I want to share with whomever wants to read this, my account of trying to get my health insurance reinstated after it was cancelled in June. For everyone out there who purchased their plan through the Federal Marketplace, and who does not get a subsidy, never been more than 30 days late in paying, because you may have an experience similar to mine.
September 4, 2014
Office of Senator Kay Hagan
701 Green Valley Rd., Ste 201
Greensboro, NC 27408
Dear Senator Hagen (and the staffers who read this),
Thank you for responding to my letter and following up to see if I still needed assistance. My health insurance coverage was reinstated last month, two months after it was cancelled.
As a reminder, I was cancelled due to non-payment. I was having trouble with Coventry’s online payment system and I had no idea I could be cancelled and it would be such a hassle and stress to try to reinstate the plan, even though I had the money and was willing to immediately become current.
I just want to share what I learned through this process:
- Multiple staff at both Coventry Health Care and Healthcare.gov repeatedly gave me wrong information.
- There was no help available to me at the local level. I tried to reach Coventry’s North Carolina staff and meet with someone in person but they kept transferring me a call center specifically for people who purchased their plan through the Exchange. I called Smart NC, a state run office assisting residents with health care issues, and I couldn’t be helped because I purchased my plan from the exchange, so I fell in the “federal assistance” category and outside their jurisdiction.
- Coventry Health Care committed the following amateur and inept acts:
--Cancelled my plan with only one mailed notice
--Sent me a cancellation letter one month after they claimed they cancelled my plan (letter received early June with notice that my plan was cancelled as of May 1)
--Cancellation letter did not include instructions on how to appeal the decision.
--I was told at least 10 times by Coventry staff that I had to wait for them to review my reinstatement request and then I was told by a supervisor that I had to actually submit my request through Healthcare.gov, which I had not done because I was not told that I needed to do this.
--I was told that if I had purchased my plan directly from Coventry (which would have been the same price since I don’t receive a subsidy) that the matter could have been resolved immediately.
--I was not notified of problems with my online payments until 2+ weeks after my payment was returned.
--They never sent me mailed notice of my plan reintstatement. I only knew I was reinstated because I called to check in on the status of my request.
I really believe that all Americans should have universal and single player health care. The problem is the red tape and the complicated system, where there is little to no accountability of the insurance industry. My experience has really shown me that this system is too broken to repair.
I’m looking to Vermont and am hopeful that the state can effectively implement universal health care there.
Wishing you the best,