Dec 12, 2010

Figuring out insurance (or, pulling my hair out).

With impending baby, I needed to figure out what to do about insurance.

I work for the state as a teacher, so I have a really good plan (Blue Cross Blue Shield standard PPO). The state pays for this plan which is awesome, and they will continue to pay for me until the end of February, at the end of my Family and Medical Leave. I plan on staying out at least another 5 months after that (more if finances allow), and if I wanted to continue my plan, I'd have to start paying over $400/month out of pocket. For myself only.

Um, too much. I wish I could afford it because it's a great plan, but to pay that much for myself isn't feasible with our budget. And besides, I'm a healthy person. I know insurance is just that: insurance... but we can't afford a major plan like that for one out of three people in the family.

Kevin has a HSA plan through his work, where there is a $2500 deductible and then everything is covered 100%. His work pays the monthly fee, and so basically health coverage is free for him unless something happens. Then he pays out of pocket till the deductible is covered.

Here is where it gets tricky. Did you know how difficult it is to have coverage for a newborn? "They" seriously do not make it easy for new parents to insure their new baby. After researching our options, we've chosen to get Adelaide a Blue Cross Blue Shield HSA plan for herself (at least for a while). However, unless she's born by a specific date, we can't start coverage for her.

For instance (and I know this is SOOO interesting to you guys), she had to be born by December 8th to get coverage starting December 15 through the plan we want her to have. Obviously that didn't happen. Now if she were born before December 22nd at midnight, we could have coverage for her on January 1st. Which would be fine if she turns out healthy.

But if there's some unforeseen health problems with her straight away, obviously that wouldn't work. And there's no way to sign her up and start paying for her now, because according to them she's not an actual person yet.

So we have to add her to my existing plan (you know, that expensive one) and pay for the entire month of December (even though it's nearly halfway over already) AND January. Just so she has coverage. Then we can think about moving her to the much cheaper individual HSA. And then figure out something for me, since we won't be keeping me on the state plan.

How confusing and frustrating is all this? I can only imagine how entertaining this post has been for you all, but trust me when I say, I am 100x more bored and perplexed by the whole insurance biz. Trust me when I say, don't wait until a week before your due date to try and figure it out. Not that it will change anything as far as when your baby can get covered (unless you have some magical insurance company), but the stress of figuring out the mumbo-jumbo is not needed in that last week.

But now it's done, will be paid for out of my next check (goodbye extra cash for January), and I can cross that mad sucker off my to-do list. SHEW!


  1. Thanks so much for posting this. I definitely thought it'd be a simple task to do so I was just going to wait until the last minute to figure this out. I'll have to start looking into our insurance options!

  2. [Jenny] Hopefully it'll be a much simpler task for you than it was for me! I wish I hadn't waited so long, but really it was just a few (long) phone calls (back and forth) one day to get it settled. It was just really frustrating, and still is, to find out how much insuring our little one her first two months of life will be!

  3. I hope it's easier for us too (no offense to you, of course). Thankfully my husband's boss recently had a baby, so she may be able to give us some tips and pointers to smoothly making things work for us.

  4. Well, good luck to you! I do hope it's easier for you!


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