I should have known it was going to be a bad day when the first things on my to-do list were ..........
1) Call Wells Fargo Bank
2) Call Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa
The first was enough to get me going. But the second phone call had me over the top!
OK -- this is going to take a road map. Try to follow along. Its going to get tough.
1) Honey worked for Sears Manufacturing for 6 years. During those 6 years, we have had Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa for our insurance coverage. We participated in the Flex program. The Flex program is a "savings" program that we deposit $'s for medical expenses that are not covered by the insurance program such as deductibles, eye glasses, some dental work.
2) Honey changed jobs on April 1st. We were given insurance coverage within 30 days and did not have to buy COBRA insurance. We had Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa. Here, too we participated in the Flex program.
(OK -- Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Iowa in BOTH places. Blue Priority Flex program in BOTH places.)
Road map seems pretty simple, doesn't it????
But................... there are curves. And twists and turns. And I'm pretty certain I have wrecked my car!
We received two statements on Saturday, stating what balance is in what account. One balance from Sears Manufacturing and one from his new employer.
Honey is having eye surgery next week and there are several expenses not covered by our basic plan ... but we knew this was coming and had the Flex account to take care of the expenses.
Now .. with Flex .. or properly stated, flexible spending accounts .. the dollars must be used for medical expenses by the end of the calendar year.
Fine ... I know that.
What I did not know... when you change employers, those dollars must be used before you quit. Not the end of the year but before you change jobs.
So what happens to the dollars that I didn't get to use on legit medical expenses? The dollars that were contributed to the SAME insurance company into the SAME flexible spending accounts. Just different employers
They go to the employer. Yep... Sears Manufacturing has sucked up $378.43 of our dollars and won't give me the courtesy of a return phone call.
How is this legal???? Well, supposedly this is IRS legislation. I know that Sears Manufacturing had nothing to do with the legislation.... but they also did not tell us about this law and the loss of $378.43.
Now ... there is a way you can use your Flex dollars that you have contributed. You buy COBRA insurance at 4 times the price of normal group insurance cost!!!!!
We all know the frustration I have had with the insurance system. And I tried to work for health care reform change. And I celebrated when the bill was signed. But I don't know what to do.
I am frustrated. We work hard. We try to play by the rules. But I feel the rules are trampling over the top of me!
I called Wellmark.
I called Sears Manufacturing.
I wrote Congressman Braley's office. I got an automatic reply.
I called Senator Harkin's office. I got ... Some one in the office will get back to you. Yea ... it was in that tone of voice ... that you just know it will never happen.
And I emailed the White House. We will see on that one.
You know ... I didn't want to Occupy Wall Street. I didn't want to work for any campaigns this year. I am tired and I don't need/or want a fight.
But I'm there.
I. am. there.