I want to post an update on the latest health insurance clusterfuckery that’s preventing me from switching my girls from BC/BS to a different carrier under Child Health Plus, but first and foremost I want to express my sincerest heartfelt thanks to everyone who has offered advice and reached out to me directly via phone, email, Facebook and the blog. You are all a powerful force, and your strength has lent me more strength. For now, I think some progress has been made. Here’s the short version.
I’m now getting regular updates from the Exchange in the form of phone calls from a supervisor named Steve. He has elevated the issue to FUCHSIA and there was even a meeting about it this morning. Technical support was working on my account (per his call this morning) and he asked me not to go in and make any changes. He’ll call me this evening or tomorrow morning with another update. He called what was happening a “re-sequencing error” which is usually resolved by waiting a little while and resubmitting the application. However, this standard approach of fixing the issue hasn’t worked on my account – no one knows why – so they need to dig deeper. So it’s still not fixed, but at least they’ve clearly prioritized the problem.
Here’s the long version…
After yesterday’s frustrated post (and a subsequent 10 – 15 minutes of silent sobbing in front of my computer), I tweeted a plea for help directly to the NY State of Health and they followed up by asking for my phone number (via a direct message). So, I gave that to them and got a phone call from someone who was unhelpful, but I guess wanted to make the effort to reach out to me. I’m mentioning this only because it was baffling and unhelpful, and prompted another five minutes of frustrated sobbing.
But I got another call from someone at the Exchange who actually left her direct number and gave me her first and last name (I’d previously only been able to get first names from whoever I happened to connect with when I called the Exchange). So, Miss Firstname Lastname told me she’d be my direct contact going forward, and that she’d get back to me in 1-2 days with an update on the status of the technical issue. I have not since heard from her.
(For the record, my eye started twitching when she said I’d need to wait another two days JUST for a status update, but bear with me…)
Shortly after I got off the phone with Firstname Lastname, the supervisor from the Exchange who I’d spoken with on Friday called me back. Apparently an Exchange rep that I’d talked to that morning (the one who prompted my angry post) had passed along the message that I was checking in.
This guy (Steve), had seemed very unsympathetic when I spoke to him on Friday, even condescending. But the Steve who called me yesterday was like a different person. I mentioned that I had been given a contact for the issue (Ms. Firstname Lastname) and I’d just been on the phone with her, but he didn’t know anything about that. Okay, whatever, at least they’re calling me now. Steve said that this was a top priority for him to solve and he could only imagine the stress I was under (again, this was a very different conversation from the one I had with this same person on Friday). He promised to call me in the morning (today) with an update on where they were the the issue.
And I did get that call – first thing this morning. Steve said that that my issue was brought up in a meeting and the technical team was working on it, and that I shouldn’t log in or try to update my application because it could screw things up.
That’s where I’m at now. At this point, I’m going to give it another couple of days and ask that anyone who plans to storm the Capitol hold off for now. It does seem that they’re working on it and once it’s fixed, I should be able to switch the girls to Fidelis.
Speaking of Fidelis, they seem like a great option. I spoke at length with a Fidelis rep today – Ed Michael – and he was very helpful. Two people recommended him to me. Unfortunately, Fidelis is only available through Child Health Plus or Medicaid so Jim and I will have to stick with our current insurer, Health Republic. But Ed said that Fidelis is working on making itself available to residents of Ulster County (so, fingers crossed).
I’ll post again with an update when I have more news. Thank you again!