One Man’s ObamaCare “Nightmare”

By:  Michael Tennant
06/17/2014
       
One Man’s ObamaCare “Nightmare”

A Wisconsin man found himself confused, frustrated, and tied up in red tape when he tried to buy insurance on an ObamaCare exchange, and he's still not sure his whole family is covered.

ObamaCare, Alan Scholl declared, is “everything I expected socialized medicine to be.” His attempts to obtain health insurance for his family under the healthcare law have been a “nightmare” of confusion, frustration, complications, delays, and bureaucracy, the 61-year-old Appleton, Wisconsin, resident explained in an interview with The New American.

Scholl’s odyssey through the ObamaCare labyrinth began more than five months and, by his estimate, “well over 100 hours” of effort ago — and it is still unresolved.

“I left an organization where I’d had a health plan for many years, and since I was [now] with an organization that was too small and not well enough funded to, or big enough to have a health plan, I was forced to turn to the exchange,” Scholl said. He had looked into buying insurance on the open market, he added, but “it’s either prohibitively expensive … or it doesn’t meet the qualifications” of the healthcare law. Since the Badger State chose not create its own exchange, that meant navigating the treacherous waters of Healthcare.gov.

“My first three forays into the system were small nightmares on their own,” Scholl said. “I was subjected to a very detailed and very intrusive set of requirements in terms of all the information that the system wanted about me and my kids and et cetera. It really wasn’t telling me much. There were a few plans displayed on the exchange website, but they all had some sort of qualifiers or exceptions on them or were very vague about benefits and cost, bait-and-switch sorts of things: where you can get this plan, or that plan, but you have to qualify for it, or for a discount, and in order to do find out, you have to enroll. It reminded me of a bear trap.”

Already thoroughly confused, Scholl enlisted the help of a local insurance agent. After “several hours” of reviewing plans and discussing the “complicated” process by which an individual’s tax subsidy for buying insurance is calculated, Scholl said they finally settled on a suitable plan. Scholl claims he tried “repeatedly” to sign up for the plan through Healthcare.gov, both on his own and with the agent’s assistance, but found that no matter what he did, the system refused to include his 13- and 16-year-old daughters on the plan. (Another daughter, who is in college, was included.) After many hours of struggling with the website, the two men concluded that Healthcare.gov had determined that Scholl’s minor children qualified for Medicaid and therefore would not permit them to be covered under his exchange plan — a common problem with ObamaCare, as The New American reported in January.

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