I apologize for the wait Sir. Unfortunately, you are not going to like my answer.
That was, of course, an understatement. After three separate attempts to insure a young family through Healthcare.gov, after today’s efforts which had already wasted an hour and a half, after killing another twenty plus minutes on the phone with the national help(less) center – we were told that they I could see that we had not made any mistakes, but that the federal exchange had decided, for no apparent reason, to send the wife to Ohio Medicaid.
We can write subsidized coverage for the twenty-four year old husband and his infant son. But we cannot write a subsidized health insurance policy for his twenty-two year old wife.
The feds have submitted the young woman to the State of Ohio for Medicaid coverage. She will not qualify. We will eventually receive a letter from the State which will allow us to reapply with the feds. When the federal exchange turns her down, again, we will then be allowed to file an appeal. And since the feds have yet to address the appeals’ process, we are doomed to failure.
The good news, and yes, there is good news, is that the family currently has self-paid individual coverage. They will be paying hundreds of dollars per month more than they should, but they will be covered.
I’m really sorry Sir. Do you want to speak to a supervisor?
“No”, I told her. “I have no reason to doubt you. You have laid out our options. Spending more time to hear the same thing is counter-productive. Bouncing up to the supervisor for the purpose of yelling at someone for this mess is really counter-productive. I’m just really disappointed. We expected better than this”.
And that is the truth. We, the American people, deserve better. An experienced agent, I was able to cut through the crap and get to the root of the problem. My clients told me that they would have still been stuck in the application loop. And my clients, unlike many others in their circumstances, would still be uninsured and unprotected.
In a couple of hours on Tuesday, February 11, 2014, I fought the law and the law won.
Update – I took a single woman who has worked at the same job for years through Healthcare.gov today. 50 minutes from start to finish. Proof that it can be done. Further reason that we should expect this or better every time we try.