It’s been more than a month of filling in forms but yesterday was different.
A couple of days after Kim died, the HR woman at work called to tell me that her insurance would be discontinued on the last day of the month.
We had our health insurance through Kim – it was actually the reason she hadn’t quit her job when she’d wanted to. But that’s a different story.
The woman was very nice but said that by law they had to stop the insurance at the end of the month.
I told her I wasn’t sure but I think the law said they couldn’t stop it sooner but they could provide it longer.
The woman was very nice. She was related to the woman that was the lunchroom aid in Elena’s classroom.
The very nice woman said she would help me through the forms for COBRA as well as the life insurance forms. She came to the wake and expressed her condolences in person.
She was not what I’d imagined an HR person would be like.
She was, however, exactly the woman that Kim had described. Kim had really liked her and you could see why. A caring, kind person doing more than just her job.
The COBRA forms came and I didn’t quite understand them. A social worker at a hospital tried to explain them to me and she called the COBRA contact for me. As nice as the social worker was, she wasn’t understanding any better than I. She handed the phone to me and a very nice COBRA administrator explained which boxes to check.
I had not expected a COBRA administrator to be nearly that nice.
I checked those boxes and sent the form in.
A week later I got a form back that said they had my application and now I had to send in a check for some amount specified to start things up.
I called the COBRA administrator.
She was very nice. She explained everything to me. She said that she too had lost a spouse. Not at all what I’d expected a COBRA administrator to be like.
She told me to call her back at the end of the week and she would give me an update.
Friday I called her and she said she’d received my check and talked to the HR woman at Grace Hospital and I should call her.
I called the HR woman at Grace and she said she had a few more forms for me to sign.
I asked if I should come in to fill them out.
She said she’d call me back.
She walked over to the mail room and saw that the mail had gone out for the day. No need to come in. She emailed me the forms and offered to help me fill them out.
I need help from her with some parts of the form, but the one that gave me pause was marital status.
For the first time I had to check a new box.
For thirty-some years I’d checked single.
For twenty-some years I’d checked married.
Now I checked widow.
I may need more help filling in this form than I thought.