Bay area residents sign up for government subsidized health care but are no closer to a doctor
Health insurers fail some enrollees
7:11 PM, Jan 30, 2014
1:58 AM, Jan 31, 2014
Multiple viewers have written in recently with the same gripe: They used the Affordable Care Act to buy an insurance policy but they couldn't actually get health care.
Computer programmer Chris Lichfoldt, like so many others, took advantage of government-subsidized insurance and signed up for a policy with Blue Cross and Blue Shield, now called Florida Blue.
Lichfoldt bought the Cadillac of plans and paid the $500 monthly premium. Then he attempted to set up doctors appointments for January but was told by doctors that he was not in the system as an enrollee.
And he's got company. Florida Blue's Facebook page reads like one giant consumer rant with dozens of posts from people who claim they bought policies but don't exist in the providers' system.
Last week Florida Blue responded to our inquiries saying member I-D cards would be out within a week. In an email a spokesperson stated, "We have added staff to work these applications and have extended service hours both in our call centers and at all of our 18 retail center locations throughout the state."
Steve Costanzo also used Obamacare to buy a policy. He chose the Humana Connect plan. In Costanzo's case, he had coverage but no doctor would seem to accept it.
Costanzo says he tried more than 50 doctors between December and early January using Humana's provider list but could not get an appointment.
I contacted the insurer. A day later a spokesperson said they were adding providers and that one of their key medical groups had begun accepting patients.
Days later Costanzo was able to get an appointment minutes from his Dunedin home with a doctor who refused to see him before.
Humana says JSA Healthcare, their main medical provider in the bay area, was supposed to begin taking new patients January 1.