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Head in Hands

It happened again today. We received a call from a young man who found out his insurance has been cancelled. He is a dependent who aged out of his parents’ insurance contract and the insurance company made no effort to notify him or his family. We may be lucky and find ourselves within the window of time to correct the error, but at this moment this young man finds himself unexpectedly without health insurance coverage. If we cannot correct the problem this individual will be unable to get health insurance until the next open enrollment with a January 1, 2016 effective date. But what if something medical happens to him in the interim?

What does “aging out” mean? If an individual turns 26 he or she is no longer eligible to be a dependent on a parent’s health insurance policy. This individual needs to know that this is coming up and make provisions to enroll in his or her own private policy.

How does anyone know this as well as the myriad other Affordable Care Act rules? How do citizens who are not intimately involved with the nuances of insurance keep themselves abreast of these details? What other shoe is about to drop for this individual and so many others like him?

Since the insurance company dropped this young man certainly they were aware of the upcoming change. At some point does the carrier not have the responsibility to inform insured individuals of pending action? The insurance company has taken premium payments from this family for many months and has made a premium adjustment for the removal of this insured individual.

Unfortunately, in this country there has always been an attitude that “ignorance of the law does not make us exempt from it.” Apparently this also applies to the nuances of the Affordable Care Act and their implementation by the insurance companies.

So what do WE THE PEOPLE do to avoid personal loss resulting from lack of awareness of all the new rules? We need to educate ourselves as much as possible since the responsibility for compliance and the impact from mistakes both fall on us. Read, google and ask questions whenever something catches your attention. Health insurance is a very boring subject, but personal education can avoid some things going wrong and all the excitement that comes with this. Never forget, what you don’t know CAN hurt you.

For assistance in knowing the rules of the game, call us at Czajkowski Dumpel & Associates, Inc. – We are here to help you!