ACA aka Obamacare: Share your story!
I live in WA state. When the ACA was passed about four years ago, my insurance (I have removed this insurance company name because even though my first policy before ACA was different from my post ACA policy and the third policy that included my doctor was again different, I am sure they are all owned by the same 1% that owns the oil companies, media outlets, and Fortune 500 companies, so I am removing and avoiding all names) immediately informed me that they needed to up my
premium, which they did. Then three years go by and the ACA becomes active and they tell me that they have to raise me again, still no change in benefits. Then finally when WA Health Plan Finder comes online, my policy
is magically one of the 290,000+ policy that is auto cancelled for whatever magical reason they pulled out of their asses.
(Insurance company #1) then offers to auto sign me to a new (much more expensive) policy
with worse deductible and out of pocket, and no improvement in benefits in any other area. I said, 'Hell no!'
I decide to begin to apply online at wahealthplanfinder.org. I get about half way signed up and then receive an error code on the site, and a phone number to call.
My attempted phone calls begin about three months before Christmas. I keep getting a message that states 'do to the number of phone calls' and then it auto hangs up on me. Sometimes it would put me on hold for 20 mins or more (by the way, I only have a cell phone (5 for the fam) and we share 1400 mins!) and then auto hang up on me. I didn't get to a live person until January 2014.
Once I finally got to a person, it was some call director who would then tell you that the wait was at least 30 mins and then put you on hold. I have numerous pics of my calls that were auto hung up after 20-45mins of being on hold!
Finally in February, I get past the 'call director' to another person, who then tells me that they cannot correct that error and here is a different number to call! The second number only takes a couple days to get through and they fix it and tell me to call the main number back to finish signing up.
I am able to log into the site and see my policy choices and I call my doctor and said, "Hey do you guys take 'this' (insert specific insurance company here lol)?" They respond that they do. I start another barrage of phone calls and finally get to a person and get signed up to THAT insurance. I make a payment online and am sent a receipt email showing payment and coverage to begin March 1st. My wife and kids are Choctaw natives and so they are on a separate policy (hence one of the many errors that freaked the website out). I get them signed up as well. All done by first week of February.
Then I get my shiny plastic insurance card in the mail (nothing like the smell of fresh financial scam in the form of a plastic wallet card) and am directed to go to the insurances website and setup a new account and list my doctors/hospitals preferences. THEN, I find out that my family doctor of six years is OUT OF THEIR NETWORK and I can keep seeing him
if I don't mind paying 10x the out of pocket. (by the way, this new ACA policy is crappier than my original policy of four years ago)
So then, I go back to the website and my account is totally locked up and I contact a leech (I mean local insurance salesperson) and they tell
me that I have to CALL WAHPF to reopen my enrollment to change policies. It is now midfebruary and I begin my barrage of calls again. Finally get through and they 'open' my account, so I can pick another policy to cover my family doctor.
SIDEBAR: I am not particularly pleased with my current family doctor. He's young and actually has to google stuff before he can answer me! He is superphobic about pain management even though I have horrible gout attacks and it is all recorded and tested. The REASON I wanted to keep him is because I went through the first insurance's list of doctors and clinics and even called to confirm and it was horrible. They listed only three doctors in my town and I would have to drive 14 miles to see other doctors on their list. I called the three and I kid you NOT, here is what I found out....
Doc #1: Only in my town one day a week, currently Saturday. Not a real family doctor, mostly show up and wait in line until seen.
Doc #2: Urgent care only, no appointment. Also not a family doctor.
Doc #3: Retiring and shutting down his clinic in June, should not even be listed with them as taking new patients. His partner is also retiring so the entire office will be shutdown and staff 'let go.' Partner is shutting down because of the ACA!
So, I have no viable options in my town and must travel 14 miles or more to get anything down.
Ok, so I go back on the website and sign up for new policy and make ANOTHER PAYMENT and am told that policy will start in March. Then I recieve an email that says it will start in April. THERE IS NO EMAIL OR STATEMENT TELLING ME THAT I AM NO LONGER COVERED FOR MARCH!
I got my card, I got my website account setup. I got a lot of other stuff on my plate to do and life moves on for a few weeks....
THEN BAM! March 5th, 2014 I get extreme chest pain in the morning. Like, it feels like a brick is being shoved through my heart with all the square jagged edges scrapping my soft pink little arteries. Anyway, I end up in the emergency room. In between screaming and crying, I present my shiny new card. I am rushed into the 'cath' lab and wake up to be told they put a stent in my 'widowmaker' and that I am very lucky to be alive. I am moved upstairs into the hospital cardiac ward for observation. My loving wife never leaves my side and even sleeps in a chair beside my bed each night. (I can only assume my three teenagers were having the party of their lives at home in our absence.)
Anyway, A 'financial consultant' shows up in my hospital room and timidly asked if now is an okay time to talk about financing. (this is the morning of the first day in observation). I say sure and she hands me back my plastic card and informs me that my insurance claims I don't have a policy with them. They don't know who I am!
If you read this far, then you know where I was going since I mentioned the heart attack.
THE ACA which was enacted to make sure that everyone had health insurance coverage.... took my money, never refunded me or informed me of any coverage drop AND then cancelled my first policy and bumped me out a month. That's right, no insurance till April 1st! (my birthday btw)
So, upon hearing this, I ask to be discharged immediately because I don't want to incur anymore debt for my family of five (barely making it already) and I tell them cancel ALL follow up appointments to the cardiologist. (they want to see you in two weeks and then every month for two years after going through what I did and they want you to take a series of super expensive drugs that will totally screw up your body chemistry, so much so that even blood donation centers don't want the toxic sludge pumping through your carcass)
but I digress, anyway, they tell me that I CANNOT leave for any reason. I must stay for 48 hours at least. They insist I see my cardiologist in two weeks. (mind you, I have a hole to the side of my groin where they skewered my from balls to heart) I check out after 48 hours and insist that they cancel my follow up until I have gotten ahold of WAHPF and straighten this out.
Anyway, I get ahold of them and they tell me that it MAY be covered and that they will let me know in a week.
I swear, if this goes bad (well it's already bad), I will be telling my story to any journalist that will listen (which isn't many because they are all obama zombies that spread liberal propaganda rather than the truth.)
I was already freaking out that I was basically facing my deductable and out of pocket limits all at once, but now I could be facing a $100,000 bill.
I am sure I will also be finding all the other 'little' things they weasel out of covering.
It's enough to give a guy a heart attack! This was/is my experience so far. What's yours?
Below is a pic collage of phone screens where i got autohung up on after being on hold. Mind you, this is only a few examples of when I was so pissed I had the presents of mind to snap a shot of it. Also, this is after i was able to talk to the 'call director' and then placed on a different hold system. The final shot of the Alcatel is when I got home from the hospital and spent two hours on the phone with WAHPF explaining how they screwed me. I found it ironic that my cardiologist insisted no stressful activities until he sees me two weeks from now.
(This post was last modified: 03-13-2014 07:52 PM by cowboy1970.)