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Obamacare exchange error costs man $407K

By Crissinda Ponder ·
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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April 04, 2014 at 3:19 pm

The headliine is so misleading; no bias on the part of this author, is there? The Affordable Care Act itself is not to blame for a system glitch. They happened before the ACA came along, they just weren't news then. The author of this article must have been desperate for something, anything, to try to make a story demonizing the ACA on the day this tale came along.

April 04, 2014 at 3:05 pm

does the agent have errors and omissions insurance? f all else fails make a claim

Scott D.
April 04, 2014 at 2:45 pm

The left world view doesn’t value freedom/liberty; after all they know what’s best for you better than you do. It is truly a secular religion, a totalitarian one. I believe in freedom of religion, just as long as you don’t force it on me. Their goal of “equality” will trump any other value. If your concern is someone having more than you do there are plenty of smiling tyrants happy to help.

Andrew Lott
April 04, 2014 at 2:38 pm


April 04, 2014 at 2:25 pm

I live in Vegas and naturally this has been on our news. First it's not the "Obama care", which by the way is really the "Affordable Care Act". It was "Nevada Health Link" site that failed, which is still not working. Our state chose to go their own route with their own website. Zerox is the creator who got 75 million to design and failure! I just wanted to clear that up.

April 04, 2014 at 2:11 pm

I no longer have healthcare, I use to, paid out of pocket since 2005. Now I have a 50% increase and can't afford it anymore.
My former payment was $325 per month with a $6,000 deductible.
Then Anthem sent me a new statement for $499 per month with a $6,800 deductible. A few days ago, after months of not having insurance, they made me another offer, $356 per month.
I personally feel by next year that this amount will skyrocket since no one is really signing up. I guess they miss my continued payments with virtually no doctor visits.
I told them "if you get in bed with the devil you are going to get burned". I want no part of this, I cannot afford to subsidize people that chose "free stuff" over work!

April 04, 2014 at 2:03 pm

If the Obamacare health care deform act only did the things you talk about, Missouri Grandmother, it would probably be o.k. But you have conveniently left out many of the evils in the law, and the way they went about it - such as the government trying to mandate how every single American citizen spends their after tax income and money, and violate citizens' and businesses First Amendment religious rights to not pay for things they sincerely believe to violate God's Word based on mainstream religious teachings. Yes, it isn't efficient or right for people to be forced into ER's for health care that is not necessarily an emergency. The way to fix that is NOT to unconstitutionally force all Americans to buy health insurance they may not need or want. There are those who can afford to pay cash as they go, and those who choose not to have all the services they're now forced to pay for thru insurance. Tax credits for having insurance would have been far more effective, and constitutional. Fortunately the U.S. Supreme Court shot down the mandate 9-0, and although claiming the tax on not having insurance is constitutional, also ruled that it's a voluntary, unenforceable tax.

April 04, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Obamacare will never work. Nothing that Obama had any dealings with hasn't worked. Just robbing all the folks that worked for everything they have, and giving it to the ones that are too lazy to work.

April 04, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Jim is all over long as he can prove he was invoiced and paid (them) may take a minute, but he will prevail...and ACA is absolutely about health care.

brian logan
April 04, 2014 at 1:50 pm

I think this whole reform is a joke. all the people that made this decision to let Obama care go through, where are they getting their insurance and how much is it costing them?