Thousands of Connecticut Obamacare customers are facing coverage uncertainty after computer glitches estimated incorrect subsidies or randomly dropped them from their health plans without warning – even though they’d paid premiums.
About 3,900 customers of Access Health CT, the state-run Obamacare exchange that has been one of the more successful health care marketplaces thus far, were incorrectly told they qualified for Medicaid due to a computer glitch, The Hartford Courant reports. Other customers received bills from their insurance companies that displayed a different amount than they’d agreed to on the exchange website – and at least 903 customers were unceremoniously kicked off their coverage without warning.
The problems were caused by faulty 834 insurer forms, which caused significant problems at the federal exchange website HealthCare.gov as well. The forms detail the amount of premium tax credits customers qualify for. The “system error” in the 834 forms was discovered on July 1, CEO Kevin Counihan said after state Republicans inquired about customer complaints over dropped coverage.
Some of the customers received paperwork and made premium payments, but have somehow lost their coverage anyway, WTNH reports. Others were told to wait for further paperwork to fill out before their health plans could be activated, but never received the extra forms.
One customer described her frustration with trying to actually access the coverage she purchased for her son.
“Well May comes along when it was supposed to start and I start saying, ‘We don’t have a card, he needs a card, can you send us a card,’ and they still didn’t tell me there was an issue until he went to a walk-in clinic at the end of May and found out he had no coverage,” said Diane Nadeau.
The exchange said Nadeau’s son was dropped from his plan for lack of payment, but Nadeau insisted that despite repeated attempts to get a bill for the exchange plan her son signed up for, no one ever answered her.
“I’ve been calling you like 20 times to find out where the bill is, how much it is, and how we can make a payment to you,” Nadeau charged.
After finally reaching state officials, Nadeau was told that if she made a payment the very same day, her son would have coverage July 1 – two months after his health insurance was supposed to begin.
“This is going to be bumpy,” Kevin Counihan said. “There are going to be some glitches and, you know, big surprise, we got them and you know what guys, we’re going to get more.”
Counihan said the problems are temporary and that, despite customers’ reports, their coverage will be restored.
“I say temporarily with great deliberation, because they are not losing their coverage,” Counihan said.
The exchange will begin contacting customers who did not receive paperwork or were dropped from their coverage beginning July 11, according to WTNH. Officials hope to have a permanent fix to the glitch by July 18.