Troubleshooter: COBRA Coverage

March 30, 2009 3:30:30 PM PDT
Roberto Uribe Ceceliano lost his job last summer and qualified for COBRA coverage. He paid the monthly premiums and thought he was covered, but instead he learned he was uninsured. “He paid for it. He should have been provided it," Ceceliano's wife Lisa told Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

Lisa said she couldn't believe what they had to go through to get what they paid for.

"He made his payments on time every month and thought we had coverage we never really doubted it,” she said. “In January, he found out his insurance coverage was terminated back to July when he got downsized.”

Lisa started working the phones to get answers.

“We called the COBRA administrator to find out what the problem was and they sent out an investigation inquiry,” she explained.

After a week and no answers, Lisa said she called the COBRA administrator, Ceridian, again.

“The COBRA administrator said they would put out a second inquiry and give it another week,” she recalled.

But after another week, Roberto still didn't have the coverage he paid for each month.

“We sent our payments to the COBRA administrator and they acknowledge they received the payments," said Lisa." They were telling us they forwarded the payments on to Roberto’s former employer and that's where we were stuck. The former employer said they hadn't received payments and no one knew what was going on."

Lisa turned to Troubleshooter Diane Wilson. She got in touch with Roberto's former employer, Yard-Nique. Yard-Nique looked into it right away. A rep says they discovered that the COBRA administrator, Ceridian, did send them two checks for Roberto's coverage, one in January and one in February, but made no reference to what the checks were for. So Yard-Nique didn't cash the checks.

Once it was brought to their attention, Yard-Nique worked right away with Roberto and their insurance company and got Roberto covered back to when he was let go in July. It’s coverage Lisa and Roberto say they’re thankful for.

A rep with Yard-Nique also added they had no knowledge this was an existing problem. We did reach out to Ceridian, the COBRA administrator, but they did not respond to our request for comment.


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