I never knew my husband had a son from a previous liaison. Neither did he. We found out a few years ago from Cigna HealthCare, which provided us with insurance cards for me, Hubs, and sons K.C., Tyler, and… Alex? I called Cigna to let them know there IS no Alex, and he should be taken off our family plan. I was rather stridently informed by the customer service person that maybe I didn’t think there was an Alex, but perhaps my husband was doing the right thing and taking responsibility for his, um, actions. She informed me that she would need to talk to my husband to confirm the presence or absence of Alex Hagnauer.
I trust my husband 99.99%, so I was only mildly waiting at the door with a cast iron skillet in my hand as he returned home from work.
“Who is she?”
“Who is the baby momma?”
“What about Alex?”
“Who is Alex?”
Of course Alex was a health insurance company figment, but our family has embraced him. We haven’t gone so far as to put up an “Alex” Christmas stocking, but he does come up in conversation at least a few times a year. We will mention to our real firstborn not to forget to include his older brother in life celebrations, and tell our youngest how lucky he is to have two older brothers. Even my nephews occasionally ask “So how is Cousin Alex doing?” I have kept and treasured his insurance card.
Little did I know this would be the smallest goof up in our health insurance saga. Our family, not by choice, is now receiving healthcare through the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare” if you are being either derisive or laudatory, depending on your leanings. The good side to this situation is that we have health coverage. I won’t bore you with details, suffice to say that self-employment and healthcare insurance companies don’t mix. Before the Affordable Care Act, our family, or at least some members, were consistently turned down for health coverage due to previous health crises and/or rather innocuous “pre-existing conditions.”
The bad news, now we not only deal with an insurance company, and all the rigmarole and ridiculousness that comes with that entity, but also another level of bureaucracy and paper shuffling, the always efficient and accurate federal government.
In the last week alone we have received new healthcare cards from Coventry, our insurance company, with different plan numbers and deductible amounts from our previous, non-expired cards. Coventry has sent us three different e-mails with conflicting information on each. Separate from this, we filled out the requested Express Scripts forms to receive our meds, then received the exact same form to fill out again. Coventry delicately coerces you, though said paperwork explosions and price breaks, to use Express Scripts instead of your neighborhood drug store.
In the meantime, the Affordable Care Act people are telling us our 24 year old son, a full time student, couldn’t be covered with our family plan. Oh wait, yes he can, no he can’t… And the cost of our plan? Who knows, it changes depending on which card you use and which person you phone!
So, as far as I can figure, we have two sets of insurance cards, perhaps one set has the correct plan number and deductible amounts, I think Hubs, our youngest and I have insurance, our oldest son may or may not have insurance. My fingers are crossed our meds don’t run out before Express Scripts decides to accept one or the other sets of identical paperwork.
My only hope is that Alex, as a young man of around 26 or so, is gainfully employed with health insurance benefits that do not include Express Scripts or federal government “assistance.”