Monday, January 31, 2011

A Tale of Two Pennies

Remember that old saying, "Every penny counts."??  Read on...

I just read about this...

A Vietnam vet lost his individual health insurance—in the middle of a fight against cancer of the bone marrow—because his wife accidentally shorted their monthly premium by two cents. 

Instead of typing $328.69, she typed $328.67. 


No big deal right? ~ WRONG!~  Ron Flanagan and his wife got a December billing statement that showed the two cent shortage. And for some reason, it didn’t dawn on them that they should include the two cents in their December payment. So they didn’t. 

So Ceridian Cobra Services, their insurer, canceled their coverage. 

Flanagan and his wife maintain that the company didn’t send a certified letter or make a phone call to alert them to the discrepancy.  “Since the payment was not full,” Ceridian said in a statement, “it fit into the definition in the regulations of an ‘insufficient payment.’…Unfortunately, we simply do not have the capacity to be able to personally call continuants and remind them of the status of their Cobra benefits.” 

Thanks to the intervention of ABC News, Ceridian has reinstated Mr. Flanagan’s policy, and he’s trying to get back onto the stem cell transplant list—a spot he lost when his coverage lapsed. 

Note to self ~ set up your health insurance premiums on auto debit monthly, quarterly, annually.  It shouldn't be this way, but it is quickly becoming us against them.  Allow me a digression.  I have a manager a few levels above me who loves reports like a cat loves tuna.  This person can peel one like a grape (all the Diana Krall fans out there will understand that ;).  I have never seen anything like it.  Unfortunately, too often this manager has reports that are in two words ~ "old information".  So you are getting a blistering for something on a report that you cleared 30 days ago OR was an error to begin with.  Just great!  (sigh)  Well, my direct manager had a cure for that.  His logic ~ don't get on the report.  Whatever it takes or whoever you have to take out (just kidding:) ~ don't get on the reports (yes, there are several).  Well sometimes that is easier said than done, but his logic is accurate.  For better or worse, it takes a lot more energy repenting for your sins (legit or not) than just to avoid the sin altogether.  That is what you have to do with your insurance premiums OR any other bill tied to an entity that frankly does not have leniency or can wreak havoc on your credit report.

So the glad game for today is be glad that you are not the Flanagan's, and make a note right now to call your insurance company in the morning to set up your premiums on autodebit.  You will not only be glad tomorrow to have that done, but you can be really glad the next time you get sick and need your insurance. 

 Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)



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