Larry Basich is what you would call an upstanding citizen. He is not some young invincible, fecklessly refusing to sign up for Obamacare despite the looming March 31 deadline.
No, Basich, a 62-year-old who lives in Las Vegas, did as the White House said and tried to sign up for Obamacare on October 1, the day the insurance exchanges went live. It was mid-November before he was able to get all the way through the sign-up process, because of site glitches. He picked a plan, UnitedHealthcare’s MyHPNSilver1, and paid his premium. His insurance coverage was scheduled to start on January 1, according to this Las Vegas Review-Journal account. In short, he was the very model of the modern Obamacare enrollee.
And then ... silence. No insurance card in the mail. No "Welcome to UnitedHealthcare" packet adorned with pictures of vegetables and joggers. The state insurance exchange, Nevada Health Link, "kept telling him he was enrolled, but UnitedHealthcare said he wasn’t in their system," the Review-Journal notes.
Then things went from bad to worse.
Basich’s predicament went critical on Dec. 31, when he had a heart attack. His treatment, which included a triple bypass on Jan. 3, resulted in $407,000 in medical bills in January and February that no insurer is covering.
Basich and his insurance broker, Tamar Burch of Branch Benefits Consultants, said the issue appears to be confusion at the state exchange. Xerox’s system says Basich chose a plan from another insurer, Nevada Health CO-OP, even though Basich has paperwork that shows he selected MyHPNSilver1. In short, [state insurance contractor] Xerox can’t seem to decide where Basich belongs, Burch said.
Xerox, the contractor for the exchange, is still trying to sort out Basich's dilemma, but it's pinning the problem on the fact that Basich filled out four separate applications while he was signing up. But then again, so did many customers who faced an error-prone website and were desperate for coverage. One broker told the Las Vegas paper that more than 20 of its customers had an issue similar to Basich's.