My wife and I have been covered under an insurance plan from her employer for a couple of years now. Since she is no longer working, we were able to still use the insurance, but in January, we were going to have to switch to COBRA and as we all know, it was going to be crazy expensive.
So, I decided that I was going to go out and get insurance for myself. Just to be able to say that felt so damn amazing. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, I am able to go out and search for my own insurance and include my wife and daughter on that policy. The downside? I had never searched for health insurance before, so I was absolutely clueless where to start.
On December 15, because why wouldn’t I wait until the last day in order to get coverage starting January 1, I sat on the phone with Florida BCBS for nearly 3-4 hours trying to get an application in for a marketplace plan. I knew that I would be receiving a subsidy, so I didn’t want to get a plan directly through Florida Blue, but wanted a marketplace plan that was Florida Blue’s.
This took so long because I needed to have myself, my wife and my daughter all added into this application and added to the plan.
After several hours, I was done. I chose a plan, I knew how much my premium was going to be and everything was set. All I had to do was pay my premium before January 1 and I was good to go.
January 2 came and I had already paid my premium, so I called Florida Blue to find out what my member ID was because I had a doctor’s appointment on Monday, as well as my daughter. When I called, they couldn’t give me my ID # yet because it hadn’t been populated. Also, they told me that my daughter was actually not even enrolled on my plan.
I just about lost it. I had spent hours on the phone with Florida Blue confirming that she was on the insurance. There was nothing else Florida Blue could do, I had to go and call the Marketplace to make changes.
I finally spoke to someone at the Marketplace and they explained the situation that my daughter was on the application, however, was not added to the plan and that it was an error on their end. So, I had to spend 3 more hours on the phone with the Marketplace again to re-do the application, get my daughter added and then had to wait and speak to a level 2 customer service rep to get my daughter’s insurance backdated to January 1 as opposed to February 1 since I was doing this after the cutoff date. This entire process took nearly 5 hours on my Saturday.
I called Florida Blue back today in order to get my member ID because I need prescriptions and labs done. Finally, they had my member ID and I asked out of curiosity if my daughter was added…..and she was!!!!
It was the first piece of good news I heard from an insurance company in a really long time.
My advice to others who go to the Marketplace for the first time is ask a million questions, confirm things hundreds of times, get names, employee ID #’s, extensions, speak to managers, do whatever you need to do in order to ensure that your information is being handled properly.
After over 10 hours on the phone with insurance over 2 days, I think everything is good to go. Until the next phone call.