple different health care providers is that they will give you a discount, 20% seems routine, if you are ready to pay in full.
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Watty
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Watty »

mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Push harder to get it backdated. Try to get her HR department to help you.

It is very possible that the insurance company actually got the needed paperwork and and they dropped the ball and lost it or did not process it right with their staff working from at home.

Paperwork also gets lots in the mail. I would think that you should have also gotten a final letter too when they dropped the kids coverage.
feehater
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by feehater »

Watty wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:22 pm
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Push harder to get it backdated. Try to get her HR department to help you.

It is very possible that the insurance company actually got the needed paperwork and and they dropped the ball and lost it or did not process it right with their staff working from at home.

Paperwork also gets lots in the mail. I would think that you should have also gotten a final letter too when they dropped the kids coverage.
+1
Backdating is absolutely possible and I've gotten my employer to do it in a similar situation. Although, you would then be on the hook for those two months of premiums, which may or may not be more than the bill you owe.
KlangFool
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by KlangFool »

mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?

Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.


KlangFool
stan1
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by stan1 »

KlangFool wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:18 am
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?

Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.


KlangFool
This is the best choice. Blame the USPS. Issues are well known. It's an administrative issue.
Shikoku
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by Shikoku »

stan1 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:32 am
KlangFool wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:18 am
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.

KlangFool
This is the best choice. Blame the USPS. Issues are well known. It's an administrative issue.
Lesson learned. Sometime after mailing important paperwork, I should call and verify if it reached to the destination.
"I don't worry too much about pointing fingers at the past. I operate on the theory that every saint has a past, every sinner has a future." -- Warren Buffett
KlangFool
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by KlangFool »

Shikoku wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:42 pm
stan1 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:32 am
KlangFool wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:18 am
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.

KlangFool
This is the best choice. Blame the USPS. Issues are well known. It's an administrative issue.
Lesson learned. Sometime after mailing important paperwork, I should call and verify if it reached to the destination.

If you can, fax it. Then, call them. You can get a $10 fax modem that works with Windows 10. Or, use one of those free online fax services.


KlangFool
RetiredAL
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by RetiredAL »

Shikoku wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:42 pm
stan1 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:32 am
KlangFool wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:18 am
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.

KlangFool
This is the best choice. Blame the USPS. Issues are well known. It's an administrative issue.
Lesson learned. Sometime after mailing important paperwork, I should call and verify if it reached to the destination.
My company, before I retired 4 years ago, always sent out confirmation letters, until the last 2 years, when it went on-line and they sent us an email when the data was ready for us to check. And I always checked the first pay (on-line) so as to make sure all the deducted amounts were correct.
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FIREchief
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Re: Wife's health insurance dropped all dependents

Post by FIREchief »

Shikoku wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:42 pm
stan1 wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:32 am
KlangFool wrote: Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:18 am
mark_in_denver wrote: Mon Aug 31, 2020 8:38 pm Thanks everyone, wife called and we are reinstated now, as of 12AM tonight. However there is still that doctors bill to pay, I'll see if the medical center can reduce it somewhat? What is your suggestion on that?
Asked them to re-instate you back to 2 months ago. They can cover you retroactively up to 2 months.

KlangFool
This is the best choice. Blame the USPS. Issues are well known. It's an administrative issue.
Lesson learned. Sometime after mailing important paperwork, I should call and verify if it reached to the destination.
That and using certified mail, which provides proof that a letter was delivered. That said, I feel sorry for the OP. Megacorp tends to be awful in these types of matters. They don't keep anything. It seems like I had to send them a copy of my marriage certificate about five times over the years. Same wife. Same name. Same everything.... But good 'ol Megacorp just needs me to recertify and recertify and recertify. Fortunately, my last connection to Megacorp expired yesterday, so I'm experiencing a whole new kind of freedom. 8-)
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.
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