John Gisler has been trying to buy an Obamacare plan for his sick son since the federal exchange launched on October 1, but after nearly three months, three failed applications, and “maybe 50 or 100” calls exchange’s hotline, he’s given up. Faced with the risk of not having insurance on January 1, Gisler has opted to buy an individual plan from a local insurance broker.
The Washington Post’s Sarah Kliff reports that Gisler and his son are just one story of potential 15 million other people who may fall into the “coverage gap” of people who saw their plans canceled and still can’t enroll in the exchanges. In the case of Gisler’s son, who has a rare degenerative condition, the plan is ending because Utah’s high-risk pool is being shut down at the end of this year.
Rather than keep trying to enroll amid a series of problems, the family has decided to forgo the $3,000 tax credit they would receive on the exchange, because they worry they wouldn’t be covered in time.
“We cannot take any chances,” Gisler said. “Not having insurance would, in no short order, lead our family to bankruptcy.”
The family has filed an appeal with the exchange , according to Kliff, and hopes to eventually get their son covered with tax credits. “It’s a net gain for us, that preexisting conditions no longer preclude coverage,” said Gisler.
“But in terms of the government’s ability to process us through the system, they’re still working on that,” he said. “We’ve given up. We don’t even try anymore.”