Monday, May 11, 2009

Mindless Monday Madness

So let's get right down to it. I am a bit late with this post but I had to try to calm down after the phone conversation I just had at 7:38 this morning with said COBRA Administration manager.

Two months ago we get a letter from my favorite former company breaking down our benefits options if we choose to stay on our current medical and dental program. So of course we went out and trolled the open market for health insurance. I won't get into that lovely course of navigation or we will be here all day. Let it be known after the gov. pays 65% of the COBRA costs you are far better off than what the open market yields.

So on Saturday I come home from an awesome morning coaching my son Pele (Jordan's) soccer team to receive a bill from the COBRA folks. I almost had a triple coronary episode when I look and see the line titled
Amount Due: $ fifty billion dollars.
What the?

Thus, prompting this morning's phone call to ensure they got my paperwork and get a new correct amount for the amount due. The nice lady on the line tells me that I have to pay the full COBRA amount and then once they determine that I am eligible for the federal subsidy they will reimburse me the amount I have over paid. So I take a deep breath, push all the piss & vinegar that was trying to spew from my mouth out my ear holes so not to crucify and burn at the stake the messenger on the other end of the phone. I very sternly told her that I could not afford to pay the full COBRA amount of fifty billion, yes, that is with a B. I explained I had a letter stating what is a much more manageable amount I am willing to pay. She tells me again in broken record format:

"Sir, I am sorry, the full amount is what is due and then once we determine you are eligible for the federal subsidy we will reimburse you for the amount you have over paid."
cue the pot boiling over in the meth lab.

I once again bring the boil to a low rolling bubbling in my head and ask:
"Why would you send out a bill before determining that a person is or is not eligible for the federal subsidy? People who do not have a job cannot afford to float your company 65% of fifty billion dollars. My concern is ensuring my children are fed, clothed and have a roof over their heads."

"Sir, I understand but this is how the program works."

To which I reply: "The program is flawed then. I am not paying anyone fifty billion dollars and waiting for them to pay me back. Thank you for nothing."

I waited until the line had been cut to actually say what I wanted to. Fuck you!!!! That is spelled f.u.c.k. capital Y.O.U. This is just a sliver of the bovine balderdash that is wrong with this country when companies try to take advantage of people who our down on their luck to make situations even harder for them. How hard is it to implement a subsidy program that helps people? Sorry Mom, if you are reading this, but you know me and I have met my boiling point.


Deb said...

oh tony. i wish merely pointing out the flaws in our stupid system were enough to fix them. there is absolutely NOTHING more frustrating than banging your head against a cement, dipped in steel, wall.

and isn't it comforting to know that i am thinking about you? seems pretty useless, i know. but i am.

Jenni Jiggety said... must be so irritated! I am with you! Why should you pay that? Reeeeee Diculous!

Christy said...

Tony, this is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard of!! How can they be serious about that amount??? If I were you, I'd send them Monopoly money. That's what they deserve for their obvious stupidity! I totally share your frustration.

angie said...

Oh no.

I'm totally with Deb.......

I'm thinking of you.

Having to pay more than a billion up front sucks. :)

Em said...

Reimburse the amount?! Who are they kidding?! When donkeys fly out their be-hind?

My language would have been way more harsh, with a three-year-old in the room no doubt.

I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry.

(love your tweet, by the way :-)

The Frugal Angel-Guided Psychic said...

Another step in understanding the small business owners struggles.... Yup, it totally sucks! But, then you aren't trapped into a thankless job... hum, I'm rambling here but we just got our quarterly bill from Blue Cross today.... for a family of six!