March 1, 2015
A new health insurance policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC (BCBSNC), subsidized by Healthcare.gov begins. The subsidized rate is $257.83. This replaces my policy with BCBSNC that, on Jan 1, increased from $295 to $405 due to me turning 50.
April 23, 2015
I called the Marketplace 800# (Healthcare.gov) to correct my mailing address. They did not have the suite#. However, the street name and number as well as the city, state and zip code were correct.
May 18, 2015
I receive a new health insurance card and info from BCBSNC in the mail. The subscriber number is the same, but the group id and the account number have changed. It says I have an increased rate of $495.83 a month (effective as of April 23, 2015). An additional amount of $132.22 was added (prorate from April 23 – 30). Invoice total was $628.05.
May 20, 2015
I call the Marketplace 800#. I was told that because correcting a mailing address is considered a ‘life change’ by Healthcare.gov my subsidy was automatically cancelled and I was given a new policy, without any subsidy, and with higher deductibles across the board. I am told by the first representative that she is aware of this ‘life change’ problem and internally the other reps are upset about it as it happens all the time.
My call is escalated to a supervisor who matter-of-factly says that I should have known that a mailing address correction would cancel my policy. She directs me to the ‘appeals form’ on the Healthcare.gov website and says it would likely take 3 months to be looked at. She said that if I don’t pay the current higher premium of $495.83/month from BCBSNC, I cannot reapply for insurance through Healthcare.gov until the following year.
• I was originally never told that correcting the mailing address over the phone would automatically cancel my subsidy.
• My new rate of $495.83/month is $90/month HIGHER than my old policy that was replaced by the Healthcare.gov policy on March 1st. And my deductibles are higher and my benefits worse.
May 21, 2015
I mail in the appeals form and all required paperwork to the address in London, KY. I subsequently was told to pay the $628.05 to keep my changed policy in effect.
May 23, 2015
I went online at BCBSNC.com to register the new policy but it would not accept it even though they already sent me a bill and the insurance cards with the updated subscriber number and group number. I went to the pharmacy to get prescriptions drugs refilled. They said the policy is in the system but not ‘activated’ by BCBSNC yet. They told me to call BCBSNC. It is the Memorial Weekend and nobody in that department of BCBSNC would answer the phone.
May 26, 2015 (Tuesday, day after Memorial Day)
I called BCBSNC and they said ‘registration’ of this newest policy – aka: getting it into the system – would take about 10 days and that I could not pay the premium due, $628.05, until it was complete. The rep said she would escalate it but it would likely take another 5 business day. I was told to pay the cash price for the drugs and I would be reimbursed later. So now the premium invoice states that the policy will be canceled if not paid by May 31st and the good people at BCBSNC of NC say I can’t pay the premium until it is completely ‘in the system’ which may not happen until AFTER May 31st.
May 27, 2015
Tried repeatedly to contact BCBSNC via phone. It kept saying they were having technical errors and it would auto end the call. This happened ALL day.
May 28, 2015
Called BCBSNC and waited 22 minutes for a rep. She said the “first” system was telling her that my new policy was terminated by HealthCare.gov and to call them. After additional questioning by me she asked her supervisor and they looked into a “second” system – which told them that the policy WASN’T canceled but was still not fully built into the system. She said that even though my issue was already ‘escalated’ it would actually take about 10 business days to fix. I was instructed to mail in a check for my premium payment and it would be applied when the policy was fully active in the system. I was also told to pay cash for my drug prescriptions, which now are a week into not being filled, and I would be reimbursed. Lastly, she said she would call me on June 4th to update me on the status.