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    Posted February 25, 2014 by
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Obamacare: Your story

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    Obamacare: You can Check In, but You Can Never Leave

    First let me say I am a proponent of Obamacare, but i never expected such an epic failure of implementation.

    I signed up in December for insurance via Cigna on the Marketplace. After all the glitches were finally resolved with eh website, I thought my problems were all behind me. I forgot this program was run by people who couldn't figure out how to manage bandwidth or window shopping features.

    On January 13 I started a new job that included health insurance from day 1. I tried to cancel my policy online -figuring that if I could apply online I could cancel online. No, you cannot cancel your policy online, you need to call the Marketplace, and then speak with a supervisor, because no one put in place the procedure to cancel a policy!

    Welcome to the new Hotel California...or the new Roach Motel....you choose. Because once you check in, you can never leave.

    So I cancelled on January 25 on the phone, thinking that was it. I had called Cigna, who told me that they would receive notification from the Marketplace. somewhat convoluted process....but ok.

    On Feb 3, I was billed $291.93 by Cigna - for my cancelled policy! On Feb 10, after numerous calls Cigna told me that I would receive a refund in 3-5 days and provided a confirmation number. Understand, this took several calls, because customer service could not find my cancellation from the Marketplace, and would not take my word for it. I called the Marketplace up - who told me the notice was sent on Jan 26. After calling back into Cigna, and escalating twice to management, Cigna finally found the notice from the Marketplace - and told me only certain supervisors could see it, and no one in customer service had access to the cancellation info. Wonderful.

    I thought life was grand, I had PPO coverage from my new job, and a refund on the way. Sigh. I could hope.

    Cigna kept my Obamacare policy active, and when I went to get a prescription was told my PPO was not active, and to pay $201 by Walgreens.

    And no refund.

    I called the Marketplace to get a copy of my cancellation notice to provide to Cigna, and to have for my records - but was told over and over that the Marketplace could not send me any notice of any kind that I cancelled my policy. In fact, I was told that after I cancelled my policy they could not even look up the details on what I had applied for or enrolled in. I explained it was a computer system, there is an audit trail, and a record - and they said the system was not set up to track or provide info after a policy was cancelled. I did not exist.

    I called Cigna up, who informed me after 4 1/2 hours of calls that they had a problem (really?) Of course, at first they could not find my cancellation or my Obamacare policy (really? again?), but then tracked it down.

    1) While my policy was cancelled on the marketplace, Cigna has a software glitch and does not cancel the policies
    2) Cigna policy is that credit cards cannot be billed automatically, but their software had a glitch and I was going to be billed again for March.
    3) The refund was never processed but give us 5-10 days
    4) We don't know if we caa fix the glitch, so please cancel your credit card or change bank accounts to prevent funds from being withdrawn from your account.

    We then had a 3 way call with Cigan and a supervisor at the Marketplace, who tried to escalate the issue. However, The Marketplace has a policy that if you are on hold for more than 60 minutes they disconnect the call. We got disconnected while waiting for the escalation. Sigh.

    We then called back into the Marketplace and were informed they have an Advance Response Team - the A Team in Obamacare - that would call me back in 3-5 days in the time frame I provided...sort of like my cable company. They couldn't guarantee the date..just the time frame. On Monday they called us back - and informed us that they didn't have access to my policy information...because it was cancelled back in January. They could not pull up the cancellation date. They could not send me confirmation of cancellation. They told us to pull up our policy and print out the screen to show it was cancelled - BUT THAT SCREEN DOES NOT SAY WHAT DATE THE POLICY WAS CANCELLED ON!!

    So now where do we stand?

    I have a PPO from my employer with great coverage...and a prescription plan that now works.

    I have not received a refund from Cigna, and have to cancel my credit card to prevent being billed by my bank, because of Cigna's glitches

    I can't prove I had a policy on the Marketplace, or that it was cancelled, because no one ever thought of having an audit trail, or that people would cancel.

    I am wondering how much worse this can get, or what the next step in this Kafka-esque process will be.

    But as the Marketplace rep said to me, thank you for your suggestions, we will take it under advisement.

    PS - when I went online this week to change my application to say why I cancelled - thinking that by updating my policy I could clear this up - the system is still broken. You can select from reasons why you have a change in life -birth, death, lost job, impending lost of job, incarceration - but the fields to answer "have new job/coverage" are missing....it goes from " did you lose our job" to " are you incarcerated"

    Maybe I should have answered "yes" to that last question, as I am in Obamacare/Cigna jail hell. Maybe they don't want us to leave. Ever. It's a life sentence.
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