Sunday, December 21, 2014

Insurance--"Yes, we want to keep him"

Now that we have things figured out I am more comfortable talking about it.   For a few months (months 2 & 3) of Nolan's life, he didnt have health insurance.  Why did he have it for the first month and then not for 2 months after that, you ask?  Well let me explain.

 I am not going to lie, when it first happened it was so scary as well as embarrassing I chose not to share this information with a lot of people.  How could we not know what to do to insure our child?  What kind of people cant figure it out?  Us, that's who.

Before Nolan was born we looked up how to insure our child.  We were told he would be automatically enrolled when he was born by the hospital.  Great.  We wouldn't have to do anything, he was covered.  Fast forward to the day of Nolan's birth.  The hospital takes his information, we ask about insurance and they said they filed everything.  Perfect. Two days later we go to his 2 day check up in the office.  We give them our insurance, they take it, record it, and say have a great day.  He sees the doctor, he is doing great, and then we go home.  We get the bill a couple weeks later, it went through insurance.  Great.

Fast forward to Nolan being 6 weeks old.  He is suffering from a cold and is not feeling well.  We make an appointment and he goes to the doctor.  They take his insurance card, check us in, and away we go.  "Yes, he has an ear infection, where do you want his prescription sent?"  We send the prescription to Alex's work and then head there to pick it up.  15 minute drive.  Half way there we get a text from one of the pharmacy technicians--to their boss mind you--"You have no insurance on your child."  We call insurance company to find out what is going on (from the parking lot of the Walgreens). They tell us that Nolan was dropped as of September 20 (the day before he turned 1 month).  Wait, what?!?

It turns out the hospital automatically enrolls them for the first month but then you need to call and verify your child.  Apparently, you need to call the insurance company and tell them that child you had automatically enrolled, yeah you want to keep him.  Oh, and they are not going to send you any letter telling you this, telling you how to say you want to keep him or even a letter telling you they are dropping him.  I digress.

She takes all of our information (a couple times apparently she is deaf and needs everything repeated a million times) and says she got Nolan enrolled.  It may take a couple days to take effect. No big deal it's $10 for his meds;  We will pay cash for it and figure out insurance later.....

Nolan goes to his 2 month appointment just fine.  "Can we have your insurance card?"  "Sure, his name is not on it, but here you go.  We should be getting the one with his name on it soon."  This was where we decided to go see the physical therapist for Nolan's torticollis, the lactation consultant for his frequent feedings, and then the Speech & Language for his dysfunctional suck.

We called insurance to make sure that Speech and Language was covered. "Yes, our company covers those services, but we don't have record of this child you speak of.  We only have Siraya and Alex covered."  Alex explains the hiccup back 2 weeks ago-the first week of October.  They tell us, "That lady enrolled Nolan in 2015 benefits.  You have no insurance for this year."  Alex had already enrolled him online for benefits 2 weeks ago online like he was supposed to...that lady did it for a second time.  She obviously didn't know what she was doing.  Ok, we aren't going to panic.  "What do we have to do get him enrolled for THIS YEAR?" Apparently you need to file an appeal form telling them why you failed to meed the first 30 days after a life changing event deadline and why they should insure you.  Great.  "Ok, how do we get that form."  "We will mail you that form, but know after we mail the form it could take 30 days for us to make our decision." ugh.

3 weeks later, no form yet. What the heck?!? Time is ticking.  We haven't even gotten the form yet and it is going to take 30 days after that. This year is going to be over!  Call benefits center again.  Where is our form?!?!  "We send our form requests to a third party. When they get our request, they process it, and then they send us the form. There is nothing we can do to speed up the process because it is not ours to speed up."  Ugh beginning to hate you all.

2 weeks later, this is insane. Get us our dumb form!  Call again.  "oh, the form was sent to your live well benefits secure email back 5 weeks ago when you made the first call.....I have no idea why they told you it was coming in the mail.  So sorry for the mix up though."

Alex logs into his account and sure enough, there it is.  The coveted form, in his inbox for  weeks while we anxiously awaited a certified letter in our real mailbox.  OMG is it a 100* in here because I am so angry!  Ok, calm down, fill out the form, and fax it out today.  Get this process moving!

Finally, the letter comes (in paper form in our mailbox).  Your son has been accepted.  You have health insurance for your child. Phew.  Ok breathe.  Thats good because we just got the bill for a doctors appointment for an ear infection with no insurance, 2 month shots and appointment, 4 therapy sessions with the lactation consultant, 4 visits with the physical therapist, and 4 visits with S&L.

Two weeks later we get a letter from the "employment benefits dependent varification office."  Apparently they need a birth certificate to prove we were eligible to add him.  We copy the birth certificate and fax it that day.  Today, on the day that marks 4 months since Nolan's birth, we got a paper letter that everything is approved and he is for sure insured for 2014.  (It is December 21).

Why could that dependent verification department not send a simple little letter just as they did now and say, if you want to keep your child on your insurance that was automatically enrolled, please send a copy of his birth certificate.  We could have.  We would have.

Why didn't the first lady know what she was doing?  Why did we sit in that parking lot for 45 mins enrolling him in something he was already enrolled in?  If you are enrolling him in 2015, doesnt that mean we want to keep in him 2014?

Why did nobody know how this letter was coming to us TWICE?  We could have filled it out that day.  We would have.

So, moral of the long long long story time.  If you have a child and they are automatically enrolled, call your place of employment's benefit center and tell them you "...want to keep that child that just showed up on your insurance coverage; we love him, he is really ours, we really have a ton going on and we are super tired, but please let us keep him on our insurance so we can give him all the medical things he needs from therapy to vaccinations. Please and thank you."

End Rant.

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