Thursday, June 26, 2008


So obviously one of the big worries when I quit the normal 9-5 existence was where I would get healthcare. I wasn't too worried because my partners have another company and that company has healthcare through a Professional Employer Organization. Basically an business that aggregates a bunch of small businesses together and takes care of their payroll, healthcare, etc. and makes money off the economy of scale. But of course trying to make money off healthcare is fraught with peril and so the PEO has all sorts of rules to mitigate their risk. One of the rules is that you have to be employed for 90 days before they'll start your health coverage. So the question was what to do for those 90 days. I could do COBRA at $1000+ a month or they offered a transitional health care company I could take advantage of called SelectHealth.

The idea of transitional healthcare is interesting. Essentially they say we're only going to cover you for a maximum of six months, and since our exposure is relatively low (assuming you're not already dying of cancer or something like that). We can give you a really good rate. I think we ended up paying just shy of $300 a month, obviously a much better deal than COBRA. So the plan was to start the coverage on the 15th of the month and end it on the 15th of the month so that I had some overlap between the end of my old insurance and the start of the new insurance (which was set to begin on the 1st of June).

They were happy to bill me for a half a month and get me started on the 15th, but when it came time to cancel on the 15th they pointed to the fine print which said that you can only cancel at the end of the month. So in other words they were happy to take my money for only half a month but giving it back for a half a month was something they wouldn't do. What's also interesting is that they also say that they won't cover you if you have another insurance. So since my other insurance started on the 1st they're technically charging me for doing nothing.

I talked to four different people and I think that, initially at least I was firm, but polite. However when talking to the last person, someone in accounting, who told me that maybe she could find someone to help me "understand things better" I snapped. I told her that I understood just fine that they were taking my money without giving me anything for it, and that they were fine pro-rating things when I was giving them money, but somehow were completely unable to do it when the situation was reversed. I ended by saying that she could "take my money and choke on it", then I hung up.

Later I felt bad for the "choke on it" remark. And there's some part of me that wants to continue to pursue things. But the amount of money is small enough that it's probably not a good use of my time, which may be the most galling thing of all. But anyway, so it goes.

Peter Hook is a criminally under-rated bassist


Blogger Valerie said...

If your insurance started on June 1st why didn't you cancel Select Health on May 31st? All insurance start and end at midnight so you would not have had a lapse in coverage.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous D said...

Sorry to hear about your trials. Dealing with Health insurance is one of my least favorite things to do.

1:29 PM  
Blogger aozora said...

I hope they choke on it.

5:36 AM  

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