Suppose you go onto a private insurance company’s website and buy a policy for $250 a month with a $3000 deductible. But when you start getting bills, they’re overcharging you and they have the wrong deductible. You can call the company and straighten things out, right? And if they won’t straighten things out, you can cancel and find a competent company.
Obamacare’s website isn’t allowing errors to be fixed. Because it’s a government program with mandate teeth, there is nowhere else to go.
For now, the appeals are sitting, untouched, inside a government computer. And an unknown number of consumers who are trying to get help through less formal means — by calling the health-care marketplace directly — are told that HealthCare.gov’s computer system is not yet allowing federal workers to go into enrollment records and change them, according to individuals inside and outside the government who are familiar with the situation.
“It is definitely frustrating and not fair,” said Addie Wilson, 27, who lives in Fairmont, W.Va., and earns $22,000 a year working with at-risk families. She said that she is paying $100 a month more than she should for her insurance and that her deductible is $4,000 too high.
When Wilson logged on to HealthCare.gov in late December, she needed coverage right away. Her old insurance was ending, and she was to have gallbladder surgery in January. But the Web site would not calculate the federal subsidy to which she knew she was entitled. Terrified to go without coverage, Wilson phoned a federal call center and took the advice she was given: Pay the full price now and appeal later.
Now she is stuck.
“I hope,” she said, “they really work on getting this fixed.”
Hope is not a plan, but it was enough to get a guy elected president.
[A]t the moment, “there is no indication that infrastructure . . . necessary for conducting informal reviews and fair hearings has even been created, let alone become operational,” attorneys at the National Health Law Program said in a late-December letter to leaders of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees HealthCare.gov. The attorneys, who have been trying to exert leverage quietly behind the scenes, did not provide the letter to The Post but confirmed that they had sent it.
They have no idea when they’ll even get it running. But according to Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, even delaying Obamacare back in October was an act of arson or terrorism.