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Obamacare exchange error costs man $407K

By Crissinda Ponder · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Posted: 3 pm ET

Larry Basich is stuck in a health insurance limbo that has him owing $407,000.

It took the Las Vegas man multiple attempts to sign up for a health plan through Nevada Health Link, the state's Obamacare exchange, during the early days of the Affordable Care Act's technologically challenged open enrollment.

He told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that completing the enrollment process was like "reaching the third level of Doom." It took him until mid-November to sign up for a health plan that was supposed to kick in on Jan. 1.

Payments made, but ...

Basich's initial premium payment cleared his bank account, but he never received confirmation of his health coverage. Nevada Health Link assured him that he was enrolled, even though his chosen insurer said it didn't have any of record of him in its system. The exchange sent him invoices for January and February, which he also paid.

In a tough turn of events, Basich suffered a heart attack on New Year's Eve and had to undergo triple bypass surgery on Jan. 3. His medical bills totaled $407,000 -- an amount which isn't being covered through the health plan he has been paying for since November.

What went wrong?

Basich and his insurance broker say a system error caused Nevada Health Link's contractor, Xerox, to list Basich in its system for a plan other than the one he selected. The broker, Tamar Burch, told the Review-Journal that Xerox "is truly out of their league."

Xerox is currently working to resolve the issue, according to Jennifer Wasmer, a company spokeswoman.

"Mr. Basich's issue is complex, and we're working on it every day," Wasmer told the newspaper.

Patience is thinning

At this point, all Basich wants is for Nevada Health Link to keep the health coverage promise it made when it withdrew those monthly premium payments from his account, the 62-year-old told the newspaper.

Burch, the insurance broker, says she still thinks the Affordable Care Act is "a great concept," but she says Basich's experience has been unfortunate.

What are your thoughts? How would you feel if you paid for health insurance and then got stuck with $407,000 in medical bills?

Follow me on Twitter: @CrissiPonder.

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163 Comments
TJ Cobb
April 04, 2014 at 9:57 pm

Laughing out loud. I guess most of you simple minded racist of the U.S. would make a comment like this. Not worried about or dont care about this man who has a large bill. Oh blah blah blah are not words. I love this up set you. Why? Would take up for a stupid fool that made a comment like that in the first place. Dont waste your time writing anything else to me. Im playing candy crush

Just a comment
April 04, 2014 at 9:24 pm

To TJCobb, People like you are the problem. Telling someone what to do like using spell check. Apparently, you used spell check and it made you sound like an idiot:
[Well lets face it] Let's is a contraction of let us with an apostrophe?
[When you have some of them on welfare... blah blah blah] Huge run on sentence.
[that why more} That is why more?
[Jail sound good to me} Jail sounds?
[HIS SKIN COLOR does not make he stupid] he stupid? It should be him stupid. You are telling other people to rely on spell check?
[I am sure that the president...yours and mine... know what spell check is] Spel check spelled it korectally, but you are the idiot.

TJ Cobb
April 04, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hey CT Coots Please!!!! I guess you dont get when someone being like a jerk back at a jerk. Joke on you too!! No comment on the story is the issue. Try reading it

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