My health insurance was suddenly cancelled


#1

I just went online to check my current pay stub, and I noticed that there was no longer a deduction taken out for my health insurance. My dental and vision and HSA deductions are all still there however.

So I called my local HR lady, and she said she didn’t know why that would be, as everyone else’s health insurance was deducted okay. She said she would “Put in an email to the main office” to find out what is going on, and will call me back as soon as she knows something. Thing is, when they’ve emailed the main office in the past, it takes a long time to get a response, and I’m freaking out a little bit here.

I then called BCBS, and the automated line told me that I no longer had coverage as of January 1. I requested to talk with an “advocate”, who told me that cancellations go through my employer, and that they wouldn’t have cancelled it.

I’m remembering now that all of us employees were required to fill out a “health screening” sheet a while back, with regard to health insurance, where I revealed that I had a heart attack back in 2015, and had bypass surgery that same year. I’m now wondering if this had something to do with it.

Are companies now dropping employees from groups because of former medical problems?

I guess I’m just looking for theories here. This is my day off, and now I’m going to be doing nothing but worrying about this. I cannot afford to get health insurance on my own. Even with my employer paying half, it’s been very expensive, and with my health history, I can imagine paying premiums by myself though an outside company will be cost-prohibitive to say the least.

I’m hoping somebody just made a mistake, but that screening I filled out a few months ago is nagging at me, and I’m beginning to feel doomed. Any thoughts?


#2

99% likely HR fucked up some paperwork.


#3

Gosh, I am really, REALLY hoping this is all this is. Good luck!


#4

I award you +10 Optimism.
I like the way you think.


#5

I like the way he thinks too. All aboard the ‘It was just a mistake that is easily corrected’ train. Because that sucks, and is very stressful.

Best of luck man, hopefully the home office answers quickly.


#6

Dude, that super sucks, but I bet it’s an error also. I don’t think your employer plan can just drop you like that without warning.


#7

That’s kinda what I was thinking too, but I’ve been hearing about changes to the health insurance laws lately. Granted, I haven’t been keeping up on what those changes are, but now I’m wishing I had.

You have also received +10 Optimism.


#8

Just echoing what this lot are saying. I had rather a health thing happen a while back, which very probably has a lot more in ongoing cost associated with it than a heart attack + bypass, and never had such a thing happen or even be hinted at.

Almost certainly an HR cock-up.


#9

I bill a lot of insurance, and the only time it’s really cancelled is when the person has been fired or has worked insufficient hours to qualify for insurance that month.

If the person is still working, 99% of the time it’s fixed by the person talking to their employer so they fix the paperwork. The only times it’s not fixed I imagine they were actually fired and too ashamed to admit it and they won’t tell me.

Also you’re a large group which I imagine has actual protections. I have a tiny small group, I fully expect in the event of any health event the premiums will shoot up the following year.


#10

I do financial planning, and part of most solid financial plans is insurance (life,long term disability, and long term care when necessary). The license for those three requires you to be licensed in health insurance as well. (It’s actually about 70% on health insurance 30% on other insurances which was really annoying when studying given my use case.)
All that is to say that I have a little bit more of an understanding than most when it comes to medical insurance but since I don’t deal with it day to day I’ve forgot a lot of the details. I do recall that group coverage MUST be offered to the entirety of the group if it’s paid for by the employer, so I would imagine this is a paperwork screw up. Also from the test I believe ACA made denial due to a pre-existing condition also illegal.
Group insurance to my knowledge doesn’t drill down into individual health records and instead charges a flat fee for each person regardless of health hoping to strike an average. Essentially healthy people are overpaying for their theoretically unhealthy colleagues. I don’t know why they gave you a health screening form. Are you sure it was for the health insurance? I typically see that more for supplemental group life or long term disability insurance. (Life and long term disability insurance offered through work that employees have to opt into and pay for)

Like I said it’s been a while so things are fuzzy and things might have changed. If this fell under my umbrella of expertise I could have been a lot more helpful. Good luck and keep us posted! The American healthcare system so perfect and well run I don’t understand why anyone would want to do something about it.


#11

Yeah, I would actually assume it’s an HR mess up and don’t let your HR person off the hook (by letting her “email the home office” when she’s probably already aware of what happened). You may have to go over your HR person’s head on this one, and there may not be anything anyone can do.

A while back (probably 5 years now) I filled out my forms for family coverage, and just like you come the first month I realized I was only losing dental and vision from my check. Confused, I asked around and they claim I never sent the forms in. Of course I did. Vision and Dental are on the same forms and it ended up being an HR issue. I got an apology, and then had to spend a ton of money on a third party insurance plan for my family for the year anyway. Nothing else to do about it.


#12

I will only add that I got yelled at by our HR this year because I didn’t “update” my health insurance elections during the open enrollment period back in November. I wasn’t making any changes, so I never bothered to follow the link in the email they sent out about updating. Turns out, apparently you have to actually go and tell them you aren’t changing anything. They told me (when they called me to yell at me) that my insurance would go away if I didn’t provide the update.


#13

Yeah hope for a paperwork mishap.

Whats strange is and I figured most companies did this is , my company pretty much re-enrolls you in whatever you had last year, unless you request a change. Just so people don’t get their coverage messed up.


#14

This would be my actual fear, that you didn’t do anything wrong, someone else fucked up, but you end up paying for it anyway. Seems to be about par for the course in this, the best of all possible countries.


#15

It’s cheaper for the company to assume you don’t want coverage and drop you unfortunately, which is how my employer handles it.


#16

Or to assume that you are now suddenly a tobacco user, even if you’ve never smoked a cigarette in your life, because you didn’t explicitly check the “Not a tobacco user” box, which means that your health insurance doubles or trebles in expense.

Or so I’ve heard.


#17

The reallll pain in the ass is a lapse in coverage (say for the month of Jan 2019) would bite you in the ass with preexisting conditions. Now, I haven’t seen anything like that in years and years but I don’t know what’s going on with the Trump fuckery.

The way it would screw you even if you were completely healthy is the insurers would arbitrarily deny claims if there was a gap in coverage. It was up to the patient to prove they did NOT develop whatever condition was on the medical claim during the time gap period.

I don’t know how you prove you didn’t have cancer on May 2015, but whatever. Never seen anyone try the process to appeal.


#18

Insurers aren’t allowed to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions, so I don’t think that’s an issue.


#19

For now.

It is very much an objective for certain groups to remove said restriction.


#20

Is it possible that your employer is changing insurance carriers? There can be a short time of no coverage in between. It’s usually done at the beginning of a year.