Update: We were put in touch with an insurance broker who will be able to get us coverage for Jan 2016. We will hopefully never have to deal with the incompetent mess at Maryland Health Connection ever again. The broker told us that she has heard many horror stories about the problems at MD Health Connection and a lawyer friend said he heard there may be a class action lawsuit against them at some point. I hope so. The way that people are being treated is really unacceptable. And I say that as a liberal Democrat who really wants to be in favor of the Affordable Care Act! But this situation is not working and I think the blame for that goes on both sides as we seem unable to compromise and work together to do what is best for ordinary Americans.
I am pregnant and an American citizen in the U.S. and yet despite health insurance being legally required here, I am unable to get any.
This is the third time since that law took effect that my husband and I have been screwed over in a major way by Maryland Health Connection health care exchange. They treat the citizens of Maryland horrifically and I am amazed that there have not been reforms yet. It’s completely unacceptable in this supposedly great nation.
I ask you to spread the word, to spread this post, to talk about this, to make some noise. The only way I see for us to be treated fairly is if these people are shamed into action.
I will be contacting our congressman to talk about how badly we are being treated.
For our district it is John Sarbanes, phone number (410) 295-1679 and website with more contact info: https://sarbanes.house.gov/
I beg you to help me get the word out! This is my only hope at this point.
I have come to the end of what I can do working with Maryland Health Connection. I can see no way for us to get insured and this is a very stressful situation as I have not been able to see a doctor for my pregnancy.
Here is the whole gory story…
We first found out we would need to get private health insurance when Brad accepted a job contract that did not come with insurance and I work for myself. We called Maryland Health Connection and got set up. They told us to watch for a bill at the end of August (I thought it was 2013, but I realize now it must have been 2014). I waited but by the end of August there was no bill. So I called to see what was going on and I was calmly informed that they had sent the bill at the beginning of August and since we didn’t pay it they canceled our coverage.
No warning, no way of knowing. When I said they told us to expect the bill at the end of August they told us that was wrong but not their fault. I told them we never saw a bill and they informed us we should take that up with our post office.
We were pissed, but we waited until the open enrollment period and got on insurance again. We were set up, we paid that very important first bill. Brad set us up for auto-pay. Or so he thought. Apparently it hadn’t gone through. When I started watching our budget more closely I noticed that it didn’t seem to be coming out. So we called to get it straightened out. And we were told that they had cancelled us for non payment.
So we’ve dealt with not having insurance for the past year. We’ll pay a penalty for it at tax time but we have no choice.
I saw on their website that pregnancy was listed as both a qualifying event for a special enrollment period and as not a qualifying event. So we called them to find out which it was (Please remember that EVERY time we call we are on hold for at least forty-five minutes to an hour). We were assured that pregnancy would give us a special enrollment period.
When I got pregnant we called again and a special enrollment period was opened. Brad signed up at the website and we noticed that it really didn’t seem like I was attached to the plan at all. It appeared to be just him even though we’re in the system as a family unit. We called yet again (do remember this is another hour of waiting on hold). They tell us it’s totally fine. I’m on there, it’s okay that we don’t see it.
I watch like a hawk for that bill to come in the mail. This past Friday it arrives and….only Brad is on it!
We try calling Care First, the insurance company, but they tell us we can only make changes through Maryland Health Connection. So we call them yet again. This time someone tells my husband that no we don’t get a special enrollment for my pregnancy and the previous two people were wrong and he shouldn’t have insurance at all. They also say that they will not insure us because of the previous non-payment.
Apparently we are never allowed to have health insurance ever again despite the law mandating it. It is horrifying that this is the only game in town. We have no choice but to continue to deal with these people. Not only do they do everything in their power to prevent us from getting insured but we feel extremely disrespected that we have to wait such incredibly long times to speak to anyone. Even calling five minutes after they open will not get you to a person quickly. We have wasted hours and hours and hours just waiting for someone to pick up and tell us we’re screwed. Major reform needs to happen. More people should be hired and also trained a lot better.
This cannot be what the President had in mind when he required all American citizens to have health insurance.