Getting quit of Arizona State University and the State of Arizona is like trying to pull yourself free of a giant sheet of heavy-duty, extra-sticky flypaper. Below, notes on this morning’s exchanges with a Fidelity 403(b) rep, a Department of Administration rep, and (god help me) another ASU Human Resources rep:
Called Fidelity to find out where the $500 payment is. Reached L— S—.
She said there are two funds, one with $159,000 and a smaller one. She asked which one I wanted to withdraw from. I said I had no idea, having been through several reps, all of whom said they would make this happen.
She said the smaller one is available for any drawdown from me. The larger one requires paperwork proving that I no longer work for the state university system and approval.
She said they did receive the 8-page form from ASU but it is in process at Fidelity. She will e-mail the person in that department and call me back to report what’s going on.
Meanwhile, I haven’t received a bill from COBRA. Called ADOA. Reached a woman who didn’t identify herself. She said
a) I was supposed to have sent a check to HITS (how appropriate!) and I have not. I looked in my notes and discovered I was supposed to have sent a $199.14 check and, in my endless confusion over this f***ing nightmare, failed to do so. But this would not matter, because…
b) ASU has not entered me in the HRIS system, and so as far as ADOA is concerned, I am still employed by ASU and still covered.
LS said I need to call HR again and do battle with them. I have to tell them to enter me in HRIS and then find out from them what date they show me terminated. Then I have to call ADOA back and tell them what the date is. Then they will figure out what to do about COBRA.
I called C— D— at HR. She said I am entered in HRIS as terminated. I said ADOA said I was not entered.
She was mystified about the COBRA prepayment due in December. I said that was what ADOA told me, and that I had failed to make the payment because I was overwhelmed by the paperwork and hoop-jumping, which has now accrued a two-inch thick binder of paperwork and notes. She said there is no such payment; that she couldn’t speak for ADOA but she knows the system, and they have to send me a bill for any amounts owed. I said what I told her was what they told me. Twice.
CD said the termination went into the system on January 6, and it usually takes about 24 hours for it to register. She also said that because I wasn’t canned until the 31st, several days in to the first January pay period, I would have been covered by ASU’s regular plan until the 10th. I pointed out that today is January 12, and so presumably I now have no insurance coverage.
She said well, do I have any health issues? I said I need to go to the dentist. She asked if I have an appointment today.
I said, “Look. I have to get in my car and drive from one end of Hell to the other today. If I get in an accident and end up in the hospital without coverage, I will be bankrupted!”
She said COBRA has a six-month period in which you can enroll, so if I get hurt or sick in that period I can retroactively enroll.
She offered to call ADOA and tell them I was “termed” in their system six days ago and to find out what the story is with the COBRA. I said I will be running around the city all day—I’m now over an hour late in getting started and haven’t even had breakfast!—so she said she would find out what she can and leave word on my voicemail.
Will this horror show never stop????