There’s a Pit thread in all of this, but I’m waiting to write it.
Here’s the sitch: back in the beginning of May, I was laid off from my full-time job at CompUSA, handed a severance check, and given the documentation for COBRA. As with all health insurance issues, the paperwork was complicated, abstruse, and occult.
Payment for each month’s benefits was due the first of that month with a grace period that extended until the fifth of the next month. Yay. Trouble was, the administration company wouldn’t take credit card payment, but only check. I’m living off of unemployment and a part-time summer school job until my full time teaching position picks up late this month, so money is tight.
I received a statement on either July 30th or 31st, and knowing I would pay the premium for July over the phone on August 3rd, I didn’t bother opening the statement.
I should have. Because in the statement, the grace period now ended the 31st. Period. End of story. I didn’t discover this until Friday night when I went to make the payment and paying over the phone, by check, was no longer a possibility. To cover my bases, I mailed the payment in on Saturday, and today I called customer service.
To make a long story short (too late), the payment will not be accepted. My account is in the process of being closed, and the only way to keep it open is to write a letter of appeal to the administration company that will take two to four weeks to process, with no guarantee that I’ll actually get to keep my coverage.
I will have health insurance from my teaching job, but it probably won’t kick in until September at the earliest, and it has a high deductible. Very high. Also, I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon for a PAP smear, because I had an irregular PAP smear back in February and I have to follow up on that. I also have several prescriptions that I’ll need to refill at the end of August, and one of them is hideously expensive.
So the question is, do I bother with the letter of appeal or do I just let my insurance lapse and save the nearly $800 in premiums? Will the lapse in insurance affect my next policy, which will be with the same insurance company, with any pre-existing conditions or other ways for my insurance to deny me coverage?
There’s no doubt in my mind that my next PAP will be fine. I had a colposcopy back in March, which was completely negative, and I’ve tested negative for HPV. So I’m not worried about suddenly having cervical cancer with no insurance. I am worried that I could get stuck with no coverage for the other health issues I deal with, or that I’ll have a huge bill for pharmaceuticals in the lapse period.