The Obama administration insists healthcare.gov is improving. Tell that to John Gisler, who has given up on Obamacare after being unable buy on the website and making more than 50 phone calls.
White House chief technology officer Todd Park testifies before the House Oversight Committee about problems with implementation of the Obamacare healthcare.gov website on Nov. 13, 2013. (AP/J. Scott Applewhite)
The Utah man was trying to buy health insurance for his 45-year-old son who has a degenerative condition affecting his coordination and speech, The Washington Post reported.
His son is covered through Utah's high-risk insurance pool, but that ends Dec. 31, the same time the administration anticipates people enrolling into Obamacare-approved insurance plans. Because Gisler doesn't want a coverage gap, he's going to skip out on the $3,000 tax credit he could get through the Obamacare exchanges and buy from a local insurance broker.
“We’ve had three separate applications that failed to make it through,” Gisler said. “I have a notebook with all the calls I’ve made, maybe 50 or 100. It just goes on and on.”
Now he's finished trying.
“We have a son who is critically ill,” Gisler told the Post. “We cannot take any chances. Not having insurance would, in no short order, lead our family to bankruptcy.”
Gisler is an example of people whose current plans will be canceled but are still unable to buy from the exchanges. These are the people the Post calls, “Obamacare's biggest losers.” Dec. 23 is the last day to purchase insurance on the exchange to comply with individual mandate that begins Jan. 1, 2014.
About 1.2 million have enrolled in coverage since the troubled start in October, when enrollment began.
About two-thirds of the 300,000 Americans who get coverage from state high-risk pools – similar to what Gisler's son received in Utah – will lose it by the end of the month, the Post reported. These policies cover the highest priced medications and treatments.
“For some of the high-risk members, it's a matter of life or death,” says Tanya Case, executive director of the National Association of State High Risk Pools. “We have many members who are on specialty medications that they have no way of affording on their own.”
(H/T: Weasel Zippers)