ObamaCare Causes A Descent Into Madness Familiar To Many
Franz Kafka lives. Except even this spinner of tales of helpless victims of faceless bureaucracies might not have imagined a situation where a law-abiding citizen faces a fine for failing to take an action his government prohibits him from performing.
Which is the descent into madness I am now experiencing, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
Last September, my insurer, Anthem, notified me that the health plan I’d had since 2009 would “not be available as of Jan. 1, 2015.”
No problem. In December, to locate alternative coverage, I called an Anthem “Health Plan Adviser” who informed me that, in fact, I could keep my plan.
Except late in the day on Christmas Eve, I received a letter from Anthem explaining that was a mistake, and I did need to apply for a new plan before Dec. 31.
No problem. On Dec. 30, I spoke to another adviser, who emailed an application and said that if I faxed it back immediately, I would have my new coverage as of Jan. 1.
Except Anthem never acknowledged receipt of the fax, even after I emailed the adviser, and no money was debited from my account.
No problem. I was certain I had coverage, and that a simple call would clear up a harmless oversight.
Except that there are no simple calls to health insurers these days. Every exchange takes carving an hour or more out of a busy business day to navigate endless phone trees and runarounds.
So it was March before I finally found the time to call. After nearly three tortuous hours, a customer service representative informed me that Anthem had indeed received my application but that the fax was illegible. Rather than track down the adviser (whose name was in huge dark letters on the first page), look me up in their records, or make any other effort to contact me, Anthem had simply canceled my coverage.
The horrified rep took my number and promised to call back with a resolution. No problem. I expected to hear back in a few hours, max a couple of days.
Except I didn’t. Nearly a week later, I tried again. After another two hours of phone Pong, I was advised simply to call sales and request to resubmit my previous application.
No problem. I called sales.
Except when I did, I learned that under Affordable Care Act rules, with open enrollment over, Anthem could no longer sell me a plan. I’d have to go to the Health Care Marketplace. They might put up a fuss about the need for a special exception, but ultimately I would be able to buy coverage.