Affordable Care Act enrollees have new challenges

By Robert Pear and Abby Goodnough, New York Times

FORT WORTH — Paul D. Donahue and his wife, Angela, are among more than a million Americans who have signed up for health coverage through the federal insurance exchange. Donahue has a card in his wallet from his insurer to prove it. But when he tried to use it to get a flu shot and fill prescriptions this week, local pharmacies could not confirm his coverage, so he left without his medications.

Similar problems are occurring daily in doctors’ offices and drugstores around the country as consumers try to use insurance coverage that took effect on Jan. 1 under the Affordable Care Act.

In addition to the difficulties many face in proving they have coverage, patients are also having a hard time figuring out whether particular doctors are affiliated with their health insurance plan. Doctors themselves often do not know if they are in the network of providers for plans sold on the exchange. Many are also having trouble reaching exchanges and insurance companies to confirm their enrollment or pay their first month’s premium. Doctors’ offices and pharmacies, too, are spending hours on the phone trying to verify patients’ coverage, sometimes to no avail.

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Comments (11)
  1. CJ McCoy says - Posted: January 14, 2014

    Americans did not deserve this. Brought to you by left wing socialists. Period.

    From here it continues to get worse.

  2. go figure says - Posted: January 14, 2014

    Oh cjpubworks, you are so predictable and so full of scat. Hope you never need any public services, wouldnt want you to have to actually survive any accidents with the help of the police or paramedics. That would go against all you stand for, or have your home burn down cuz the gvmt firefighters might actually risk their lives saving your sorry hiney. You are the problem, not the solution. Glad you live in oregon and not here where public servents actually take pride in the things they do, despite your hatred and venom…

  3. CJ McCoy says - Posted: January 14, 2014

    Obamacare was forced on America through lies and backroom deals by the liberal Democrats. FACT. Period. End of story.

    Remember that folks.

    It will get worse, much worse.

    Liberals lie, freedoms die.

  4. Irish Wahini says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    I agree with “Go Figure”…. If you are in Oregon, spend your energy there – cuz you are definitely not part of any solution, but instead, a source of regression & BS. What exactly have YOU done to make the country a better place?

  5. tahoe Pizza Eater says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    C. J. : They hate you. When you used the words “left wing socialists” they thought you were talking about them. Gee, how would they make that connection ?

  6. TeaTotal says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    pizza eater-neither you or the equally clueless cjpubworks even knows what a democratic socialist is-other than what limpaugh tells you-and it certainly isn’t anything like the current administration or congress-or has anything to do with the GOP inspired ACA plan

  7. Hank Raymond says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    Well Obamacare is certainly working well for me! My health care insurance premiums have dropped from $850 per month to $550 per month. Plus I get financial aid so my actual payment per month will be even less, provided I don’t make more than about $45,000 in 2014. I won’t get any financial aid if I make more than $45,000 this year.

  8. Know Bears says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    Did Medicare, Social Security, etc. enjoy a smooth roll-out, or were there glitches then, too? (I was too young to notice at the time. BTW, Medicare is an example of socialized medicine.)

    When the dust settles, I believe ACA will work well for most people, most of the time. I just regret that the GOP made such a squawk about it and that Obama conceded so much to them.

  9. tahoe resident says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    Hank Raymond is the problem… less…make less money…so I can receive a handout instead of paying for it yourself…smh

  10. Lisa says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    You said it perfectly “know bears”.

  11. ljames says - Posted: January 15, 2014

    Granted the computer glitches etc are a mess. But what exactly that has to do with the content of ACA is hard to figure out? It would be like criticizing the content of a book because the first print run used ink that bled when you touched it with moist hands. It has nothing to do with the author or the writing. Ironically these computer glitches are the result of arcane laws and regs re: government contracts that award bids in ways that do not always work to the public interest and the several decades old trend of privatizing as much of government as possible. ACA is NOT government health care – it is a government organized private exchange with subsidized premiums. Although certainly contract administrators should be overseeing work, it is not government employees writing code, etc. Perhaps that would have worked better?

    And similarly, single payer would eliminate any concern over who your doctor accepts. Try getting Republicans to accept that? In reality unless a lot more changes are made to the way we deal with health care needs, the only ones that will truly make out are contractors and insurance companies.

    Also, BTW, most doctor offices will no longer tell you if they accept a particular insurance company. They want you to speak with your insurance company because their contracts change all the time and if they tell you yes and the answer is no, they cant bill you. So this isnt because of the ACA.