We are sure you’ve heard all the bru ha ha about the healthcare exchange and the problems that have presented this year. What could possibly cause a Special Enrollment period 2015? Stay tuned because the current issues people are having actually have more to do with the first year enrollment. Yes, what happened in 2014 is coming back to bite people in their backside.
Issue #1: People who received a subsidy for the first year are discovering once they file their tax return they owe a part of the subsidy back. I (Dr. Wagner) have talked to people who are paying back $800, $1,000 and have read about others paying back $5,000 to even $7,000!! Stop the PRESS!! Wait a minute!! Let’s remember in each of those situations, they also paid a premium every month for an entire year and now, they have to shell out this kind of money. People are FURIOUS!! Some are not getting health insurance the second time around. Others have gotten it and only discovered the GREAT Subsidy Payback after the fact and want to cancel it.
Issue #2: Everyone who got health insurance through their local exchange or the federal exchange has to receive a 1095-A. I’ve talked about that before. Well, lo and behold, California initially sent out 100,000 of these forms that were incorrect. Then the Federal government sent out 800,000 of these forms that were wrong. So people have would be waiting at least 30 days in order to get a corrected form AND these have to be filed with their taxes. I have been reading many many complaints online in various states from Colorado to California. Imagine what will happen when these 900,000 FILE their tax return and some of them end up paying the subsidy back!! YOWZA!!
Issue #3: One constant issue that I saw with the exchanges this year is the lack of customer service. From the different web pages that I viewed, people would be on hold anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours and not get their issue resolved. Then when whoever was monitoring their different pages would ask them to send their phone number by private message, some of them had done that before and still not gotten a resolution.
So here’s what the administration did. They announced a Special Enrollment period 2015 that is scheduled to begin on March 15 to April 30 for those who have to pay a penalty for NOT having insurance!!
Hmm, I’m shaking my head on this one. Why? If the premium was not affordable in 2014 and the price went up in 2015, a one time penalty wouldn’t make me think people would be running to enroll. In Colorado, since they had their own exchange they decided NOT to have a special enrollment.