My Insurance Company vs My Bank: It's a Tough Call

I found myself this week dealing with the age-old philosophical dilemma: If my insurance company and my bank were both on fire in the middle of the night, and I happened to be passing by, and I could save only one, which one would it be? The solution is obvious: I would back up a tanker truck filled with gasoline within half a block of both, then jump out and run like hell while the engine was still running. So I guess the answer to the riddle: Whom would I save? is "me".

This is what happened. My husband signed up for the new healthcare back in January and couldn't get them to send him a card to save his life. They kept saying he had coverage but he couldn't get the stinking insurance card. They sent him about a thousand letters about various stupidity. You'd have thought they could have just shoved that flimsy, fake-looking paper card in one of them. (I guess the insurance companies can't go totally paperless... You'd have no card.)

So while we were all mixed up in the great card debacle, that was nothing compared to the battle of the payments. As I understood it, the payment was due on the first of the month but it wasn't considered to be late until the last day of the month at which time they would cancel the policy. Got it? Me neither.

So when I paid the payment in January, they made me pay for two months because apparently you're paying a month ahead. Got it now? Right. Me neither.

Okay so my husband sets it up with them on the 25th of last month that the payments will be taken out on the first of the month. They verbally handshake on it and it's a done deal... Until 20 seconds later when they took the money out of our account... or tried to. You can't take out what ain't there.

Now to my bank. Suddenly I notice that I have a (meaning singular, uno, one) new charge on my checking account: An overdraft fee for 35 dollars. Okay, if I have an overdraft fee, doesn't it stand to reason that I should also have the charge for the insurance payment on my bank account? Apparently not.

I called the bank. Well, it seems, according to JoJo, that the bank has the option of paying or not paying the charge when there are insufficient funds... So on this one they flipped a coin and decided not to pay it...fine... but they still charged me an insufficient funds fee. Of course, since you didn't pay the insurance company, my funds weren't insufficient... until when?: Correct: When you charged me a 35 dollar insufficient fee charge.

After JoJo explained it to his own satisfaction he shut up. I said nothing. We sat in silence. He was obviously waiting for me to congratulate him on his brilliant knack for recitation. I just sat there, wondering if it was quiet for a moment, if he would replay what he'd just told me in his head and think:

"Wow. What I just said makes me sound like an imbecile."

Finally JoJo reached deep into his pockets and reimbursed me a whopping 50 percent of the fee. Meanwhile, back in Gotham City, my husband took a shot at tackling the insurance company again. We could just envision them trying to get the money out every fifteen minutes around the clock until the first of the month. And there would be the bank, fox-trotting with them, keeping up with them step for step with insufficient funds fees- bankrupting our future generations, 35 bucks at a time.

Yes, when it comes to getting their money, the efficiency of both institutions is unparalleled. I guess the ones in charge of straightening stuff out are in a different department altogether. Somewhere in the way back of the building next to the ones who send out the paper insurance cards. **** Please consider taking a look at my ebook to the right there: Laughing IS Conceivable: One Woman's Extremely Funny Peek into the Extremely Unfunny World of Infertility. Free sample chapter available via the book icon or at