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Health.gov, Medicare and Dependents

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Being older parents has been an awesome journey. I really believe having my son in my 40's has helped keep me in better physical, mental and emotional health.

Our family qualified for ACA insurance and when my husband switched to Medicare we ran into a hiccup with our insurance coverage. He contacted Health.gov in 2014 during their initial ramp-up to cancel his coverage a month before his Medicare coverage began.

What happened: All three of us were dropped from the policy because he was head of the household on the ACA policy. It was a long afternoon having him re-apply for one month, and getting me and our son back onto a new policy. Insurance claims that occurred between those transition dates created lots of phone calls to get the charges processed against the right policy number.

Now it's my turn to switch to Medicare. I called on the first of the month that my coverage started. WRONG. When I dropped off as head of household my son's policy was dropped automatically. I wasn't told and didn't ask when his policy was going to be effective (turns out his new policy wouldn't start until day one of the NEXT month). For 30 days he had no insurance!!!!

What I should have done: I missed keeping him covered on ACA by ONE DAY. I should have called on the last day of the month before the 1st of the month when Medicare coverage began. My son wasn't eligible for a retro-active start date because of when I cancelled my policy as head of household. Is that fair? No way! When the dependent on a policy winds up being the remaining person on the policy, their coverage shouldn't be stopped because they have to reapply.

Have no idea what would have happened if I'd cancelled on any day earlier in the month before.

Have been dealing with a sinus infection for a month now, on my 2nd round of stronger antibiotics, and I know it's really important to keep my anxiety and stress level down.

Hasn't been easy today. Son has a medical bill in August for a minor sport injury and now we have to negotiate with the account office to hopefully get the bill reduced. We really can't afford a $400 bill we didn't expect to have to pay.
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