More Obamacare Nightmares

From Signing Up To Signing Off, Americans Confront A ‘Bureaucratic Nightmare’


‘I Just Feel Like I Have Been Lied To’

OR MAN: “Mr. Breed, a lawyer in Portland, was a big supporter of the health care overhaul... But his arduous journey in trying to sign up for coverage for him, and his wife and college-age daughter has sorely tested that faith. The effort, through numerous paper forms and repeated snags, began in December and is still not complete. ‘The system is Kafkaesque,’ Mr. Breed, 60, said this week in an interview.” (“Health Care Exchange In Oregon Not Meeting High Hopes,” The New York Times, 3/21/14)

VT MAN: “Neil Jacobson ... went on Vermont Health Connect on Dec. 16 and selected insurance for himself, his wife and son and has since paid three premiums. Still, he has yet to receive an insurance card confirming his coverage. He has called the Vermont Health Connect call center and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, but he said he can’t find anyone who could move his paperwork from ‘pending’ status. He estimates he has spent 15 hours on the telephone. ‘It appears to me we will be completely uncovered as of April 1,’ Jacobson said Tuesday, adding, ‘I’m desperate.’” (“Thousands Enrolled In Health Connect, But Some Vermonters Still Stuck In Limbo,” Burlington Free Press, 3/19/14)

  • ‘I just feel like I have been lied to’ “‘I had to make sure we had coverage,’ Jacobson said, explaining his wife and son need regular health care. So he paid the January and February premiums to continue the family’s Catamount coverage even as he paid three premiums for his new plan. He was on the phone again Tuesday trying to get the problem resolved because he worried about the looming end to Catamount Health. ‘I’ve been such a good team player,’ Jacobson said. ‘I just feel like I have been lied to.’” (“Thousands Enrolled In Health Connect, But Some Vermonters Still Stuck In Limbo,” Burlington Free Press, 3/19/14)

YOUNG WOMAN: “‘Against my better judgment, I’ve been trying to sign up for the last 3 weeks [on] and I’ve reentered my info 20 times and it keeps telling me an error has occurred,’ Jacie Walker wrote on the comments thread of a Lebron James video urging enrollment. ‘I can’t afford to call the help desk over and over and I definitely can’t afford $200+ bucks a month when I usually spend less than $200 a year when I pay everything on my own. Nothing about this is free or affordable for young adults.’ Her comment received 74 ‘likes’ and counting.” (“Facebook Users Bash Obamacare On Healthcare.Gov Page,” National Review Online, 3/20/14)

ME FAMILY: ‘In the case of one family that came to the co-op with triplets, the application “dropped two of the kids.”’ “Parents of twins or other multiples encountered a different problem: The computer system could not handle an application if it contained more than one family member with the same birth date, so the system accepted one of the children for insurance and spit out the rest. ...Katie Dzurec-Dunton, who works at Maine Community Health Options, a health-care co-op in the new insurance marketplace that is helping people to sign up, said that staff noticed late last fall that if parents entered on the names of twins, the application would accept ‘two parents, plus the name of one twin repeated.’ In the case of one family that came to the co-op with triplets, the application ‘dropped two of the kids.’” (“For Some Who Are Married But Filing Taxes Separately, Another Healthcare.Gov Hurdle,” The Washington Post, 3/23/14)

CA CANCER PATIENT: Learned Obamacare ‘plan wouldn’t cover the hospitals where he was used to being treated’ “Ben Rosenthal was treated for prostate cancer four years ago and had gallbladder surgery the year before that. … Rosenthal, 57, paid for his own health insurance. Last fall, when his plan was discontinued because it didn’t meet standards set by the Affordable Care Act, Rosenthal bought the best insurance coverage he could find, a top-tier ‘platinum’ policy from Blue Shield of California that costs $792 a month. … Then in February he learned the plan wouldn’t cover the hospitals where he was used to being treated.” (“Obamacare Limits Choices Under Some Plans,” Bloomberg, 3/21/14)

FL WOMAN: Faced ‘bureaucratic nightmare’ to un-enroll in Obamacare. Anchor: “As you remember, the Obamacare website was plagued with problems, people were trying to sign up.” Co-Anchor: “Yea. One Deltona woman had an even bigger problem, getting unenrolled.  New tonight at 10, Fox News Mike Simon helps her wade through a bureaucratic nightmare.” Reporter: “Melissa Battles needed healthcare for herself and her son. Without a full time job, she turned to Obamacare.” Battles: “When I tried to enroll my entire family, I enrolled online and it is very convoluted and takes a very long time to enroll online.” ... Reporter: “But Melissa Battles says that’s nothing compared to what happened next.  She got a full time job with insurance, she went to her insurer Florida Health Care Plans to cancel her policy.” Battles: “Florida Health Care told me that I could not dis-enroll with them because I enrolled through the marketplace so I have to dis-enroll through the marketplace.” Reporter: “The marketplace is And a couple of months ago there was no way to dis-enroll from your insurance on the website.” Battles: “I was blown away that they had not thought forward enough to realize that people were going to dis-enroll.  This is going to be a common practice.” Reporter: “Melissa now had to call her government.” Battles: “The first person that I spoke with after being on hold for 49 minutes still couldn’t do anything and they had to refer me to a specialist, who still couldn’t do anything.  They had to refer me to an event resolution center.  There was no e-mail address, there was no direct number to the event resolution center, only the main 800-number, and there’s no mailing address to file any type of grievance or complaint about how it’s handled.” Reporter: “When Melissa Battles did finally get help from, they told her she could unenroll next month, long after her other coverage had already started, forcing her to pay twice for health insurance.” ... Battles: “I hate to say it, but if you don’t have to go through the marketplace, don’t.”  (WOFL-FL, 3/21/14)