MNsure progress!!!!!

March 6th, 2014


TMI, I know, but it’s my blog, and I can rant if I want to, rant if I want to, rant if I want toooooo, YOU WOULD RANT TO IF MNsure HAPPENED TO YOUUUUUUUU!

Quick, jump down to the bottom and click on the youtube for the background music for this rant!

SINGLE-PAYER NOW! There is no excuse for this half-way effort to placate insurance companies — cut them out of the mix, eliminate the health insurance industry and get focused on HEALTH CARE. Medicare for all, I cannot wait until 65! Just last month I lost a week of my life because I couldn’t get a simple sinus infection treated and the clinic here is only open once a week. It is absurd that in this “civilized” country (yeah, right) there is not access to basic health care. I want to, I do, support the Affordable Care Act, but it has been a struggle… it has taken up altogether too much of my life over the last few months. It is a struggle because the state has kept the insurance companies in it, when what we need to do is eliminate the middleman.

I hate insurance companies, the only thing they’re good for is suing, and DOH, I recognize that insurance is not health care.  I’ve also been without “health insurance” coverage since I worked at HCMC, and I left that last “straight job” more than 30 years ago (how can that be) and except for a couple of short stretches when I cooked at Seward Cafe and drove for D.A.N.C.e and had HEALTH CARE through CUHCC, I’ve been just struggling along, using whatever affordable and accessible options I can find, and thank Dog for the Care Clinic here in Red Wing.

Starting October 3, 2013, I began the trek through MNsure... it has not been easy and it’s not over, but there is concrete progress.  First I tried to register, and that didn’t work, and I had to do that by hard copy in the mail, sending copies of ID.  October 22, 2013, I got the registration info via email and got into the system, but it wouldn’t take the application.  OK, whatever, and I tried again, and finally some time later it went in, but the results were NOT ok, seemed the computer said I should be on the “Unassisted Qualified Health Plan” which was limited to one provider in Goodhue County, and would cost at the least, just over $1,100 PER MONTH.  Specifically, $1,106.74 for a $12,700 deductible!  And $1,661.77 for a $300 deductible, right in the middle $1,380.93 for a $6,600 deductible.  Oh, sure, right… that is NOT going to happen.  So I called, and what that means is calling and listening to horrible distorted soprano sax elevator music that had that fingernails on blackboard effect, YEOW, what torture, and each session on hold was at least an hour and sometimes more than two.  I finally got through, but they couldn’t find it, and told me to wait, that they’d send me info, nothing happened, I called and again was told I didn’t need to do anything, and to wait, and so every two weeks I’d call again, and then finally, in late December, and was told that I’d be covered as of January 1, 2014, and they’d send me info, and when I got it, printed out 1/1/2014, it said “Does not qualify” over and over and over and I had nothing, no coverage, no qualification for anything. AAAARGH!  So I called in again, waited and waited, and was told that yes, I do qualify, and that I was covered as of 1/1 @ 1:39 p.m., yet the printout I had was printed 1/1 @ 12:19 p.m. said “Does not qualify” over and over, “Does not qualify” for anything.  WTF? I was told to wait for stuff to come in the mail.  I called again and was told something of substance for a change, the person was able to find my application/account, and I again was told to check back in a week, that apparently I had not checked the box to be considered for discounts, tax credits, subsidies, or whatever, cheaper options, but that there was a “glitch” in the system and they couldn’t figure out what was holding it up.  OK, fine, I called again in a week, the distorted soprano as dreadful as ever (what is that guy’s name, he’s one of the “Twin Beaks” from a couple of decades ago…) and was first again told the computer was down, to call back, so I did call again the next day and was AGAIN told that there was a “glitch” in the system, they didn’t know what to do about it, and by the way, I couldn’t apply for Alan because we are not married, which is NOT what the application says… and again was told to call back in a week.  OK, now I’m getting a little exasperated.  So I again called back in a week, listened to distorted elevator crap, and this time, I was told I’d get materials in the mail, and oh, did I get something in the mail, a permission form to sign, “Giving Permission for Someone to Act on My Behalf” that was dated January 22, 2014.  WTF???  At the time, I was really sick, sinuses triggered by allergies, unable to breathe, eat, sleep, coughing my lungs out, unable to function (this happens every couple of years, to the point of incapacity) so I figured I’d hack and wheeze while on hold, ears were plugged so the soprano sax wasn’t as bad because I couldn’t hear… took a couple days to get through, and time passed and in the meantime, I went to the Care Clinic to get treated, and spoke with the MNsure assister person there, her computer was down, she’d just gotten off the phone reaming some poor person at MNsure, because she wasn’t able to help anyone when their system wasn’t working.  The advice she had was to demand to talk to a supervisor, and let them know that I needed coverage now, and she showed me a hard copy application (I’d been working off the computer) that said, “DO Include: … Your unmarried partner who needs health coverage.”  Well, that’s what I’d done, and they said I can’t do that, AAAAAAAAAARGH!  So OK, fine, I called back the next day and the next and waited through another hour plus of horrible soprano, and gave up, but a few days later I got through and demanded to talk with a supervisor, yuppers, that I did, and it worked.  I was transferred to someone who gave me his name, and said, “DOH, you need to fill out another application, a hard copy, do that and email it to me (and hey, if you’re having trouble too, for a fee, I’ll give you his email!!!!), THREE WEEKS IT TOOK TO BE TOLD I NEEDED TO RESUBMIT AN APPLICATION, give me a break…  so immediately, that was DONE, that day, January 28.  He got it, forwarded it to where it was supposed to go and said he’d follow up.  Two days later, on a SATURDAY, I got a call from DHS, who said they had it, but it had to go back to MNsure because there was some problem.  OK, whatever …another sigh… and the initial supervisor called back a couple hours later saying he’d received it and would send it to the right place.  … sigh… but I’m feeling some progress.  Then it disappeared for three weeks, I was following up, getting increasingly agitated, trying to do this MNsure thing and feeling better trying to get some actual work done too after losing a week of my life because I was sick and no access to simple sinus drugs, and then I was on the transmission road show so it was hard to sit on hold forever. I emailed that supervisor several times, ramping up and finally an IN CAPS “what is going on” missive.  He told me I was supposed to call another department to follow up, and gave me a number.  I did, same damn Dogawful “music,” and was told that it was not the right department (there were several options to select from and none made any sense), called back and waited and got through to a different option and was told that the new paper application I’d emailed was not in the system, this is over THREE WEEKS later. THREE WEEKS!!!  I was transferred, and then the call was disconnected, and she called back!!!  Transferred again, and was told that I had to contact the original MNsure supervisor who had received the application… sigh… banging my head against the wall until it’s a bloody pulp.  Called the number I was given, demanded and got another supervisor who said I have to go back through MNsure, that yes, this was the correct department, but my application was not entered into the system and that they had to delete the first one at MNsure before the second one could be entered, THREE WEEKS AGO WHEN I EMAILED THE SECOND ONE, THE FIRST ONE NEEDED TO BE DELETED AND WASN’T! I offered to send it to him and he couldn’t use email, I would have driven it there but there’s no address to drive to, but he said to send it again to the previous MNsure supervisor and he’d contact him too, and the deletion was to happen via MNsure and then he’d re-enter the application manually after it was deleted, and that he’d follow up.  … utterly deflated… but I emailed it again with instructions, and called to let the other guy know it was there and hoping they’d contact each other. I was having a hard time coping at this point, losing it, because now that I was feeling better, I was expecting something to happen.  Surprise, he called back!  February 27, 2014.  He’d contacted the MNsure guy, the initial computer application was removed, and he’d received my emailed application and had just entered it manually.  While on phone, he checked to see if anything had happened, said that it usually takes a while, and WHOA, THERE IT WAS, I’d been approved!!! SNAP, it all came together. I was given a member number and told how to deal with health care providers as “fee for service” until I received my forms in the mail to pick coverage, a primary care provider, apparently there are three options.  Billing?  Well, they don’t have that system yet… How much, don’t know, but the range, well, it will be affordable, even for me! OK, that billing “glitch” is one screw up I can enjoy!  Though a bill will be coming some day and there will be some catching up to do. Then he called Alan to get info from him, and we had to send another application signed by him, OK, whatever, we got that in right away, and then he called back within a couple hours and said Alan would be covered, and he’d also get info in the mail, and sure enough, the following day, he called back with verbal info, numbers, and that Alan would get a packet of info too! 

WOW.  It’s happening.  YESTERDAY, ALAN GOT A PACKET OF INFO ON PROVIDERS AND A CARD WITH NUMBERS AND HE CALLED THE CLINIC HERE AND MADE AN APPOINTMENT TO GET HIS EYES CHECKED.  I got an envelope with a card and numbers but no packet of info and no provider selection materials.  Soon… I do think it will happen soon…

Here it is… it’s Kenny G… urp… gives me a headache to hear it, even though this is a different version and it’s not distorted, well, maybe it’s the same without the distortion, whatever, it’s still obnoxious. It’s probably a test. Hit play and pretend you’re on hold and listen to the tape loop for an hour and a half, if that doesn’t raise your blood pressure and drive you to phonocide, you don’t need MNsure:



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