Thursday, November 07, 2013

My sad experiences so far with the KY healthcare exchange.

Does it really have to be this hard?

Adventures with some back ground information

In October, I went online and filled out the application, since I and my two remaining kids at home do not have health insurance through my employer and I was curious what it would cost. I am not in any way interested in handing over my hard earned money to some for-profit insurance executive who is just going to use it to buy another yacht instead of providing me healthcare. After all, every last bit of that “profit” reported by insurance companies was money paid by people for healthcare that didn’t get spent on their healthcare. That should be obvious.

I left the system then without buying any insurance, because the least expensive plan I was offered was more than 25% of my take-home pay, which is ridiculous and certainly not “affordable.”

So when I quit my job recently (a long story – long and short of it I was being asked to do things that are illegal, like file false tax forms for clients), I wondered if this would change the application status in any way. Perhaps I would be offered a more reasonable plan. So I went online, but I could not figure out how to change the info on the app. So I decided to try the “get help” button.

First off, in order to get help, you have to login. Then, in order to activate the online help option, the “customer” is required to give a detailed explanation of the issue at hand, which I did in the fields provided. After doing so, this is the result:

Take 1

jessica : Hi, my name is jessica. How may I help you?

Me: Did you read the information I just entered?

jessica: I'm sorry I didn't receive anything.

Me: So...what was the point of typing this stuff in? Here, let me cut and paste it for you to this box.

Me: I now am no longer employed. I need to change my application to remove the w-2 income listed as it will not be part of my 2014 income. I do not plan to seek another job.

jessica: Ok, you should login SSP and make necessary adjustments

Through the SSP, the individual or employee can update the demographic information that is on the application. New information can be added by selecting the life event which caused the changes to the information. The information can be updated without a life event if the change does not require a life event to change.
Steps to make changes:
After providing all of the required information on the application data collection screens, the user is shown a summary of their application information on the Application Summary screen.
At this point, the user can go back into any section of the application by clicking the “Edit” link next to that item and modifying the applicable screens.
"Report a Change in circumstance” initiates the process for the user to report any change in family circumstances that may impact their coverage eligibility.
The Settings tab allows the user to manage information related to his/her account. Using the “Edit” links on this page, the user can:
1. update his/her password through Kentucky Online Gateway;
modify their mailing address; and
change contact information through the functionality available on this page.
This page also displays links for the user to report a change and change/reset their password.
[Clearly a canned, cut and paste response]

Me: What does SSP mean?

jessica: Self Service Portal

Me: Obviously I am already logged in or I wouldn't be chatting with you. I didn't see anywhere to change the application.
jessica: What's your case #?

Me: ###########

Me: Clicking on the "applications" tab only shows me an uneditable PDF of what was already submitted. Where is the place to edit?

Me: Also, I don't recall that the application ask anywhere what we are already paying for my husband's health insurance through his job. If the amount we're supposed to have to pay every month for insurance is capped at some percent, how do you know if that percent has already been reached if you didn't ask about the existing premiums?

Me: I meant to say: I don’t recall that the application asked anywhere what we were already paying...

jessica: I don't believe it does ask. It just advises you of insurance options.

jessica: In Overview to make changes, you click into Settings

Me: So how can it possibly calculate what assistance you should receive? If we're already paying more than our mortgage payment for his insurance, that should be a factor in deciding help for me and the kids, I would think. Otherwise this whole thing is a joke.

[I go back to the “overview” tab and look over the options again.]
Me: So, basically it doesn't matter that we're paying more than our mortgage for insurance that only covers him? The rest of us are not eligible for any help, even though we don’t make anywhere near 94000?

[Our actually annual income is very well south of that, even when I was employed 32 hrs a week lately.]
Me: What makes you think his insurance has anything to do with me or the kids? We're not covered by it.

jessica: The assistance is based on household income and family size. For example; household size of 4 max income to receive assistance is $94,000+. Also if you pay more than 10% of income for an employer based insurance, you can opt out and purchase private insurance that at a lower cost.

Me: I don't pay anything for employer based insurance, because I'm not employed. He is required to carry their plan. The XXXXXXX Company is "self-insured" and all employees have to participate. We cannot "go with a private insurer." He has no options.

Me: That leaves the rest of us with no affordable insurance.

jessica: Ok, I didn't know. So what exactly can I help you with? Were you able to edit your app?

Me: I'm trying. I don't know what it is doing. I am hitting "next" a lot.
[The app does not allow you to just change one section. You have to click through the whole thing.]

Me: Now it is to the signature page.
Me: It says it is processing.

Me: Now it says that I and my son Will are not "verified." What does that mean? His information didn't even change.

Me: OK, now it's saying me and my 2 sons need to verify we are citizens. That's ridiculous. I was born here in the US and so were all my kids.

Me: In fact, all four of my kids were born here in [this city, Ky].

jessica: I think you should allow app to process fully. Maybe if you log out and then login. I also believe you need one on one verbal response regarding your app. I don't have the specifics that you require to respond to your statements. So, you should contact customer service @ 855-459-6328

Me: You are not customer service?

jessica: No

Me: Well, thank you for your time. It's a shame this thing is such a joke.

jessica: I just think there is a lot we don't fully understand everything yet. But thank you for contacting Kynect and have a good day.

So, after chatting with Jessica, I go to the applications tab and look at what is there. Now there are two apps – but both have the same date/time stamp, and scrolling through them both shows no changes were recorded in my app.

Take 2

karen : Hi, my name is karen. How may I help you?

Me: I was just in a chat a few minutes ago to get help changing my application since I lost my job. However, the changes that I made did not "save." When I go to the applications tab there are two apps showing - both have the original date in October and neither of them is different.

karen: have you tried to log out and log back in again and make the changes

Me: Why?

karen: so you can see the difference, and it will save

Me: I'm unclear how the date stamp and information on the second app is going to magically change.

karen: what you can call the customer service number which is 855-459-6328

Me: So, I'll be back in a few minutes. Having spent most of my career working with computers, I am pretty sure this will make no difference. A date-time stamp does not change due to logging in or out. Either the file updated or it didn't.

karen: ok

Take 3

karen : Hi, my name is karen. How may I help you?

Me: Me again. And, of course, there are still two apps showing with the SAME date time stamp and NO CHANGES to the second doc. What a surprise.
karen: did you call the customer service number?
Me: No, I'm talking to you.

karen: i cant explain why the time stamp didn't change , which is why im advising you to call them

Me: Well, I can explain it for you. The date-time stamp didn’t change because your program did not record the changes I made to the app. It just made a second copy of the old app.

Me: How is calling customer service going to fix that?

karen: i am not tech support, is there anything else i can help you with today ?

Me: How many times, exactly, will re-entering the same information over and over take to work?

karen: you never know unless you call , i can t fix it here or change it for you.

At which point I terminated the chat box. Obviously these people are pretty useless. Time to try the customer service line, I guess.

Take 4

I was (eventually) informed by the woman on the other end of the line that I could not make changes to my application because I had not yet submitted proof that my kids and I are citizens – even thought that “proof” had not been requested UNTIL I tried to change the application. Go figure.

She also had no explanation as to why, though they use our IRS information to verify our income, somehow this didn’t count as verifying our citizenship status, since it should be fairly obvious that our SS numbers and other identifying information are on the 1040 that they download. She said they were going to need documents uploaded, faxed or mailed in. I asked what was preventing anyone from just photo-shopping a birth certificate. She claimed it would be “verified,” and when they were “verified” then changes could be made to the app. I pointed out that the only way to “verify” the birth certificates was to login to the state office of vital statistics – and why didn’t they just do that in the first place? I can do it at home. They can do it, too. Every state has their birth records online now. She had no explanation.

So I have scanned our birth certificates and uploaded it. Since my birth certificate obviously does not match my current name, I put in the “comments” section: You do know I wasn’t born married, right? At this point I’m a little uncertain about that. I asked her how long this “verification” would take. She had no idea.

So this has been my experience to date with Kynect. It’s hard to imagine that other states are actually worse than Ky.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have been on hold for 1 hour and 25 minutes with kynect.

lovely obozo care, lovely