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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    We were getting our health insurance through my last job. My boss was kind enough to let us continue to get coverage even while I was out on extended leave due to complications during my pregnancy with Sophie.

    Well, we agreed that I would go out on COBRA as of June 1st (I've been paying the full cost of almost $800/mo all the while I've been out).

    This afternoon he called me to say that Aetna doesn't provide COBRA insurance if the employer's company has less than 25 employees.

    Jonathan's been working freelance on and off for the last three and a half years (he's in the internet advertising field) so no benefits! I looked into freelancer co-ops a little bit and they are with companies I've never heard of. I can't STAND the thought of hunting for new doctors all over again.

    What the hell are we going to do now? My boss said the he would cover me till the end of the year. But after that, we are on our own.

    New Jersey only has two insurance companies (Horizon BC/BC and Oxford) that offer individual family plans and they are well over $1000/mo. The ones I saw online were $1200+

    Just when you thought you were handling things just fine. BLAM!

    -m
    Wife to Jonathan
    Mom to Sophia 12/02 and Amelia 12/04

  2. #2
    sntm's Avatar
    sntm is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    that's almost criminal! no advice, but i'll be wishing you the best of luck in finding something. even the $800 seems unfair!

    shannon
    not-even-pregnant-yet-overachiever
    trying-to-conceive :)
    PREGNANT! EDD 6/9/03

    shannon
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    Another Queen of the House of Boys:
    DS#1 2003
    DS#2 my mother's day gift 2012
    DH
    Mikey, the cat and rhinestone-collared, pink-leashed Schatze, our Rottweiler girl

  3. #3
    zen_bliss is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    it's great that your boss will let you continue to purchase your insurance as part of his group through the end of the year. that gives you some more time to research.

    but that doesn't sound right. call aetna yourself just to be sure. my understanding is that COBRA is a governmental mandate. this got me so steamed i did some looking around.

    according to this, in NJ there IS cobra for businesses with 2-50 employees but now the employer has to collect the payment rather than the person being billed directly.
    http://www.aetna.com/employer/sb_admin_policy.html
    http://www.aetna.com/producer/midatl...mallgroup.html

    in my aetna book:
    "COBRA applies to employers with twenty (20) or more eligible employees... This refers to number of employees employed, not the nubmer of emplyees covered by a health plan, and inlcudes full-time and part-time employees."

    "The California state law is the California COntinuation Benefits Replacement Act ("Cal-COBRA"). Cal-COBRA applies to Califonrina small employers with fewer than twenty (20) eligible employees. Many of the provisions of COBRA and CAl-COBRA are the same, however some differnces do exist."

    (frogive typos, squirmy baby)

    point is, your state almost certainly has got to have some kind of set up for small businesses...it's just inhuman... i hope this was just a mistake and that there is some good news for you!

    hope this helps. we are all pulling for you! dealing with insurance is incredibly stressful.




  4. #4
    himom is offline Platinum level (1000+ posts)
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    I can sympathize. My DH works for a small company with only three employees, and health insurance for me and DS would have been $800+ a month under his plan!

    Iím not sure if this would work for you, but Iíve solved the insurance problem by taking on a part-time job that provides family insurance. To be honest, I HATE it. (Itís retail, I hate being away from the baby, and I feel stupid running a cash register when I have an education and much more potentialÖ.)

    But it works. I work three nights a week at a brain dead job that requires very little attention from me, DH watches DS so heís not left with strangers, and we have health insurance.

    Itís okay, though. Iíd sacrifice a lot more for my baby, but it does hurt to see career opportunities zoom by while I am forced to spend my evenings asking customers if they have noticed that our frames are currently 25% off. :(

    Jodi
    Mommy to Joshua Keoni, 2/8/03

  5. #5
    lukkykatt Guest

    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    My friend is in a similar situation, and I found some good information for her on this site: http://covertheuninsuredweek.org/

    It has links to some pretty informative sites. Hope you find something there that may be of some use!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    NJ
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    Zen-

    Thanks so very much for looking into this. I thought the same thing was true about the COBRA being legally required.

    I called back my former employer (see **I** was the one the used to deal with the insurance there, and being that I can't legally make the phone calls anymore it's really annoying) - the girl that replaced me is new and doesn't know how to make the rounds to get the right info.

    She called the BROKER not AETNA. The Broker is not only a bitch, she's an idiot. I'm having her call Aetna today to verify what I thought to be accurate - I'm eligible, but my EMPLOYER has to receive the monthly payment (and then send it to Aenta).

    My employer only has two people on his books - long story - so it's cutting it close.

    What really sucks is that although Jonathan is technically not an employee of the company he works for, he gets a W2. Essentially, he works full time without any benefits. It is unfair, but in this economy (especially in the internet field), we are willing to take whatever work he can get. He is going to speak to the HR person about any possibility of him getting a permanent job with him. Sure the money will decrease exponentially (kickass day rate right now), but we would get benefits.

    I've been in a complete rant over this for the past 12 hours.

    It's nice that the President can authorize billions of dollars of tax cuts, but so many people don't have basic health insurance for their families....but that's a whole OTHER bitching rant!!!

    Thanks again

    -m
    Wife to Jonathan
    Mom to Sophia 12/02 and Amelia 12/04

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
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    NJ
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    Jodi-

    That really sucks. I actually offered to come back to my former employer a couple days a week. I would bite the bullet, get a babysitter for Sophie and just go. He basically said, thanks, but no thanks. He's already hired a replacement fulltime.

    Jonathan generally doesn't get home from work till 7:30-8pm so I couldn't easily get a job. Also, most PT jobs don't offer benefits.

    One of the main reasons I stopped working was that babysitters here where I live run about $15 hour and it just didn't add up for me to go back.

    I'm sure I will figure out a solution. There are ALWAYS solutions. Sometimes we just don't like them!

    -m
    Wife to Jonathan
    Mom to Sophia 12/02 and Amelia 12/04

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    Well. There was another conversation with Aetna and I'm definitely NOT eligible for COBRA. New Jersey doesn't mandate it.

    How much does THAT suck?!

    I have a call into my FIL to see if he has any ideas. He used to be the Superintendant of Insurance for NY State. Was hoping to keep him out of it, but looks like I don't have a choice.

    ARGH!

    -m
    Wife to Jonathan
    Mom to Sophia 12/02 and Amelia 12/04

  9. #9
    MamaRox Guest

    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    Marisa:

    It's too bad we don't live in the same state....we could definately do lunch and comiserate together!!!

    My husband was laid off in July, so it's almost been a year. At the time I was 4 months pregnant. Lucky for us, his boss is rich and kind and offered to continue our insurance coverage out of his pocket so we weren't screwed with the pregnancy. It was very expensive, $850 per month, as it was a small company policy. Then, after our baby was born, we were supposed to take over the payments. It was gonna suck big time, but COBRA was just as expensive, so we were gonna try to do it.

    During this time, my husband (who happens to be in the Multimedia/Internet industry also) was working for his old boss as contract labor (self-employed). So the boss came to him and said, since business was good, he'd continue to pay the ins. premium. So that was a HUGE relief.

    Then, one day out of the blue, March 24th....he gives us barely a weeks notice that he would not be making the payment due on the last day of March. So, needless to say, we were unprepared to make the payment with so little notice, while still trying to pay off some complicated hospital bills from the baby.

    So, here we are 2 months later and this causes huge stress for me and DH. We still haven't found an affordable insurance plan. They all run over $900 a month for all 5 of us, without maternity benefits. (We have no plan for any more kids, but it never hurts to be prepared, baby #3 wasn't exactly planned.)

    So....we are screwed, too.

    I feel for you, honey, we are living the same nightmare!!!!!!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
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    Default RE: Health Insurance! AAAAAAHHHHGGGHH!

    Roxann where are you located?

    -m
    Wife to Jonathan
    Mom to Sophia 12/02 and Amelia 12/04

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