Opinion

‘I’ve never been treated so poorly’: Alabama mom’s scathing letter over Obamacare nightmare

While the Obama administration continues to tout the success of Obamacare and the newly revamped website, real people are facing the new year with no health insurance.

Karri Kinder family
Photo credit: Karri Kinder Facebook page

Karri Kinder, an Alabama mother of two, wrote a scathing open letter detailing her nightmarish experience trying to get her family covered before their policy ran out on Dec. 31.

After discovering her insurer planned to increase the family’s premiums from $380 per month to $828.26 under the new plan – an amount slightly less than her house payment – she turned to the Obamacare website.

“I have never been treated so poorly by any insurance company in my whole life,” Kinder wrote in her letter, posted on her blog. “I have never experienced such terrible customer service in all my years on this earth. I can’t imagine how long a company would last in this country if they followed the same protocol as the ACA/Health Insurance Marketplace does.”

Read Kinder’s letter  here:

An Open Letter to the Obama Administration and American Citizens:

My family’s journey with securing our new insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started on October 1, 2013. I have decided to write this letter to let the American people know what it has been like for us. We are a family of four, with two little boys’ ages seven years old and three years old. My husband and I have had full time jobs for 6 years and 13 years respectively. We have been with the same two companies for those years. We are a middle class family; we own our three bedroom two bath house, we own two cars, and previously provided our own insurance for the four of us. We have coverage through Individual Blue from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama until 12/31/13. Our premiums have been $380.00 a month, which also included dental coverage for all four of us.

On October, 1, 2013 we received our letters like other Alabamians about our new premiums and plans for 2014 from Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama. When I opened our letter to say I had sticker shock was an understatement. Our premiums for the Blue Saver Silver would now be $753.26. This included the ACA tax but did not include the additional $75.00 we would need to pay in order to keep dental for me and my husband. So we would need to pay total $828.26 to keep health and dental insurance for the four of us. This payment is roughly $64.00 less than what we pay for our mortgage each month. I was outraged that anyone thought we could afford this. Sure we have some savings, but with that price tag we would whittle it down to almost nothing very quickly. I consider savings as a rainy day fund, a start to saving for the kid’s college, our retirement, etc. I never dreamed in a million years we would need to use it to pay our insurance premiums each month – how in the world could this help the economy too?

Throughout the month of October we read everything we could on what our plan would cover, and tried to get the information we needed about the ACA. I was also blown away when I realized that my son’s medical care, he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), would cost us so much more out of pocket than it was currently costing us. My son has to go to his doctor every other month for his care. If we need to see a therapist we do that monthly, so you see on top of the premiums there are other out of pocket cost we have to factor in. He is also on medication that he takes daily. His medicine is a life saver for him and helps him function like a normal seven year old, without it he can’t focus, his grades slip and his mind literally goes back to the mind of a three or four year old. When he was first put on his medicine his reading went up 20 points and he went from writing one to two sentences to paragraphs, all in the course of a week. He is a straight A student and very bright, but without the proper medical care that could slip away from him. Under our new plan for 2014 we would need to pay a $55.00 co-pay, and then it would be covered at 80 percent once we reached his deductible, which would be $2,000 individual $4,000 family. Out of pocket max numbers are $6,350 individual and $12,700 family. All of this is enough to make anyone’s head spin. We were then forced to look at other options as none of this was affordable for our family.

I started to dig deeper into healthcare.gov. I was hearing all the horror stories through the news about the subpar website. I was reading right off their healthcare.gov Facebook page about other people’s terrible experiences trying to get coverage. Then the government announces that they are going to be working on the site and making it a better experience as well as making it more secure. They had already had three years to make this happen but they said would need the month of November to get it running right. So I waited patiently for them to get the site running so I could see if we would qualify for the subsidy and continue our health insurance through that route.

December 6, 2013 I went to healthcare.gov and started our application. The process took me over two hours to complete. Once it was completed it came back with our results. The results were that my husband and I qualified. That my three year old qualified for All Kids and that my seven year old did not qualify for anything through the exchange (ACA). I was so confused, how could a seven year old not qualify for a subsidy?

Read the rest of Karri’s letter here.

H/T:  IJ Review

Read also: Texas single mom’s ‘thanks a lot’ letter to Obama goes viral

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