Insurance perseverance pays off for Holly Springs couple
Posted January 31, 2014
Holly Springs, N.C. — A Holly Springs man who was prepared to forgo health insurance because of his frustration with the enrollment process through the government's online exchange now has coverage because he refused to give up.
Ron Colovi has been without health insurance for four years, so he was excited last fall by the opportunity to get coverage for himself, his wife and their 14-year-old son under the Affordable Care Act.
Colovi was dismayed, however, by the process.
Information on the HealthCare.gov enrollment website told him policies for himself and his wife would cost $627.64 to $860.70 a month, ignoring the fact that the couple would qualify for federal subsidies because of their annual income. Their son was enrolled in CHIP, the state Children's Health Insurance Program.
Also, he said, he kept getting different answers from people at the HealthCare.gov help line about how to revise his application to reflect a subsidy.
Colovi said he was tempted to give up and just pay the tax penalty called for under the Affordable Care Act for not having insurance, but he persevered.
"It got to the point I basically was a thorn in their side," he said.
He kept calling both the online marketplace and Coventry Healthcare of the Carolinas, one of the two insurers that offer plans in North Carolina through the exchange. Finally, his application went through in late January, weeks after he applied, and the couple obtained coverage for $124.70 a month.
"It's a big burden – a big burden – off my shoulders," he said.
Under the Affordable Care Act, most people are required to have health coverage by March 31 or face a tax penalty of 1 percent of annual income or $95 per person, whichever is higher. That penalty will increase in subsequent years.
Colovi advised others having difficulty signing up for coverage through HealthCare.gov to keep trying.
"You're going to have to be a thorn in their side. You're going to hound them, and if you want health insurance, you have to stay with it," he said.