Delays for affordable health care insurance

BURLINGTON, N.C. — Health insurance customers through the Affordable Care Act are seeing delays in coverage and package details.

Don Allred Insurance in Burlington works with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina to sign up new clients and said in the past couple of days agents have been sorting through complaints and calls.

Allred said because of the website delay and extensions, insurance agencies are overwhelmed with the amount of customers.

“We’ve seen that if you’re single, two people, three people, you get the through there [website signup] pretty quickly but if you have multiple children that’s where the glitches are happening,” Agent Scott Allred said.

Allred said as long as a customer pays for the coverage they enrolled or before Jan.  10 they should still be able to access their Rx number and policy information by phone to continue doctor visits and prescription refills until a card is mailed.

“Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina has come out and said as long as you enroll by the 23rd and you pay by the 10th we will take care of you,” Allred said. “We will retroactive tour policy back to January the 1st.”

A marketing representative from The Health Insurance store in Greensboro said they are also getting dozens of complaints of delays in coverage and package details.

On average Don Allred insurance agents filed about 50-70 applications a year; Allred said he had processed 80 in one enrollment period.

Graham first time health insurance buyer June Beck said Wednesday she went to pick up her prescription and pharmacists told her she was not in the system.

“Some of my medication is very expensive and I’m on a disability fixed income, I can’t afford it,” Beck said.

Allred said if clients can be patient, the health care insurance will be beneficial to them and for agents who used to turn away people with preexisting conditions.

“So many times across the table people would be in tears and they would say ‘What can I do?’ and there was nothing for them,” Allred said. “Just be patient because, they’ve never done anything like this, we’ve never doing anything like this, the country hasn’t done anything like this. It’s new for all of us. It’s a challenge.”

The next deadline for coverage by Feb. 1 is Jan. 15. The final deadline is March 31.


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