Monday, February 25, 2008

Mind the Gap

I started a new job today. I left my old job last Thursday. My former employer has a policy of canceling insurance coverage at 11:59 p.m. on the last day of employment. My new employer has a policy of starting insurance on the first day of the month.

My options to cover me and Pumpkin during this time are:

1. COBRA (which I'd have to pay for the entire month of February, even though my former employer already paid for my insurance through Feb. 21)
2. Add us temporarily to Hubby's plan
3. Do nothing

We're actually going with a mix of 1 and 3, because you have 60 days in which to get your COBRA paperwork in and it is then retroactive to the day after I left my former employer. So, we will pay any costs during my gap in coverage out of pocket, and if it looks like they are going to be more than the cost of COBRA, we'll go ahead and submit the COBRA paperwork. This maximizes the chance that we will have to do minimal paperwork. I liked option #2, but Hubby talked me out of it with tales of his dysfunctional Human Resources unit, and convinced me that they would be unlikely to get us added to his plan before March 1.

Of course, our chosen method only works because we have the means to cover most costs out of pocket and the credit cards to ensure that we would not be denied treatment based on a presumed inability to pay for the costs. I know that many are not so lucky.

This is a crazy system. We have a term for this sort of thing in the database design world- it is a patchwork quilt design. A system was designed at one point that made sense given the requirements known at that time. Then new requirements are discovered and the system is patched. Repeatedly. At some point, you really just need to toss out the system and redesign from scratch. I really think we are at that point.


  1. I've got my fingers crossed that you and pumpkin get through the next week without any health issues!!

    I agree about the patchwork system. You can only re-stitch something so many times before it falls apart into rags completely.

  2. Anonymous8:25 AM

    I had the exact same situation last year. The retroactive COBRA coverage really surprised me though. For once, it is a insurance loophole that actually works in my favor.

  3. You might want to reconsider #2 and sign up for dual coverage from both hubby's and your employment.

    Even though it is cost-neutral in $ to pay for coverage under both my and hubby's employment just to get that last 20% paid for, it saves so much time and paperwork.

    I know that I pay all bills for up to my annual copay amount, and then file all the rest w/o payment for the rest of the year.

    Otherwise, I would have to hold on to the bill, wait for the blue cross explanation of payment form, make sure they match, then pay the bill. Now, I can just file it and forget it. If I get behind in my filing, who cares? There are no consequences. A new mother has enough to worry about without adding medical bill payment to the workload.


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