My Costly Four Day Mistake

I received a phone call yesterday from the hospital where I delivered telling me they were having trouble processing the bill for my daughter because the insurance company said my baby was not on their list of insured. I immediately called my place of employment and was told I needed to fill out a form to add her to my insurance. I went to my job within two hours of that phone call and filled out the form.

Today I learned that my employer has denied coverage of the baby. Why? It says in our contract that an employee must add dependents within 31 days of the baby’s birth. I filled out the form on day 35. This is a policy my employer implements; the insurance company does not. My employer can choose to waive the deadline, but chose not to. I honestly did not know I had to fill out this form. I somehow thought the insurance would just add her on based on the delivery at the hospital. Looking at it now, I can see that this was a naïve thing to think.

I understand that my employer is abiding by the laws of the contract, but I am just sick about this. We will now have to pay for hospital bills for my daughter related to the birth, four doctors’ appointments, and one blood draw. Not to mentions that she is currently uninsured and I have to scramble to find health insurance for her. (She won’t be covered by my employer’s insurance until January 1, 2011.) This is going to be a huge financial hit. We have a healthy emergency fund, but I see it being partly depleted because of this oversight.


  1. Moderate Means says:

    Oh no! I would be absolutely sick about this. I can't believe your work would have a policy like this in place and not tell you ahead of time!! Mine were both automatic – the hospital just added them to the billing and everything went on as usual.

    I'm so sorry you are dealing with this!


  2. That's terrible! What an awful message to send employees. My place was very up front about what I needed to do related to the pregnancy, birth, and maternity leave. They even went out of their way to make sure I knew my rights by law. I did NOT have to register my son separately – that happened automatically at the hospital! He was in the NICU for a week and a half, and there's no way I would've been able to foot the bills. I hope they reconsider, because that is a terrible pointless policy!

  3. Stephanie Frank says:

    I am so sorry this is happening to you. I recenlty had a child also. One tip someone told me is to try and deal with the hospital. Ask about a self pay discount. Call and ask to speak to a surpervisor and tell them you have x amount of money you can pay right this minute and will this be acceptable to settle your bill. Most places are happy with that because they see the bill will get paid and not go to a collections. I hope this helps some.

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