All it takes is one mistake. You’re not looking. Or someone doesn’t see you crossing the road. Maybe it’s not a accident. Our bodies just decide to fail us today. In the space of a moment, you’re in the hospital, thinking you’re covered by Obamacare and, uh, you’re not. This is a scenario actually happening. People are entering hospitals and then leaving without treatment because hospital staff can’t verify whether or not they have insurance under Obamacare. They’re the Obamacare ‘orphans’ in the system that can’t be found because of glitches.
“I had chest pains last night, and they took me in the emergency room. They told me they were going to admit me, but when I told them I hadn’t hear from my insurance company since I signed up, they changed their tune.”
Mary added, “Why is this so complicated? I had my own private insurance last year, but they cancelled me in November. I’m not sure which end is up.” (Breitbart)
In some cases, people are missing a crucial step: Paying their first premium. But it might help if they were actually getting the premium bills. In most cases, however, Obamacare itself that is the problem.
It turns out that while people may have ‘successfully’ enrolled on Healthcare.gov, insurers have no idea that these applicants exist. Or the opposite is true and insurance companies have a record, but the government does not. Now for the worst bit, in order to check this, it has to be done manually:
“…orphaned files — when the insurer has no record of enrollment — are particularly concerning because the companies have no automated way to identify the presumed policyholder. They say they have to manually compare the lists of enrollees the government sends them with their own records because the government never built an automated system that would do the work much faster.” (AP/NPR)
So, say, an Obamacare ‘enrollee’ has an emergency and has to go to the hospital before they get their insurance card. In order for the hospital to verify that he or she has Obamacare, someone out there has to manually check for their enrollment. According to one doctor, there’s no website to check. They have to call…and wait. A wait that could last hours with the overwhelming number of people having problems with Obamacare.
As an example, courtesy of “On the Record,” one doctor’s office was on the phone nearly 3 hours trying to confirm whether or not a patient had coverage for a crucial surgery. He eventually went ahead with the surgery without confirmation.
“Some have cards, some are not sure whether they signed up — they have not received the card. And so there’s a lot of anxiety on their part in terms of coverage. For us, as physicians, you know, we’re treating these patients, not knowing for sure. There’s no way we can easily go in and — on a website or to find out whether they have coverage. So it puts a lot more work on our staff to verify their coverage. And quite often they can’t stay on the phone for two, three hours trying to verify this. …[And] it could be two, three months of doing things like this,” Dr. John Venetos told “On The Record.”
Note that it could be poor timing on the doctor’s part (the surgery was scheduled the day after New Year’s) but with the way things are currently being handled with Obamacare, I wouldn’t want to test my fate on even a regular weekday.
Back in December, Obamacare glitches caused nearly a third of enrollments to be “corrupted or otherwise contain errors.”
“…that means as many as 700,000 Americans might falsely believe they have a current health insurance policy.”
“Mary and others like her, who took the time to enroll but may not follow the daily flood of news about Obamacare, likely don’t know one way or the other.” (DailyMail)
In one specific example, a report last Friday from The Washington Times stated that 18,000 West Virginians have to re-enroll now because of site glitches. But that doesn’t mean all the Obamacare errors have been accounted for:
“HealthCare.Gov on the front-end is in pretty good shape. It’s where it should’ve been at launch. The back-end is still highly problematic. Clearly the administration put its emphasis on the consumer side. Insurers are still seeing errors in probably 5 percent of the files coming through. That’s compounded by the issue of all the people enrolling in the last few weeks….It’ll take until about the end of January till everyone is straightened out and where they should be,” a healthcare industry expert told Washington Post’s WonkBlog.
So don’t have any life-threatening incidents before then, okay?!
Top Obamacare Tip of the Day: If you think you’re enrolled, DOUBLE-CHECK.
Don’t wait until you’re bleeding on the floor or being carried into a hospital to test your Obamacare fate.
According to AP, “insurers say it usually takes a few days for a customer’s file to reach them after they enroll through the exchange. People who still do not receive their insurance cards and introductory packet after that should call insurers first for help. If the insurer has no record of them, they must contact the government for help.”
Also, if you’ve gotten to the point where you’ve made a payment, then Yahoo! Finance suggests these two quick tests:
- First, check that the money was withdrawn from your bank account or charged to your credit card.
- Second, call your insurer to verify that their record shows payment. If both of these tests check out, then you have done everything right and all that’s left is to do is wait and see.
Meanwhile, Sen. Paul has been dealing with Obamacare glitches as well and having to prove that his son exists.
WATCH: Paul’s Son Can’t Get Obamacare
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