A Missouri woman says it took her six weeks, countless hours on the phone, multiple letters to public officials and finally a trip to the physical location of an insurance company to discontinue a health plan she purchased through the Affordable Care Act’s exchange.
“It’s consumed my whole life,” Lesli Hill, 62, told Fox News.
“I felt like I’d slipped into a parallel universe,” she added. “It’s just as hard to go off as it is to get on.”
[sharequote align=”center”]“I felt like I’d slipped into a parallel universe.”[/sharequote]
Hill’s journey reportedly started last fall, when the new health law forced her old plan to be discontinued. Thinking it was her best option, Hill says she purchased a $950-per-month plan through Obamacare.
But, shortly after, the 62-year-old learned of a superior plan off the exchanges that would give her better benefits.
The caveat? Hill says she had to cancel her existing insurance through Obamacare first.
“At that point, I hadn’t paid my premium … so I thought OK, that’ll be easy to do,” she said.
It turns out it wasn’t.
According to Fox News, Hill naturally tried at first to push the “terminate button” on the website. It didn’t work.
She then called the healthcare.gov headline, with she says rendered her “literally on hold for several hours a day.” After multiple attempts, Hill says she got frustrated with the “script” operators were reading from.
But she kept moving forward. Eventually, she says she got the impression her account had been cancelled.
Turns out it was still active. The insurance company had reportedly just withdrawn another $950 from her account.
Hill says she then tried the healthcare.gov hotline again and was eventually told cancellations are taken care of by a “special department” — but the agent said the number could not be given out.
“He said, ‘I’m not allowed to tell you that,'” Hill told Fox News. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”
She then turned to her elected representatives, emailing the governor, state senators and more, all to no avail.
Finally, fed up, Hill says she physically traveled down to the Blue Cross Blue Shield offices and asked for help to cancel her premium. According to Fox News, they were able to assist her and work with the federal help line to discontinue her insurance.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services, nevertheless, insisted individuals should call and use the hotline to cancel policies, when questioned by Fox News.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter