Home > State healthcare exchange got it wrong

State healthcare exchange got it wrong

February 7th, 2015 at 12:32 am

I could have easily finished my federal tax return last week except that I needed to wait to receive my 1095-A form from the CT healthcare exchange.

I got the form yesterday, but it was very, very wrong. I only had health insurance through them for the 1st 4 months of the year; after that, I became eligible to sign onto the private, much cheaper health plan offered by the agency that hired me for the contract job that became the perm job I have today.

Unfortunately, the 1095-A they sent me indicated that I had insurance with them for 11 of the 12 months of 2014.

I have to take some responsibility for why that happened. They kept sending me premium due notices and I assumed (wrongly) that when I didn't send payments in, they'd know I didn't want the insurance anymore. I would have called them except their hours of operation, 8:30 to 5 p.m., were the exact same hours of my bank job, and it was difficult, and I was very reluctant, to find ways to steal away in stairwells in order to make a private call. I scribbled a cancellation notice on one of the bills and mailed it back but apparently that didn't do anything. On their website at that time, they had no Contact Us form so I couldn't cancel that way.

So today I got routed to 4 incorrect phone numbers and sat on hold each time before sitting on hold for 45 minutes at the correct number. The girl informed me I should have the corrected 1095-A in about a week. I'm not at all counting on that being true given how they manage their phones but it would be great if I got it in a timely manner.

I had been somewhat anxious to file my return quickly (as I usually do) because I've been hearing lots of stuff about an uptick in tax return fraud, and a friend of mine had it happen to him; he filed his return and it was rejected because someone else already filed a fraudulent return in his name.

I recently changed my mother's electricity provider for the "Generation Charge" portion of the bill. Electricty has been deregulated in CT for years in an effort to bring down costs. It's a pain in the ass because while you can easily compare plans and costs on the state website, some plans have a fixed price, others have a variable price, all at different terms, some have an early termination fee, yadda yadda yadda. So you have to be careful what you sign up for and it always takes a month to go into effect.

I had put my mother on a fixed rate plan with Public Power which was good til November 2015, and while theirs was the lowest cost plan at the time I signed up, I have since found much cheaper plans around, so I switched my mother to Town Square Energy, even though she will have to pay a $50 early termination fee. I did the calculation and figured she'll save about $22 a month moving to the new plan, based on her current usage, and since the plan i believe is also good at that rate til November, she will make up the $50 fee in a few months.

But already Public Power called her, trying to get her to switch back. She didn't even realize it was Public Power and thought she was talking to CL&P, but I called the number they had given her and when I called it they answered "Public Power sales team." She was all upset because they told her that her power could be shut off and apparently were doing the hard sell I know they do because I've dealt with them before.

So I called and verbally told them as my mother's POA to take her name off their call list. I also filed an online complaint with utility regulators because I don't need salespeople harassing my 80-year-old mother, who is easily confused. (She has Alzheimer.)

Between straightening out the incorrect 1095-A and then this, I was in a pretty foul mood today at work.

Then when I got home I get a bill for $751, what I presumably owe for the lab/bloodwork from my physical. My stupid doctor's office filed the claim with Aetna, who I used to have, instead of Cigna, who I now have. This doctor's office has messed up bills at least 3 times before. They are so careless and clueless. So annoying.

I decided to return both the cute boots and the handheld steam cleaner I bought from HSN. I'll have to pay a $6 return fee or something like that, but I will get most of my money back. The steam cleaner was mostly useless. The boots hurt my foot.

3 Responses to “State healthcare exchange got it wrong”

  1. snafu Says:

    Sounds like you've had a ghastly week with Murphy's go awry rules snapping at every turn. Sorry your steamer try-out was a bust, I started with a small, hand held Shark and based on that success after a year bought a big EuroPro unit which makes quick work of so many tasks.

    Hope you can grandfather out of CT Healthcare Exchange back to the date the subsequent plan took effect.

    On a happier note...When do you plan to take holidays? Have you been exploring lists of events or possible destinations if you're motivated to travel?

  2. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sounds like you had a very aggravating day! I hope things work out/get better.

  3. Dido Says:

    Sorry to hear about all the aggravation.

    I "hear" you on the frustration of contacting the exchange. I have the same problem of only being able to contact them during working hours, when I can't contact them since I am at work. I did call on Dec. 26 and spoke to someone to cancel my insurance as of January, but they have still not canceled my account on the insurance provider's website. Since today (feb 15) is the deadline, hopefully that phone call I made back in December will take effect, otherwise I'll have a 1095-A error next year (and maybe even so).

    Yes, the ACA is causing major hassles this year--can't tell you how many presentations I attended where I heard advice that wasn't always clear. This on top of the IRS having instituted a whole other round of major changes to business taxes that are causing hassles for preparers who deal with business returns, while also cutting back on staff because of Congressional budget cuts. It all adds up to a nightmare tax season and I can say that I'm kind of relieved to be out of the tax preparation business this year in particular!

    Good luck getting that 1065A error cleared up so that you can finish filing.

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