Last minute marriage, need to not pay for health insurance twice
March 28, 2015 6:56 AM   Subscribe

We got married on the spur of the moment and are now facing the prospect of paying for health insurance twice for the first couple of months of being married.

I have health insurance through my employer, my spouse has it through the health insurance marketplace in PA. We got married in March 17th, and put her on my health insurance, other stuff happened and so we only just got around to calling the health care marketplace and they won't let her cancel her insurance until mid-April.

At the same time, my insurance covers her beginning the date of the marriage because she's being added under a "life event" rather than during open enrollment. That means we are paying a hefty payment to my company, as well as to her marketplace insurance for the months of March and April. This is killing us and makes no sense. We called the PA marketplace, who said it was up to the insurance company whether we would be charged and of course, when we called the insurance company, they said it was up to the marketplace. Neither are budging.

This can't be the first time this has happened. Does everyone pay twice for insurance for the first couple of months they are married or is everyone else way smarter about this than we were?

If you have any experience with this either as an insider (in health insurance, HR, etc) or having done this yourself, is there anything we can do? Paying an extra $300/month for insurance we don't need just doesn't seem right and is not something we can afford right now.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (4 answers total)
I don't know about getting money back for March, but don't pay your April bill for ACA.
posted by 724A at 7:00 AM on March 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

It actually sounds like you're payig twice only for mid-March to mid-April, not for two full months.
posted by amro at 7:12 AM on March 28, 2015

It makes sense that you can't cancel immediately just because of how stupid the software (and policies) that runs these exchanges is. If I am understanding you correctly you called them on the 27th-ish of March and they won't cancel you until the middle, let's say the 15th, of April? So that's two and a half weeks? Am I misunderstanding the timeline here?

My experience with lots of different health insurance situations is that while you may be able to cancel immediately, you don't get prorated payments back in any case. So just don't give them any more money and yes you'll be double covered for the first half of April. The system is built (sort of) to deal with people who get married or have kids with a lot of advance notice. Not apologizing, this situation sucks, but yes it's pretty normal for things to work this way.
posted by jessamyn at 8:51 AM on March 28, 2015

Mod note: This is a followup from the asker.
I made a mistake on the dates - that should have said that we got married in February. We received a bill charging for March and then we received a bill for April.

So we talked about the possibility of not paying for those two months, but what are the consequences? Does non-payment get reported to the credit bureaus? Is it sent to collection agencies?
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:35 AM on March 30, 2015

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