KOK Edit: Your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM)
KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Friday, October 19, 2007

Actual Good News About Health Insurance

Here's a happy-Friday update to all of the ridiculousness that my husband Ed and I have had to go through to have health insurance coverage.

Ed spoke directly with the New York State Insurance Department. Yes, it is legal for an insurance company to immediately cut off employee coverage as of the date that the employer specifies as the employee's last day of work. Because my husband's former employer wanted to cover us through 31 October even though Ed's last day there was October 4, the boss assumed that COBRA was the way to go and so told the insurance company that Ed's last day was 4 October and had Ed file for COBRA. But COBRA doesn't apply, even with New York's special exceptions, when there is only 1 employee in a company covered by the insurance company in question. So even though I would like to avoid giving HIP (the HMO) any credit (because they usually mess things up to our disadvantage), what they did was correct in this instance.

But Ed's boss shouldn't have assumed and should have asked the insurance agent who handles all the policies he offers his employees to check into this special case. The insurance agent was asleep at the wheel, too; if she'd taken 5 seconds to look into her files, she'd have foreseen a problem and alerted Ed's former boss.

The good news is that the boss has now filed paperwork saying that oops, he meant to put down Ed's last day at work as being 31 October, so we are now covered again temporarily. The mail-order prescription medication service that the HMO requires us to use, however, still has to put us back in the system so that we can order all the maintenance medications that we need to right now.

More good news: As soon as we get the official paperwork in the mail from the State of New York showing that we are indeed incorporated—and as soon as we obtain an EIN (employer identification number, aka taxpayer number) from the IRS, which our accountant can get for us within 1 day of requesting it—we can obtain the same exact insurance plan, so we won't have to change physicians. And the monthly premiums that we will pay will be just about exactly the same that Ed had had taken out of his paycheck as an employee.

He is now well on the road to being fully self-employed; he's already produced estimates on two projects and is the subcontractor of choice for a third, even though he hasn't yet bid on it; it's a refinishing job that he needs to see in person first. He's in demand, so we will do okay financially. The wood shop has just about been completely cleaned out, along with the barn where he does lacquer-spraying and three—yes, three—attics. His parents, who share our home, have managed not to spontaneously combust over having to get rid of some of their junk. Ed and I have adjusted to each other's work styles, and our almost-13-year-old son has adjusted to his dad's schedule. The only one who's still working on adjusting is our 6-year-old son, who wants to glom Daddy's time the instant that he (the son) gets off the afternoon school bus.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

I'm so glad things are working out. I stepped off the cliff into self-employment after a layoff myself.

Here's hoping that in a few years, you look at this as a Good Thing.

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