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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