This is the formal complaint I made today with the Department of Insurance against Mangrove, the company that is supposed to provide COBRA benefits to my family. Twenty seven days later and I still don’t have insurance benefits. I’m out well over $1000 that they finally decided to inform Aetna about yesterday. Thanks Mangrove. I guess COBRA is a great idea in theory. But good luck taking advantage of it when you need it.
Department of Insurance
This is a formal complaint against Mangrove, the company providing COBRA services to me and my family. I have Type 1 diabetes, a chronic disorder that requires constant medical attention. Disruption in insurance coverage is detrimental to my health. COBRA should help fill the gaps when switching from one employer to another, consequently changing insurance providers. However, Mangrove has taken an inordinate amount of time to process information as well as be informative to me or to Aetna, my prior insurance provider.
My husband emailed Mangrove about paying for insurance coverage for only me and not the entire family. This email was sent on June 3. After receiving no response a follow up email was sent on June 8, stating we had not received a response. My husband had to make a phone call in order to get the question answered even though our paperwork stated that email was a preferred method of communication with Mangrove.
On June 9 we mailed a check to Mangrove. It was received on June 14, according to a Mangrove employee. This check was not deposited until June 30. Two days earlier, on June 28, my husband made an online payment which immediately came out of our account. We hoped the online payment would speed up the process since the hospital lab, my endocrinologist’s office, my insulin pump supply provider, and the pharmacy are all requesting full payment.
Aetna was not informed of any COBRA payment until Tuesday, July 5. They require five to seven business days to process the payment and provide the same level of coverage they had before we needed COBRA to mediate for us. On Wednesday, July 6, a Mangrove employee reluctantly agreed to put in an urgent request on our behalf. This was after she told us twice to call back on Friday, July 8 and the urgent request would be put in then.
I have paid over a thousand dollars for COBRA benefits and am being billed for more than that amount because Mangrove has taken so long to do anything with my money. The paperwork we received from Mangrove regarding our COBRA coverage stated that there is a 30 day grace period. I was not aware that there was an additional 30 day grace period for them to process any payments I make. This level of unprofessionalism is unacceptable.
COBRA is a service to help maintain insurance coverage for people who find themselves out of work for any reason. I am appalled that this is how those customers are treated at a time when their financial means are already being stretched.