Monday, March 12, 2007

My former employer, specifically the Firm Administrator, is a coward.

I stopped working there in July of '05, a month before my negotiated departure date. I had agreed to work two days a week for two months after my resignation became effective, and without discussion, my departure date was announced as one month after. Odd to beg for a favor, then spurn half of it without discussion, but as I wanted to be gone, I didn't argue.

I elected 18 months of COBRA coverage for health care, something our administrator had never done before. She quoted me a figure in the departure interview, and two months later, followed up by email to ask why I had not paid. I explained that I had been waiting for some kind of statement or invoice, and was informed that there would be none. I did my research, and found that (indeed) this was not a legal requirement -- she was (deliberately) doing absolutely no more than required by law.

About a year after, on 6/1/06, I received an email stating that my premiums would increase EFFECTIVE 5/1/06, and listing the new premium. The retroactive rate increase was unacceptable, and I did not pay. Instead, I signed up for Blue Cross/Blue Shield directly. It took me more than four months of paperwork and a note from my doctor, but I managed to subscribe without any cooperation from my former employer, and minimal cooperation from their insurance carrier. I put all the blame on my former employer, as I found out from the insurance carrier that several things I'd been told were false, and was provided with written documentation that my Firm Administrator had been made aware of this in advance. In other words, she lied, and the insurance company proved it in writing. Knowingly.

Today, things begin to make sense again. I received a statement from the insurance carrier showing that I'd been carried for the full 18 months despite having paid for only 8. My interpretation is that the Firm Administrator was unwilling to force the issue, and hid the fact that they were paying for a former employee's insurance for a year without reimbursement.

I cannot tell whether she did this because she refused to send me anything in writing out of stubbornness, or whether she feared forcing the issue would result in her own increasingly dissatisfied management becoming aware of my true reasons for leaving (her). I am certain, however, that it was not a casual oversight.

Hopefully, the same reasons that kept me insured for almost a year without any payment or collections activity will keep her from sending me a cumulative bill now that I'm off the policy.

From what I hear through the grapevine, I think that if she's fool enough to try, I can end her career. What I hear is that management is increasingly dissatisfied with her, but is waiting for the original name partner to retire before ousting her. Probably to be replaced by the current managing partner's secretary, which is how she originally came to the job.

For the record, I believe the real problem is the new managing partner, who delegated virtually all oversight of the Firm Administrator into oblivion.