NH Woman Forced To Return Dead Mother’s Pension, Pay Health Premiums

By Diana Perez, WBZ-TV

AMHERST, N.H. (CBS) – A New Hampshire woman calls it insulting. Weeks after losing her mother, she was told she had to pay back her mother’s pension and health premiums even though her mother was alive when she received the money.

Janice Pelchat’s pain started in December after years of caring for her ailing, 86-year-old mother, Yolande, “She died of congestive heart failure.”

So Janice called the New Hampshire Retirement System to stop her mother’s pension checks but the message somehow got mixed up and she got a check in the mail so she called them back “I said what am I supposed to do with this,” says Janice. “They said ‘Oh, that was a mistake would you mind sending that back to us?’”

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports

Send the full pension amount even though Yolande lived until December 19th. Still, Janice complied, but a month later this grieving daughter got even more upsetting news. Since her pension was stopped November 30th, her health and dental premiums were also stopped.

And that meant Janice had to pay $630 for the entire month of December, covering even the days after her mother died. This time she fought back, the irony, too obvious to ignore, “If you are telling me that you’re not going to cover my mother during the time that she was alive in December then I think it’s only fair that I don’t pay you back for the time in December that she was deceased.”

Instead Janice offered a pro-rated amount for the 19 days her mother was alive and used her insurance. She says she paid it mostly to avoid the possible consequences, “My initial thought was what if they deny insurance coverage to the hospital my mother was in before she died. What would happen to me with all those hospital bills.”

Luckily those hospital bills have been paid and the City of Nashua tells us it has accepted Janice’s offer pay a pro-rated portion of the premium.

  • Michele

    These companies are unbelievable!!! I have had one creditor tell me I had to pay finance charges on a credit balance. (money they owed me!) Needless to say, they did not get it. I am glad this lady put her foot down, and did not let this company scam her out of money.

  • stinky

    630 dollar is news?

    • Vera Carroll

      I wouldn’t care if it was $6.30 – it is the principal of the matter and yes, $630 is a lot of money to most AVERAGE Americans, including myself.

    • CuriousG

      It may have have turned into $63,000 if the insurance decided not to pay for the December bills.

    • pattha990

      that is a lot of money to some folks. A whole weeks paycheck in fact. So sorry it is not significant enough an amount for you.

    • granny25

      its not the amount of money, its the “point”……….

    • Willow

      Wow, so glad you’re one of the 1% that you don’t have to care about $630. For most people, that is at least one paycheck. For me, it’s 1.5 paychecks.

  • tray117

    No ,what is news is the unmitigable GALL of these health-care “providers”. Why doesn’t the American govt reign in these scumbags? Oh, right. . . .

    • Brad

      check the story, it was a goverment, city, that was the healthcare provider. Look at the last setence.

    • crabman

      right — tough putting a noose around your own neck

  • Concerned Citizen

    So the city never should have cancelled the insurance and should pay the mother’s estate for the 19 days in December that she was still alive as the estate is entitiled to 19 days worth of her pension. If I was this daughter I would get a lawyer and fight the city. The mother is entitled to 19 days worth of her pension. In the end the mother lived more than half of the month so her benefits should have never been cancelled.

  • bgetya2

    Social Security does this also. In 1990 my father cashed his check on the 2nd and he died on the 15th. We had to give back the full amount to SS. They said you are paid a month in advance and you are not entitled the money unless you live the whole month.

    • crabman

      thats flocked up

    • nicademus

      Took care of my Mom for 10 yrs….she died Dec 26,2009. Her SS and NY State Ret were both taken back from her bank account. I thought they would at least pay for the 26 days she was alive. Nope! THANKS FOR NOTHING FEDS AND NY STATE.

  • Dagobert II

    I’d tell ’em they need to take up their problem with the deceased.

  • Trish

    I am going through one similar, the house went into foreclosure and I didn’t have anything to do with my father’s estate because he didn’t want nothing to do with me. So now they are suing for attorney fees and title search and wanting me to pay for it. It is a hassle when a loved one dies. Prayers going out to you and your family.

    • Kristin

      Don’t pay it. You are responsible for your parents. That would be like your adult children not paying their house or car payment and the company expecting you to pay it. You didn’t sign anything accepting responsibility. They just try to scare people into paying.

    • JOSE0311USMC

      LIFE IS A __________AND THAN YOU DIE..

  • jam8canpops

    Give them the name of the cemetery,the plot number and tell them to send the mail there.INCREDIBLE!Do you now see why we need a comprehensive health insurance plan and get these scumbag insurance companies out of the mix?

  • Kristin

    I would give them the finger. Good luck getting any money from a dead person.

  • Terri

    Don’t feel so bad. My father died on Oct 31st at 1800 hours and I had to pay back his Soc. Security check and VA pension. That was nearly 2600.00 PLUS then pay for the Nursing Home he was in. It’s funny because they say that the payments are paid a month behind but if you die You OWE them. I even had one Social Security lady tell me “too bad he didn’t die at midnight and then you would be fine, you wouldn’t have to pay it back”

  • K

    Maybe this is simplistic, but she doesn’t have to pay anything. Her mother’s estate does. If the money isn’t in the estate to pay it, then it simply isn’t paid.

    Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective, but the estate paying my deceased parent’s bills is not ME paying their bills.

    That said, it seems to have been a clerical error (discontinuing the pension and insurance at the end of the previous month) that could be easily corrected without involving the newspaper.

  • M.E.

    that’s why I’m not concerned when I die……because I have no family, nobody, no one; and will use our ‘great’ gov’t all I can for all the hell they’ve put me through. Won’t pay them a damn thing…let them get it from ILLEGALS.

  • jan

    social security works the same way. my mom died on jan 31 at 3:50p and we had to return the check we received in February that was for January. had she lived 8 hrs and 10 mins longer there wouldn’t have been a problem.

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