Some Uninsured Paid the State with No Coverage in Exchange
Hannah Orestis has no health coverage, despite her best efforts. The 27-year-old nurse from Marlborough selected a plan that was supposed to start in January through the Massachusetts Health Connector Authority, which runs the state’s insurance marketplace. She mailed a check Dec. 24, but it was never cashed.
Orestis has spent hours on the phone with state customer service representatives trying to find out what happened and how to fix it. She said she has been told repeatedly to expect a call from a supervisor that never comes. She has asked for help from the governor’s office, with little effect.
The botched relaunch of the Connector’s website last fall, done to comply with the federal Affordable Care Act, left state leaders scrambling to get people the insurance they need, including moving tens of thousands of people who may qualify for subsidies into temporary plans. But an untold number of people who, like Orestis, applied for Connector plans without financial assistance have not gotten coverage, because their payments were lost or somehow never linked to their accounts.
For Orestis, whose previous health plan expired in December, being uninsured means paying the $600 monthly cost of medication to manage her Crohn’s disease, more than she can afford.