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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, April 10, 2015

LVRJ: Obamacare "Glitches Now Haunt Nevadans At Tax Time"; Does Nevada's U.S Senator Reid Care?


Henry Payne in 2013 lampooned
  Obamacare Glitches
Though President Obama and fellow liberals spend a lot of time these days trying to claim that Obamacare is a success, ordinary Americans still struggle with the bureaucracy and red tape the unpopular health care law has created.

Earlier this week, the Las Vegas Review-Journal documented the frustrations of Nevadans who have to navigate the problems Obamacare has added to tax season.

“How did a Reno collections agent end up in collections himself? He bought coverage in 2014 through the state’s health insurance exchange.

“Rick Furst is still ironing out wrinkles in a plan purchased in May through Nevada Health Link and its contractor, Xerox. His cascade of issues has included bad coverage dates, unpaid medical bills and an incorrect tax-credit form. ‘My credit was excellent, and now my credit is shot,’ he said.

“Furst is one of many Nevadans still struggling with Nevada Health Link’s woes. It’s hard to know how many others have coverage or tax-credit hiccups because exchange officials say the way they track unresolved cases makes it difficult to put a number to the problem. Nor do they trust Xerox’s reports on how many unreconciled cases remain.

“What’s clear is some fixes are moving at a glacial pace with a week left until Tax Day, and some consumers will run out of time.

“Karen, a Southern Nevadan who asked that we use only her first name, said representatives in Xerox’s Henderson call center advised her to request an IRS filing extension after her premium tax-credit statement, or 1095-A form, showed mistakes. That’s a problem because she needs her $1,000 refund to ‘juggle bills and get caught up.’”

Nevada insurance broker Pat Casale summed things up for the Review-Journal: “The average person has to work so hard to undo mistakes made on their behalf.”

The LVRJ writes, “Consider Casale’s client Dave Benardino of Las Vegas, who made only two premium payments for coverage that essentially ran from April through June of 2014. The 1095-A form the exchange sent him said he had insurance from April through December. It also stated that the federal government covered $3,700 in tax credits to help pay his premiums,

“It’s not clear whether the exchange or the insurer ever received the $3,700, Casale said, but Benardino is now looking at a tax bill of $1,800. ‘All of a sudden, they’re telling me I owe thousands of dollars in subsidies. I never got subsidies,’ he said. Casale said Benardino is ‘getting bills for services never rendered. How many people is this happening to?’

“At one point last spring, there were about 10,000 problem cases with exchange-based coverage, Casale noted. ‘Does that mean there are 10,000 1095 errors?’ he asked. Other states and the federal government had to reissue 10 percent to 12 percent of their customers’ 1095-A forms."

The Review-Journal continues, “Karen said that for her it’s been slow-going.

“She took the 1095-A form she received in January to her tax-preparer on Feb. 7. The two determined the form quoted the wrong coverage dates. She made nearly a half-dozen calls to Xerox’s customer-service center in February. On March 5, call-center reps told her they had finally ‘gotten authorization to review’ her problem.

“‘I was shocked, and said the problem has supposedly (been) getting worked on for weeks,’ Karen said. ‘And now I’m told they didn't even have authorization yet?’

“She added that call-center employees told her they print corrected forms only every two weeks and send out mailings just once a month. They said her form would be mailed on March 20. . . . As of Tuesday, Karen still had a bad form.

“The exchange’s policies call for Xerox to send corrected forms ‘in a time-frame that allows for an extensive review and correction period’ that can take a ‘number of days’ to complete, agency spokesman Tyler Klimas said. Klimas said the exchange is also advising consumers to visit licensed professionals for tax advice, and that Nevada Health Link is unable to provide walk-in service for 1095-A inquiries.”

And tax issues are only part of the Obamacare problems Silver State residents are dealing with.

The Review Journal notes, “Furst, at least, received his corrected form on March 31. Not all of the Reno man’s problems are fixed, though.

“He paid his premium on May 23 for a July 1 policy start date. On July 3, excruciating abdominal pain sent him to an urgent-care center. But he never received member ID cards and couldn’t prove coverage. He paid $120 out-of-pocket for his care and a referral for diagnosis. On July 6, he entered a Reno-area hospital, where a test found stomach ulcers. Furst said he spent two days in the hospital on pain medicine. He couldn’t pay the $10,000 tab.

“He’s personally out the $600 or so he could afford out of pocket. He’s in collections on much of the rest. He said he hopes the bills will be paid now that his 1095-A form reflects his actual July 1 start date.

“What Furst won’t get is a do-over on the aggravation his experience put him through. ‘I had a hole in my stomach,” he said. “I don’t need this frigging stress.’”

As difficult as Nevada's are having with Obamacare, hope they are contacting one of the bills major proponents, their own Sen. Harry Reid. Do they believe he even cares? Maybe, itwas things like Obamacare glitches that sent a clear picture to Reid that his days were numbered,  Thus, his decision to nor run for re-election in 2016.

Tags: Nevada, Obamacare glitches, Harry Reid, Las Vegas Review, editorial cartoon, Henry Payne To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 12:00 PM - Post Link

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