I switched insurance companies about four months ago and while getting things going with the new one was HUGE hassle, the letter I received in the mail recently was an even bigger shock… a bill for $1,445.36!!
It wasn’t from the new insurance company – it was from the previous one!
Yeah, they were billing me for COBRA (Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) because my insurance lapsed. It didn’t actually lapse, but they billed me anyway.
After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (on the phone with their help line,) I discovered that it is just something they do. They just send out bills like this to anyone that leaves their coverage. The idea is that some of them will pay it.
I don’t know about you, but I find the practice extremely distasteful and borderline evil. There are some folks that will pay those bills and more often than not, it will likely be some elderly person frightened to death that their insurance will lapse at a time when they need it most. They will likely not have the energy to sit on hold, fight through the levels of people needed to get to the bottom of the issue and just pay it.
My only advice is to question bills you receive in the mail. If they are confusing, find someone willing to take a look into it for you.
by Chris Doelle