The Affordable Care Act – Easy, Affordable Healthcare that is Difficult and Expensive, Part Three

“But the plans were on display…”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”   – Douglas Adams

Last week, we ended with Step Five of the epic adventure which is today’s health care system.  Today, we pick up where we left off.

Step Six – Call Back and Wait Some More
I waited a few days and called back.  This time, I was actually able to get past the used-insurance sales team and talk to someone whose job was to actually help me get through the state’s health care system so I could get onto the private provider’s policy.  This lady was fantastic.  She took the information her company needed and then called the state and waited on hold with me until we could talk to someone there.  We were informed that the application was “pending” and there was nothing we could do except wait and call back the next day.  I started this process at 9:30AM and we finished the phone call around 4:00PM.

Step Seven – Repeat Step Six
This time, it only took about six hours to find out that there was a problem with my application.  Again, the insurance company representative (different person) stayed on the phone the whole time.  For some reason, the state was not releasing our application and it had been kicked up to a different department (for whom there is no contact information and to whom one cannot be transferred) for further review.  The person from the state told me the way to resolve this was to call the county health department.

Step Eight – Discover Your Children Married Each Other
Before I say anything else, the lady at the county was wonderful  I called her at 4:30PM on a Friday and she called me back that same evening at 6:30PM.  Her first question, of course, was, “Why would they have you call me?  It’s their problem.”  But, she logged onto her system and started reviewing the application.  There were, in fact, a few problems:

  1. My first name was misspelled
  2. My fiancée’s last name was misspelled
  3. My company’s name was misspelled
  4. My daughter’s birthday was wrong
  5. My future step-son’s last name was misspelled
  6. My income was wrong
  7. My daughter and future step-son were married… to each other

I’m not making that up.  They had my 16 year old daughter listed as married to my 16 year old future step-son.  For some reason, that took us out of the “normal family” category.

The next Monday, I called the insurance company to let them know the problem and we called the state.  When we got them on the line, I asked about that field on the application:

Me:  “Do you see on the application where it shows my daughter and step-son are married to each other?”
Rep:  “Yes.”
Me:  “Where the hell do you think we live?  Alabama*?”
Rep:  “Sir, you called the marketplace in Colorado, not Alabama.”
Me;  “Yes, I know that.”
Rep:  “So, you say there’s a problem with the information on your application?”

You know how you wish I were done with this story?  Believe me… so do I.

*I used Alabama because I have a friend who is a HUGE Tide fan.  Gig ’em, Truck!

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