Thursday, December 6, 2012

Charlotte woman caught up in Wells Fargo insurance changes

We reported in today's paper that former Wachovia employees who were on long-term disability before the Charlotte bank was bought by Wells Fargo would be terminated by the bank at the end of the year. That means they would no longer eligible for the company's health insurance.

It's a complicated story and full of legal minutiae. But Renee Wilcox, 42, called the Observer today to share how this change will affect her.

Wilcox moved to Charlotte in 1992 and started work for Wachovia the same year. By 2000, she had become a junior trader.

But then she fell sick with a virus on the brain. Before long, she was in a wheelchair, paralyzed on her left side. She went on long-term disability, and paid for a supplemental insurance program with the bank.

She found out over the summer that she would be terminated from employment at the end of the year. Despite numerous phone calls, she hasn't been able to find a way to afford the health care she needs.

"I'm having a hard time finding insurance," she said. "Why couldn't I be grandfathered in?"

She's been able to enroll in Medicare, which helps. But it doesn't cover her expensive medications. That would run her another $700 a month. COBRA coverage from Wells Fargo is prohibitively expensive as well.

"I can't afford to pay $500 a month, plus my bills, on a fixed income," she said.

She's currently in accounting classes at Central Piedmont Community College, but is unsure whether she'll be able to find a job when she finishes. She can't drive, and frequently gets spasms.

She called the Observer hoping that someone might read her story and help her figure out a course of action to afford her medical expenses.

"I hate that I'm in this situation," she said. "I'd rather work."


DJ said...

Silence from the nattering nabobs of negativism...

Anonymous said...

I'm confused. She is out on disability. Yet she can take classes and expresses concern about getting a job afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Partnership for Prescription Assistance of NC:

Anonymous said...

Nc high risk health pool, that's what this pool is for. It is not cheap Nd if she can't afford cobra she can't afford this either.

Anonymous said...

Try Physicians Reachout. They were able to help me when I became disabled and could not return to work at Bank of America. I had no insurance coverage because I could not afford COBRA. They may also be able to help you with prescriptions. There are prerequisites you have to meet in providing income and expense information.

Jenn Nodine said...

"Anonymous said...
I'm confused. She is out on disability. Yet she can take classes and expresses concern about getting a job afterwards."

You know I think the most disabled amongst us are the totally uncompassionate and cowardly idiots who anonymously display their ignorance online for the rest of the population to have to read. Please read the definition of "disabled" before posting a comment like that. Talk about adding insult to injury. Thankfully others here have posted some information that this woman can actually use, rather than spewing judgment that she does not deserve.