#1 Family left with $1MILLION of medical debt after Obamacare typo
08-09-2014, 04:15 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Family left with $1MILLION of medical debt after Obamacare typo led to mixed up details, lost payments and a failure to add newborn daughter to their health plan
- Kynell Smith is taking legal action after series of errors with Affordable Healthcare Act plan
- Mistakes led to charges for doctor appointments, neonatal care, and wife's hospital stay after her appendix burst days after giving birth
A father-of-five who used the Obamacare health exchange in Nevada to try to find cheaper insurance has been left with $1 million in medical bills because of a series of errors.
Kynell Smith used the Nevada Health Link last year to sign up for a new health plan, but has experienced problems at every stage.
Payments have been lost, his wife's details on her insurance card were inaccurate, and the couple have still not been able to enroll their baby girl, who was born prematurely in February, Smith claims.
Smith has now turned to attorneys for help, after being unable to resolve the litany of errors that have led to him being billed for more than $1 million in medical bills.
'I think it's a disaster. I don't know who to blame, and I really don't care who's to blame,' Smith told News 3.
'I have spent countless hours on the phone trying to get this resolved. I have contacted and pleaded with elected officials to help and was told I may have to sue to get this resolved. What kind of answer is that?'
The first problem for Smith was that the health plan he was quoted came in at nearly $1,600 a month - far higher than the existing Cobra plan he had been using.
In December, he claims, a payment he made was lost, and in January his insurance group, Anthem, could not find any record for Smith's children after they had doctor appointments which meant the couple had to cover the cost themselves.
Then in February, when the family's insurance cards arrived, they noticed the date of birth for Smith's wife, Amber, was wrong.
The timing couldn't have been worse because she was pregnant with their fifth child, who was born prematurely at the end of the month.
Because of complications and a burst appendix, Mrs Smith spent more than a month in hospital, and their daughter Kinsley was kept in a neonatal unit.
Although the family's medical bills are not currently being paid for by their insurance, their monthly payments to the plan are still being taken.
'All I know is, I am sending checks and they are cashing them,' Smith told the Las Vegas Review Journal. 'They [providers] keep threatening to send me to collections.'
The family have contacted legal firm Callister, Immerman & Associates about joining a class-action lawsuit being brought by other people in Nevada who have suffered similar problems.
Xerox, which runs the health exchange website, has released a statement saying the Smiths' case 'is a priority matter'.
'As you might imagine, this is a very complicated case involving many more companies than just xerox,' the statement said.
A spokesman said the company was trying to ensure that all of their charges would be covered.
Anthem, which is the family's health provider, also said it was working to resolve the problems, and said their case 'illustrates the frustrations we and the health exchange have had in dealing with Xerox.'
08-10-2014, 03:50 AMXerox, which runs the health exchange website, has released a statement saying the Smiths' case 'is a priority matter'.
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