ADP: Unemployed Need To Apply For Program In Which They Were Already Enrolled

One of the programs of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is COBRA Continuation Coverage Assistance. It helps people who have lost their jobs pay the sometimes hefty premiums for continued health insurance coverage, paying 65% of their premium. The program started in February, and Renee was enrolled right away. This month she was billed for her full premium again with no warning.

I have been unemployed since December 2008 and I’ve been using COBRA for medical insurance ever since.

I was very happy to learn about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act COBRA Continuation Coverage Assistance that would allow me to pay 35% of my normal premium (about $75/month for me instead of $400/month).

When I logged in today to ADP BeneDirect today to pay my premium, the ARRA COBRA premium discount was gone. The full balance was due. I can’t afford to pay $400/month for health insurance so I called ADP (1-800-770-7981). After being on hold for over 30 minutes, getting cut off several times, and ending up in three different phone systems, I spoke with a (foreign) representative. She informed me I was not receiving the premium discount because they were waiting for some paperwork from me. I could find the “request form” here and fax it back and wait 48-72 hours. Once I “request” the discount, it would then be applied to my COBRA premium.

I am disgusted, that I was receiving the discount for 3 months, but now I have to fill out a form to request the discount be applied to my premium. Nowhere on the government site does it say, “fill out this form to receive the COBRA premium discount.”

I hope you will share this with others so they do not miss out on the COBRA coverage assistance.

Was it a glitch? Why should customers have to opt back in to a program in which they were already enrolled? Have any other readers run into this problem with their insurers?

COBRA Continuation Coverage Assistance [U.S. Department of Labor]