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?
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