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After 14 attempts, Franklinton man not sure if he has insurance

Posted January 1, 2014

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— The Affordable Care Act’s major benefits began taking effect Wednesday, but some people say they still don’t know what coverage they have.

David Miller, of Franklinton, says he has applied, canceled and reapplied for health insurance for his family 14 times. After weeks of technical glitches, he was finally able to select a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan that would cover him, his wife and twin sons. However, he still encountered problems.

“We got to the very last step. We had it all set up, and when we hit the confirm button, then another technical glitch prevented us from being able to complete the process,” Miller said, adding that he has no idea if he and his family are covered. “Every time we think we’re getting close, then there’s another technical glitch, as they call it.”

The family will soon have to buy new insulin for one of their sons, Ian, who has Type I diabetes. His insulin costs $300 per vial with no insurance. Miller says it’s not just the medicine cost that he’s worried about – the bigger concern is not having the security of health insurance coverage if their son is hospitalized again.

“We’re at risk if we go to the hospital, because having a major scare with his diabetes, we’re completely on the hook for everything,” he said.

Miller says he called Blue Cross Blue Shield and was told that his application has not been forwarded to them. He says he calls the Healthcare.gov helpline about every other day and regularly spends two to three hours on the phone waiting for and then talking with service representatives and their supervisors who are unable to tell him his status or how to proceed.

“It’s extremely frustrating. I can’t imagine that any organization can work treating people like that without having answers, without having anybody you can turn to to get an answer,” Miller said.

Miller, who owns a small roofing business and is Internet savvy, says he does qualify for a federal subsidy, which is why he's going through Healthcare.gov. Yet, when he calls the help line, he says their default answer is to start a new application, which he has done 14 times.

Miller says he plans to be back on the phone Thursday, trying to get answers about his family’s health insurance coverage.
 

119 Comments

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  • Pseudonym Jan 2, 2014

    Dude, just go to bsbcnc.com and sign up. Forget the whole Obamacare angle.

  • tarrivertrader Jan 2, 2014

    ll know how the Millers feel. I attempted to enroll from Oct. 1st until Dec. 5th when my agent finally I got me registered. I paid first month on Dec. 5th also received an e-mail from BCBS the same day stating I would receive my package and ID card with in two weeks. I called BCBS this morning and talked to 3 different people for 3 hours and 12 minutes. The first person told me that I wasn't in the system and took all my information and transferred me to second person who finally told me she had my basic info (which was the info the first guy took down and told me they were behind because of the holidays. Told me mine had been mailed before Christmas.
    When I asked for my ID number she abruptly put me back in waiting cycle for another1 hour and 15 min. The third person was much nicer than the second and finally said my info was being entered now and could possibly receive it around Jan 10th. This means lady number two lied to me before hanging up on me.

  • cgpvnp Jan 2, 2014

    I find it quite interesting that in NC Blue Cross Blue Shield is the ONLY CHOICE that people have. So what is the problem here? Does anyone have any thoughts?
    dollibug
    January 2

    =============

    They are the only choice b/c they are the only ones who chose to participate. United healthcare said no thanks to enrolling a lot of sick and old people and didn't want to play on the exchange. You can still buy from them direct, just not on the exchange.

  • prodigalrn Jan 2, 2014

    Wait, didn't the SCOTUS determine that ObamaCare IS a tax? Thanks Democrats for more taxes enforced by the IRS.
    JAFOinWF
    January 2, 2014 1:15 p.m

    But again, (read this part slowly so it will sink in) the ACA only allows the IRS the authority to garnish your tax refund check for not paying the fine for not having health insurance. Failure to pay taxes isn't even in this discussion, though you keep straining mightily to make it so. Again, two separate issues there.

  • prodigalrn Jan 2, 2014

    Wait, didn't the SCOTUS determine that ObamaCare IS a tax? Thanks Democrats for more taxes enforced by the IRS.
    JAFOinWF
    January 2, 2014 1:15 p.m

    Thanks Democrats? For a decision rendered by the Supreme Court, (with a Republican justice being the deciding vote)? You sure you want to thank Democrats for that? Seems like you're doing a bit of a reach with your blame-game. That darned Constitution, it's so pesky sometimes. Laws are only valid when Republicans think they are, and only then, huh?

  • junkmail5 Jan 2, 2014

    Wait, didn't the SCOTUS determine that ObamaCare IS a tax?- JAFOinWF

    For purposes of determining constitutionality, yes it is.

    But the law -explicitly forbids- any enforcement of that particular tax other than taking it from your refund.

    No wage garnish.

    No touching your bank accounts.

    No arresting you.

    No jail.

    NO FORCE OF ANY KIND.

  • junkmail5 Jan 2, 2014

    Doctors are so expensive because of mal-practice insurance and ambulance chasing lawyers. Changes could have been made that would have drastically reduced the cost of healthcare without turning our system into a 3rd world market....thanks Obama. lessismor

    meanwhile back in reality, some individual states HAVE done tort reform.

    Guess what?

    They did NOT see any significant drop in medical costs.

    Because lawsuits aren't actually a major factor in those costs.

  • JAFOinWF Jan 2, 2014

    Now not paying your TAXES is another discussion.- prodigalrn

    Wait, didn't the SCOTUS determine that ObamaCare IS a tax? Thanks Democrats for more taxes enforced by the IRS.

  • prodigalrn Jan 2, 2014

    First- no, they're not "using force" - junkmail

    So, you don't understand that the IRS can come and lock you up for not paying taxes. I would say that is govt force. If you say that I don't have to, then can I not pay the extra 1k that I am paying for ObamaCare and noone will force me into anything?
    JAFOinWF
    January 2, 2014 12:18 p.m

    What Junkmail is saying, (Correctly, I might add) is the IRS, per the rules put into the bill, only have the authority to dock your tax refund for failure to pay the fine for not having health insurance. Now not paying your TAXES is another discussion. THAT they can go after you for, but not the healthcare bill, only thing they can do is dock your refund. Two different issues here.

  • prodigalrn Jan 2, 2014

    Doctors are so expensive because of mal-practice insurance and ambulance chasing lawyers. Changes could have been made that would have drastically reduced the cost of healthcare without turning our system into a 3rd world market....thanks Obama.
    lessismore
    January 2, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    You can thank Obama all you want, but those of us who are a little more open-minded seem to remember that Bush had 8 years, 6 of them with veto-proof super-majorities, and he couldn't get tort-reform through congress either. Guess it's those lawyers in congress being a little reluctant to step on fellow lawyers' toes and mess up the gravy-train, huh? Our current state of health care is no more the fault of Obama as anyone else. It's taken us 50 years to get here, with both democrat and republican leaders, all who were too cowardly to stand up to special interests and put the average guy ahead of the lobbyists money. Don't see that changing anytime soon, regardless of which party is in charge.

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