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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
CT Coots
April 04, 2014 at 9:02 pm

TJ Cobb, you should check your message before you attempt to correct someone else. "His skin color does not make he stupid."
No, just makes you show your ignorance.

Phyllis Mac
April 04, 2014 at 8:52 pm

I think if the government wanted to insure the uninsured, it would have been cheaper on everyone to just enroll them in an insurance plan and the government pay for it rather than have everyone go thru this mess. I agree that everyone needs insurance, but I just think there was a lot simpler way of doing it than the mess we're in now. It has cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars and it will take years to figure this mess out. You would think that all those people in Washington, at least one of them would have a clue wouldn't you.

pse
April 04, 2014 at 8:15 pm

I'm sorry, but it seems to me that since he made his payments as he PROMISED when he entered into this CONTRACT with the brokers,the BROKER should be responsible. He also pointed out to the BROKER that there seemed to be a problem and was told NOT TO WORRY about it, it was ok, it was taken CARE OF, and withdrew ANOTHER payment.... I am seeing this problem everywhere, incompetence is EVERYWHERE, people want THEIR MONEY, and they don't CARE what they do to get it. Doctors, service personnel, co-workers that really have NO IDEA what they are doing, so those of us that really care make everything right....I know that dealing with the insurance companies can be a complex, time consuming process sometimes, but that is what the BROKER is paid to do.... Hillary is right, this country is going downhill fast, and I am disgusted.......

TJ Cobb
April 04, 2014 at 7:58 pm

To Paul Klein you are narrow and simply minded. The word you were trying to spell is yourselves not your selves its one word not two. Please work on your spelling, run on sentences and being a RACIST. HIS SKIN COLOR does not make he stupid, I'm sure The President of the United States President Obama your president and mine know what spell check is. Laughing at you out loud!!!!!!

TJ Cobb
April 04, 2014 at 7:41 pm

People please realize some new programs government or non government have problems in the first place. Give them the chance and time to work the problems out instead of pointing fingers. Well lets face it some women need birth control not cut out to be moms, When you have some of them on welfare or simply not taking motherhood seriously when this country are seeing more and more Grandparents not retired and having to take care of their grandchildren because their sad adult children (male and female) will NOT do the respectable or responsible thing of taking care of their babies that didnt ask to be here. And for the doctors some of them are unable to work with medicare due to the fact they were over billing the government that why more than lightly MS.E Myer doctor unable to be in the programs that's a question that should be ask to the doctor in question, And the government should be more selective on which doctors can be part of the programs since some of them abuse the system. Jail sound good to me. Its STEALING

Paul Klein
April 04, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me! who are the idiots that re-elected that idiot? He has put this country into a mess our grandkids won't be able to dig their way out of. You haven't seen it all yet. I hope you clowns are proud of your selves. We have been set back 100 years thanks to all you that thought you were setting a precedence by electing a person solely on his ethnic background instead of his brains and experience. You have no one to blame but your simple minded selves.

Ellen Myer
April 04, 2014 at 6:10 pm

With a new twist, doctors have opted out of Medicare and any Medicare related secondary insurance. I had to pay cash but was told by my secondary, BCBS, they would pay for the dr. visit, but only after they had confirmation or in this case, denial, from Medicare. My doctor is not allowed to give me any of the information to file the Medicare myself and has given me a letter stating that I can not file Medicare regarding that visit. So now I am paying for TWO insurances and the new laws have made it impossible for me to use either- plus I paid the dr. bill. HOW CAN THE NEW CARE GUIDELINES TAKE AWAY MY RIGHT TO FILE BECAUSE OF AN AGREEMENT MADE BETWEEN TWO OTHER PARTIES, TO WHICH I HAD NO PARTY?

mxolisi804
April 04, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Take a deep breath! Chill! From experience, I can tell you it will all get worked out!

Maggie Snow
April 04, 2014 at 5:29 pm

So we are automatically covered for birth control but not a heart attack!!

Barbara Smith
April 04, 2014 at 5:00 pm

Who would have thought that in the United States we would watch the country fall apart. We are losing our position in the world view. We are becoming worse than Russia as they laugh at our naïve leaders making mistake after mistake. Todays young people do not know the history of our country as our military shed their blood to protect the very freedom that they enjoy today. Well now anything goes. We are being forced to pay more for insurance or pay a fine. Makes no sense at all.

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