Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mommy Brain Ruins Financial Future

I FORGOT to sign AC up on my husband's insurance during the one-month open window. It was TODAY, 32 days after her birth, that I finally remembered to call. And, guess what? Because we are ONE DAY LATE (31 days is the window), they will NOT accept her until the "open enrollment" period, in November, after which she won't be covered until JANUARY OF 2006. I started crying on the phone to the insurance people.

We have to fill out an appeal form that goes not to the insurance company (BCBS), but to husband's corporate HQ, and THEY decide whether AC can be covered or not, based on our description of why we deserve to be made an exception. What do I say? I don't want to lie. I'm just a forgetful, busy mother of a newborn and a toddler. Is this enough of an excuse? Their response to our appeal may take up to 30 days. Damn them.

Meanwhile, AC has already had two appointments at the pediatrician, vaccinations, etc. that will have to be paid in full retroactively. I had just paid the $20 copays for her last two visits, but now must fork over mucho dinero. Then there's the April ultrasound just scheduled yesterday to check for the spina bifida occulta issue in the tailbone, which could lead to Xrays and other doctor visits, and the surgeon's appointment (umbilical hernia) originally scheduled for May. I have just gotten off the phone after rescheduling both for June, when we will know our insurance status. I don't want to wait to hear the opinions on her issues, but we are going to have to.

So, if we can't get her insured this year, do we buy temporary insurance for her? I know it will be DREADFULLY expensive, but might it be worth it considering the spate of visits and vaccines she'll need this year? Will a temporary insurer consider her to have preexisting conditions that would cause them not to insure her or to charge us WAY more than we can afford? I have been crying off and on all day, mostly because I feel like the stupidist person alive who is now at the mercy of another bureaucracy who doesn't know my baby or me from Adam. And then when we try to get her on the insurance in November, will BCBS look at her record and claim she has preexisting conditions and not give us the usual family rate that we've been getting? I am so confused and have ALWAYS hated insurance things (especially after BCBS helped put black marks on my credit rating).

My husband's local HR person doesn't seem to have any insight on it. All she's said so far is that we need to appeal.

If any reader has any suggestions or experience with appeals or similar situations, please send them my way. I am going to blow our emergency savings (PLUS some) through my mistake if we can't get husband's insurance to pick us up NOW.
(P.S., Delaware has vaccination assistance programs, but I don't think we'd qualify b/c our income is too high.)

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