In home state of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – one of Obamacare’s biggest boosters – 150 Nevadans joined a class action lawsuit against Nevada Health Link, the state’s health exchange, and Xerox Corp., which helped set up the state’s market place.
It’s just one of several states where consumers who signed up and paid for health insurance policies in the marketplaces found out they were not covered because of technical problems, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Massachusetts – where the model for Obamacare began – is also experiencing problems with the new state exchange, the Journal reported, as are California, Minnesota and Oregon.
While the bulk of negative attention about Obamacare has been on the early struggles of the national Healthcare.gov marketplace and the debate across states that have resisted setting up their own exchanges, there has been considerably less focus on the customer service among the states that have exchanges.
The Journal tells the story of Linda Rolain, previously reported in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
She began using the Nevada Health Co-Op plan on March 1 after a tumor was found in her brain in November. Her husband Robert Rolain said he paid $136 toward the first month’s premium offset by a $420 tax credit, then found out his wife wasn’t covered when he took her to an oncologist in March. They postponed the surgery for two months until, but by then, doctors said her survival chances had diminished.
Linda Rolain died on June 30.
Robert Rolain joined as one of the plaintiffs in the suit for lack of coverage.
Thousands of Nevada residents remain uninsured despite paying insurance premiums or completing all steps to enroll, according to the suit filed in Clark County, Nevada court.
Telling a story from Massachusetts, the Wall Street Journal explained that Taunton, Massachusetts resident Dan Hoye, 31, signed on to Tufts Health Plan through the state’s exchange, with a monthly premium of $646. His daughter Holly was born on April 26. When he contacted the exchange to put her on the plan, but her coverage didn’t begin for two months.
The Journal said, “Months after the sign-up deadline, thousands of Americans who purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act still don’t have coverage due to problems in enrollment systems.”
The story continued, “Others received a policy but then got married, had a baby or another ‘life event’ that required their coverage to be updated, yet have been waiting months for the change to take effect.”
The state of Minnesota has a backlog of 6,500 requests for changes due to a life event and Oregon has 8,200 pending changes for life events, the Journal reported.
Connect for Health Colorado anticipates revenues for the state dropping from $7.9 million to $6.9 million because they are expecting twice as many people to drop their insurance or decline to pay for the policies, the exchange chief financial officer Cammie Blais told the Denver Post. The state’s revised estimates projects 35,800 of its 152,000 individuals covered by the drop their plans.
In the District of Columbia, insurance brokers that helped people sign up for insurance plans are not getting paid, accordingo to The Washington Post.