We’ve heard story after story about how hard it’s been for people to sign up for health insurance through the Obamacare exchanges. As bad as it’s been, trying to cancel is even worse. At least according to one woman who spent six weeks trying to cancel her Obamacare plan. Lesli Hill’s former policy was cancelled, so she went to the exchange and found another policy but she wasn’t that thrilled with it. Then she found out that her insurer was going to be able to offer a plan similar to what she had before, so she decided she didn’t want the Obamacare policy after all. She hadn’t yet paid, so didn’t think it would be a big deal. Boy, did she ever find out that it wasn’t going to be easy.
However, shortly afterward Hill, 62, learned she could once again purchase an individual plan — with better benefits — outside the exchange. She checked with Blue Cross Blue Shield in early December and was told she’d have to cancel her ObamaCare plan first.
“At that point, I hadn’t paid my premium … so I thought okay, that’ll be easy to do,” she said.
Ostensibly, yes. She tried using a simple “terminate button” on the website — but it wasn’t working.
Thus started what we’ll call the journey.
Hill first tried the HealthCare.gov help line, and “literally was on hold for several hours a day,” she said. After multiple attempts, without much luck, she tried the online chat. She was redirected back to the help line. The “script” that operators were reading from did not seem to address how someone could actually cancel a plan.
Hill continued to call the help line around the holidays, and eventually was given the impression that, at last, the plan was terminated.
But then, a $950 premium was withdrawn from her account — which she knew meant she was still enrolled.
Read the whole thing, it got worse. She was told she had to call a “special department” that handles cancellations, but then they refused to give her the number. She had to jump through all sorts of hoops and enlist the help of Blue Cross Blue Shield before she finally got the policy cancelled. When asked about cancelling Obamacare policies the HHS spokesperson said to call the Marketplace consumer call center, which is the same place that gave Ms. Hill the runaround.
Update: Linked by Regular Right Guy – thanks!
Update: Linked by The Pirate’s Cove – thanks!