Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Insurance Hell

Since I'm turning 26 this year, I am getting kicked off my parents' insurance in a few short months. (Which is kind of a blessing, because I'm the only one on our family plan that ever goes to the doctor and therefore I get stuck paying the deductible for the whole family every year.)

But it's mainly a bummer, because that means figuring out how to get myself some coverage, since being self-employed doesn't lend itself to getting free insurance.

I've done some research about potential plans, and I will probably stick with my current provider, and just get my own plan. Should make things easy? You would think, but I foresee two potential problems:

1) In order for said company to cover pre-existing conditions, you must prove that you were previously insured for the 18 months prior to your new plan starting. Which I will have been, but this company does not actually send out the letter saying that you were previously insured until after your policy ends. So what happens if I need to visit a doctor or, God forbid, the hospital before they mail me this letter and I send it back to them? (Because yes, that's what the lady on the phone said would happen. Isn't there a way for them to just pass the paperwork on down the hallway and save themselves — and more importantly, me — some stamps and time and headaches?)

2) I never actually changed my name on my parents' insurance when I got married, because all my doctors had my maiden name on file, and therefore my prescriptions were under my maiden name. When I switched to a new doc a few months after getting married, I tried to put my married name down on the forms, but they said the name had to match the name on the insurance. So I don't know if I should apply for the new insurance under my married or maiden name, or if I should try to change my name on the insurance now before it switches over. If I don't change my name now and put my married name on the new form, will they know I'm the same person and that I was previously insured (see #1)? If I change my current insurance to my married name, will I be able to still get access to my prescriptions, or will it cause a major disaster with the doctors' offices and pharmacy?

I told this story to both of my parents; my mom suggested I change my name with the insurance/doctors/pharmacies immediately, and my dad said he didn't think it was such a big deal so I shouldn't bother to hurry and change my name if it would mess with all my records. So I don't know whose advice I should take!

Anyone work in insurance and know how these things work? Or have you dealt with finding your own insurance plan? I am terrified that there will be some kind of problem.


  1. I would change your name everywhere right now while you are not needing immediate care. It needs to be done eventually, anyhow, and it really should match your drivers license should you need to go somewhere new.

  2. I would change your name now, especially since there is a waiting period before you get the actual document/license with your new name. Good luck! Insurance is a pain!!

  3. I agree with Jess. Technically, if you were to show your ID at the pharmacy, it wouldn't match the name on the prescription. Do it ASAP!

    Also, for the "Letter of Credible Coverage" - both my insurance and Alex's insurance sent this out well before it was needed, not after coverage lapsed. I would hazard to bet that the lady you talked with was wrong.

    (Side note: When Alex was coming on my plan, I was told that I couldn't file the paperwork to add him until his coverage lapsed - wrong! When I walked up on Dec 1 [the first day he had no insurance], the lady asked me why I waited so long! She was super nice and back-dated the forms so that he didn't have to go a month without insurance!)

  4. Thanks for the suggestions you guys! Ugh, so I guess I'll get this process started...