Video: Small-business employees locked out of Covered California health care

posted at 2:41 pm on March 14, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

When the CBO estimated the impact of ObamaCare on businesses, they probably assumed that exchanges such as Covered California would actually provide the services which businesses like United Reported Publishing would purchase. Bad assumption, as it turns out, and as URP owner Paul Curry discovered. Despite sending almost $12,000 in premium payments to Covered California since the beginning of the year, Curry and his employees still do not have insurance coverage.

But Covered California made sure to cash the checks …

What do you get for $12,000 in Covered California? An exercise program called the run-around:

“If I call Covered California, they don’t talk to me. They tell me to go to my broker,” said Paul Curry, “but my broker says they aren’t talking to him.”

It’s a helpless and frustrating feeling for Curry as he followed all of the steps to get health coverage for his four full-time employees. But after three months, Covered California has still not activated the health plans.

“We’ve paid each month, and none of my employees have cards,” he said. “We can’t go get health care.”

I linked this earlier today, but it’s worth revisiting in this post. For all of the accusations from Democrats about Republican sabotage of ObamaCare, the real damage has come from states that embraced the bill — states with Democratic governors:

Hawaii launched with a lot of fanfare, as well as a lot of technical issues, and sits at 30% of its projected enrollment with 4,661 people. The District of Columbia faced similar issues and is at 28% of its projected enrollment.

Last month, Maryland fired its exchange provider after the website froze on its first day and has had problems ever since. Oregon and Hawaii both began processing enrollment applications by hand because their websites were so problematic. Both states’ exchange directors resigned in December.

“Maryland, Nevada, Oregon — I would put them in the disappointments category for state-run exchanges,” said Bill Melville, a market analyst at Decision Resources Group, a health care research and consulting group. “They ended up struggling in all three cases.”

California is actually running ahead of projections, at 135% so far. But that’s easy to do when you’re just cashing checks and little else, or faking people out on provider networks.

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California is actually running ahead of projections, at 135% so far. But that’s easy to do when you’re just cashing checks and little else, or faking people out on provider networks.

Based on the data that Covered California is claiming.

Based on their track record, I wouldn’t trust it as being any more accurate or truthful than something coming out from Sebelius and HHS.

This is also the state that is actively attempting to get illegal immigrants to enroll….

Athos on March 14, 2014 at 2:45 PM

What do you get for $12,000 in Covered California? An exercise program called the run-around:

So healthcare is tied the Moocher’s get moving campaign….

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Maybe the most disturbing part of this is that the employee doesn’t want to appear on camera out of fear of being destroyed by the Democrat Party’s hate and slander machine.

forest on March 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

On topic – this goes with the “we nag you because we love you” headlines thread.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Despite sending almost $12,000 in premium payments to Covered California since the beginning of the year, Curry and his employees still do not have insurance coverage.

…like any TAX you pay…the money disappears…and you get nothing!

KOOLAID2 on March 14, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Nice that the TV station was able to get an answer. Not everyone can call the media to advocate for them.

kim roy on March 14, 2014 at 2:59 PM

On topic – this goes with the “we nag you because we love you” headlines thread.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

Ya, I’ll bet – the same way she “loves” lobster….

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Maybe the most disturbing part of this is that the employee doesn’t want to appear on camera out of fear of being destroyed by the Democrat Party’s hate and slander machine.

This!! To me this is even bigger than the enormous problems with healthcare. Once citizens are afraid of their government, or even afraid of what their fellow citizens will do if they have the “wrong opinion”, our country is lost.

Annielou on March 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Time to sue their a$$es into the ground.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

They only did it because they love you, Paul.

rogerb on March 14, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Should’a paid via credit card. Then you could get your money back for non-performance since you made good-faith efforts to solve the problem.

Lanceman on March 14, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Unless you have a serious, expensive medical problem, here’s a suggestion for dealing with Covered California :

Stop paying the premium, take the cash & go see any doctor you want.

Crash this corrupt, worthless system.

MichaelGabriel on March 14, 2014 at 3:12 PM

If someone in that company gets stricken with a major illness the fun will be just starting.

docflash on March 14, 2014 at 3:12 PM

HSAs are tax-savvy

Do NOT comply.

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

Stop paying the premium, take the cash & go see any doctor you want.

Precisely.
Last time I checked, physicians still accept ‘money’ as payment for services. Similarly independent imaging centers (cheaper than hospitals), pharmacies and what-not. The difference for consumers who’d alternatively be under ObamaCare may be slight, as many of the programs have enormous copays before coverage kicks in—enormous, as in THOUSANDS of dollars before they contribute dollar one.

Crash it. Kill it. Sterilize it with fire. But most of all: Stop sending those monthly payments.
What, exactly can they do? Not cover you?

orangemtl on March 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Why on earth did he not go to Kaiser directly?! Any small business or individual can buy a plan directly with them. This story is strange. His broker could have set up the plan directly with Kaiser as well. That is what I did with my company plan until I shut our doors yesterday. It took me 9 months or so to wrap up the business and I can not wait to get away from this sh!thole state.
Add me to the list of Amricans no longer burdened with “job lock.” I’m not paying for any more surfer-dude lobster. I’m on strike.

oceansidecon on March 14, 2014 at 3:18 PM

Before Obamacare, people did not have to appear anonymously in silhouette to complain about malfunctioning insurance.

forest on March 14, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Every one of you pieces of sh!t who voted for obama twice, may you burn in hell.

Lanceman on March 14, 2014 at 3:25 PM

I predict an IRS, California franchise tax and equalization boards audit coming up for this small business owner ad the station that aired it.

jukin3 on March 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Every one of you pieces of sh!t who voted for obama twice, may you burn in hell.

Lanceman on March 14, 2014 at 3:25 PM

+ 200 million sane US Americans

Schadenfreude on March 14, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Despite sending almost $12,000 in premium payments to Covered California since the beginning of the year, Curry and his employees still do not have insurance coverage.

LIAR!!!!!!! There have been no problems with Obamacare enrollment. Harry Reid has assured us of this.

Happy Nomad on March 14, 2014 at 4:11 PM

Time to sue their a$$es into the ground.

Midas on March 14, 2014 at 3:03 PM

You can’t sue the State without its permission.

Key West Reader on March 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM

So the Government Insurance companies get “Money for nothing… ”

Do they get “chicks for free” as well?

Just asking, for a friend… who apparently is still in the 1980′s.

gekkobear on March 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

So the Government Insurance companies get “Money for nothing… ”
Do they get “chicks for free” as well?
Just asking, for a friend… who apparently is still in the 1980′s.

gekkobear on March 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM

All the Sandy Flukes you can handle…

But you’re out of luck if you get a blister on your thumb…

dentarthurdent on March 14, 2014 at 4:46 PM

I predict an IRS, California franchise tax and equalization boards audit coming up for this small business owner ad the station that aired it.
jukin3 on March 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM

No doubt. Equalization came after us. As a result of the audit, found out we had not paid a couple hundred in sales tax from Amazon purchases from 2008 – 2012. Fees and penalties doubled that. Four days of my labor netted this crap state $400 or so dollars.
It’s for the teachers…. So it’s all good.

oceansidecon on March 14, 2014 at 4:49 PM

What do you get for $12,000 in Covered California? An exercise program called the run-around.

Welcome to the hotel california
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely face
They livin’ it up at the hotel california
What a nice surprise, bring your alibis

climbnjump on March 14, 2014 at 5:09 PM

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones should be investigating Covered California for INSURANCE FRAUD!

http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/0200-commissioner/0400-contact/

Insurance Commissioner is an elected office in California. If Dave Jones won’t investigate, then elect an Insurance Commissioner who will.

wren on March 14, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Ted Gaines is the Republican Candidate who is running against Dave Jones (Democrat) for California Insurance Commissioner.

There is also a member of the Peace & Freedom Party running for Insurance Commissioner.

California’s “Top Two” Primary election is on Tuesday June 3rd 2014, but early voting will begin in May. The top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation will move on to the November election.

Ted Gaines is already fighting against Covered California in his campaign.

Take a look at this from Ted Gaines’ campaign website:

Covered California is out of control! Over 900,000 Californians had their healthcare cancelled as a result of their unchecked abuse. And over nine million more Californians could suffer the same fate in the coming months. What is our current Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doing? Absolutely nothing.

Someone needs to stand up and fight for hardworking Californians who want to keep the healthcare they have now. That’s why I’m suing Covered California on behalf of consumers and taxpayers. I’m not going to sit back and see Covered California sock it to nine million more.
Californians deserve better.

http://www.tedgaines.com/

Learn more about Ted Gaines at his campaign website. If you like what you see, help out his campaign.

I hope every other state in the Union has an Insurance Commissioner who is willing to fight against Obamacare on behalf of their state’s citizens!

Vote as if your life depended on it in 2014, Californians!

wren on March 14, 2014 at 6:16 PM

Precisely.
Last time I checked, physicians still accept ‘money’ as payment for services. .
orangemtl on March 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Actually, that’s not the case at all. I asked my primary and she said no b/c it’s part of an agreement between insurance companies and the docs, which keeps the docs from collecting $$ for care and then double-billing the insurance companies for the same services.

My doc said “no”.

avagreen on March 14, 2014 at 6:28 PM

Precisely.
Last time I checked, physicians still accept ‘money’ as payment for services. .
orangemtl on March 14, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Actually, that’s not the case at all. I asked my primary and she said no b/c it’s part of an agreement between insurance companies and the docs, which keeps the docs from collecting $$ for care and then double-billing the insurance companies for the same services.

My doc said “no”.

avagreen on March 14, 2014 at 6:28 PM

That would apply perhaps to patients with insurance, but it can’t apply to everyone. Anyone that does not have insurance is quite welcome to pay cash, and many do.

slickwillie2001 on March 14, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Look, California, you voted this guy in, you own it now.

jake49 on March 14, 2014 at 7:49 PM

All the Sandy Flukes you can handle…

I need a shower after reading that.

Koyodiak on March 14, 2014 at 8:34 PM

If you pay money to someone for a product, and don’t get the product does that give you ‘standing’ to sue in court? (Since the whole argument about taking obamacare to court was that no one had ‘standing’, no one had yet been damaged.)

Looks like a class action law suit might be in order.

Joseph OHenry on March 14, 2014 at 8:52 PM

slickwillie2001 on March 14, 2014 at 6:55 PM

A very precarious position to put one’s self in. What if major surgery is required? I’m sure a hefty deposit would be required up front, if no insurance is available.

*sigh* There is no easy answer to this quagmire.

avagreen on March 15, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Covered California is just doing what government does best. They take the hard-earned money you provide for solving a problem, and throw it down a rat-hole, then blame the innocent victim for the problem not being fixed.

They will no doubt come up with some civil or criminal charge against Paul Curry for failing to provide insurance coverage for his employees. Curry and those like him must learn that peons who speak out publicly against the government’s incompetence will suffer the consequences of failing to respect and worship their rulers.

s1im on March 15, 2014 at 12:11 PM