My health insurance was suddenly cancelled


#21

As of today, I triple dog dare those groups to assume that will happen. Put me in the HR-mess-up camp. I’ve fallen prey to the same system BennyProfane had where we are forced to say, “no changes,” each year. This year in particular, they made plan changes so the had to explicitly tell everyone that if they did not log in to validate, they would be dropped from the plan.


#22

That’s usually the case at the companies where I’ve been employed. No choice means you don’t want it.

The company I work for really wants to make sure people sign up. The way the enrollment works here is that you get a daily email if you haven’t completed your enrollment. Your boss also gets a daily email showing who hasn’t signed up. As the deadline gets closer the bosses start getting emails 2x a day. Then 3x, then hourly. Then the head of HR starts calling people and nagging them to sign up. One of the division managers related that a couple of days prior to the deadline last year he started getting calls from the CEO asking why he hadn’t signed up for health insurance.

They really want to make sure you sign up!


#23

What a tremendous waste of everybody’s time.

In this, the most efficient of all possible systems.


#24

You said it. For that matter, the entire reason a lot of us end up having to re-enroll is that our plan has slowly gotten shittier crappier the longer I’ve worked.

The whole plan enrollment system is hosed, forcing you to pay for things you -think- you’ll need throughout the year. “I think I’ll have something that requires specialists this year, I’m gonna go with the PPO.”

EDIT: New year … less cursing.


#25

Yes, I was particularly amused when everyone kept saying how premiums were going up because of Obamacare, like come on, they’ve gone up every single year for the entire time I’ve worked, and I’m sure they were doing the same before that, how gullible do you have to be?


#26

I am in the HR-cock-up camp.

I had a life event recorded in November and they automatically took the opportunity to enroll me for 2019 (coincided with the open enrollment period) . And I am absolutely the type of insured person they’d love to kick off the rolls for purely financial reasons (those who know me better know what I am talking about). Suffice to say I am on LTD recovering from the kind of thing that gets you on LTD (and may/probably will transition to Medicare, barring Wolverine-level recovery progress in the next 9 months).

Oh, and my plan goes up yes (as it always did), but it actually got suckier after Obamacare (the race to the bottom caused by “Medicare as the standard” removed all incentive for all insurers to do anything but the minimum). So the way I look at it I am still paying more, like I always did, but for less.

Heck this thread made me go back and triple-check (better safe than sorry), even though I got my new cards in November (as I related above).


#27

As stated above group coverage (in my experience) requires it to be offered to every qualifying individual in the company. A company cannot just cancel an employee who otherwise qualifies. This sounds like your company screwed up and it could be made right with a few phone calls.


#28

That is basically what I tell anyone who blames rising rates on ACA. Health insurance has never gotten cheaper and has always gone up in the 30 +/- years of my paying for company insurance. The problem is most people had it for “free”, and now their company or union is making them pay part of the bill and they are amazed how much it costs. Well, wake up and smell the coffee.


#29

I probably could’ve been more clear on how mine worked: Everyone was offered coverage and reminded frequently about the enrollment period, but if you didn’t reply in the affirmative with your choices you weren’t enrolled; they didn’t just assume you wanted the same coverage. Also was required to affirm you don’t use tobacco and that if you have a spouse on your plan, they can’t get coverage through their employer. Both of those resulted in hefty surcharges if you forgot.

In this specific situation, yea, hopefully it can be cleared up with a few phone calls - if not start the email paper trail.


#30

On the one hand, I can see why it’s “you have to agree to no changes” because it’s never really no changes, it usually has at a minimum a cost change.


#31

I get that people should probably be taking a more active role in reviewing their insurance options, but just dropping them with a “oh well, I guess no insurance for you!” is putting some unnecessary consequences on failing to comply.


#32

Also on a planning note while I have this thread to impart thoughts on, take advantage of your FSA opportunities. It’s a great way to spend pre tax income. Err on the side of underloading rather than overloading, but do participate. If you have kids take advantage of it for daycare costs/after school activities. They are fairly flexible, for instance, you can use the healthcare FSA for a massage.
The caveat being it’s a use it or lose it situation, that’s why I say underload it. It’s a good way to lower your taxable income on stuff you were going to spend anyway.


#33

Yay, she called back.
First words out of her mouth were, “Someone messed up. I don’t know who, but someone messed up.”
So bonus points for all of you who said that, which I think was most of you.

Then she said, “You will not have anything deducted from this check, but from the next check going forward the deductions will be there.”

Which makes me wonder if I’m even covered at the moment. A quick phone call to the insurance company has confirmed that I am still uninsured as far as they are concerned.

Which makes me wonder just how exactly “Someone” went about fixing this. Am I not going to be charged at all for this 2-week period? Which means I won’t have coverage for 2 weeks? Or are they just going to arrange the proper deduction, and then not reinstate the insurance?

And then there is Scott’s story. This is my secret fear. The HR lady says, “everything will be fine,” and then two weeks later I find out that, “Oh yeah. By the way, we couldn’t fix it. Good luck.”

In any case, you can bet I will be calling the insurance company pretty much daily until their automated line tells me I have coverage again.

Thanks to all for participating in helping keep me sane during this very long day off.


#34

You bastard. I just saw this. Thanks a lot.


#35

Oh man, I’m sorry. Okay it’s good news. Make sure the coverage has no lapse, they should be able to do that and make it retroactive.


#36

Yeah, but they’ve already started whatever they’re doing. I hate to mess with them now.
This company, although it has 44,000 employees worldwide, has not proven itself to be competent in the year since it took over the contract where I work. We’ll see.


#37

I said it before and I’ll say it again. They can’t hit you with the preexisting conditions crap. Obamacare disallowed that. As long as that’s in force you have no worries on that front.


#38

I hope this quickly gets rectified for you. That really sucks. Best wishes!


#39

Indeed you did. And thank you. I am still a bit flustered, and have forgotten details in this thread already.

Also, when HR called with the apparently good news (can you tell I’m a pessimist?), after I thanked her, I told her how worried I’d been all day that my coverage got cancelled because of that damn screening sheet I had to fill out. She said, “No. They can’t do that.”

I asked her what that screening was for, and aside from verifying that it was for health insurance purposes, and that the company required it filled out if we wanted health insurance, she said, “I’m not really sure.” In fairness to her, she’s been working there almost as long as I have (18 years), so she has been a bit lost as far as getting up to speed with how this new company, that took over a year ago, does things. It’s way different from how it used to be when the contract was owned by a small local company.

For instance, we still don’t know how their “use it or lose it” vacation rules go. Many of us damn near lost most of our vacation hours because we didn’t know we had to use it in the same year we earned it. For instance, I got 10 hours per month from the time I was hired on Nov. 1, 2017. On December 3, 2018, I thought I better check into this, as a year had passed since they took over and I was hired, so I called HR. She told me, “Oh. You have 78.5 hours of vacation time remaining (I had used some already). You must use those all up before the end of this month, or you’ll lose it.” Well, it was far too late to put in for vacation time (Christmas was imminent, and everyone who was going to get time off had already gotten it). But I made it clear I was ready to quit and claim my vacation hours that way. So did a bunch of others. So the head office approved (at the last hour) rolling all of those hours into next year, since those rules were not written into the employee handbook, and had not been explained to us employees in any way.

I suppose I should have asked sooner, but I’ve never worked at a place where you had to use all of your vacation hours during the same year you earned them. It defies logic.


#40

No, that’s draconian. I’m pretty familiar with companies setting a max on number of hours you can carry forward to next year, like 100 or so. But losing all your hours, that’s kinda nuts.