Feb 9, 2010
Ok, this is really complicated. First of all sorry for my English i moved to US 4 years ago and din't get a real hang of this language yet. I am a mother of a 8 month old baby, I went on a leave on absence on May 2009 but until July 23rd I was on short term disability, and I got paid through Liberty Mutual. My insurance pay was taken out of my STD paycheck until July 23rd. Then I started my unpaid leave and I was told that for the first 6 months of that leave I will be billed my regular rates and after that I will have to convert to Cobra if I want to keep my insurance. Well, 6 months would take me to January 23 rd 2010. But In December I received a notice that they will cancel my coverage Dec 31st 2010 and i have to start my benefits through Cobra starting January 1st 2010. So I called Cobra and tried to enroll but they said that I cant beacuse I am stil on my 6 months leave and i cant do it until my 6 month mark. My Hr services confirmed that i dont have to do it until then too( mistake was that my company merged with other company and they canceled our old benefits and started us on new ones Jan 1st 2010). few days later Cora called me and said that I need to enroll right away or I will loose my benefits( that was before the 24th of January) so I did cause I got scared. But I called my hr services and asked why they told me that i cant enroll until the 25th and i have cobra calling me to do so. So hr did some research and called me back and said that I am supposed be enroll in cobra on Feb 1st and I have 60 days to do it starting Feb 1st. hr also called cobra and canceled my previous enrollment. I was receiving regular bills for my benefits until a middle of January and i paid for all of it on time. So when February came I asked to send me A cobra package so I can enroll in it. I also asked them when they are going to bill me for the second half of January since I was only billed thru Jan 16 2010. Well that's where nobody knew who is supposed bill me for that... That started the research AGAIN , and they told me that I dont have to pay anything and That I am up to date with everything and covered thru my company until Jan 31st 2010. But I told them that i never paid for the second half of Jan. Well, they researched it again!!!! They told me they they were never supposed bill me for December 2009 and Jan 2010 and that I should be on Cobra starting December 1st 2009.!!! They told that they count it from the they I went out on my STD which is May1st 2009. I never received anything from them about Cobra, only thing i Did receive was regular bills and assurance that i am covered until Feb 1st. 2010 It is February 5th 2010 today And they just told me over the phone that they have a mess and I have to go back 2 and a half months a and pay for cobra!!!! which I would never take if i knew that I am not eligible for reg benefits. I would just take private insurance. What can I do? there's medical bills for those 2 months that my insurance company paid for. those 2 months that I was told that I am covered and they billed me for . Thank you for any help!!!
| Response from Ms. Franzoi
I think you ned to have your former HR group assist you with this. It sounds like you were on continuation of health coverage as a short term disability without pay until January 23. Depending on the terms of your health plan (ask HR), your benefits would've stopped on either January 23 or January 31, with COBRA effective immediately provided you paid your premium in the time allowed. You should probably pay the retroactive COBRA and then look for a more cost effective private insurance. However, if you have a pre-existing condition, you might not be able to purchase individual coverage unless you run out your COBRA, at which time you would be eligible for a HIPAA policy.
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