Mass. Woman’s Healthcare Nightmare: ‘I’ve Lost My Insurance’
BOSTON (CBS) – It has been four full months since the state started offering health insurance coverage on a website that conformed with changes in federal law.
But many customers are still in limbo, including one local woman who has been struggling to find out if she is even covered at this point.
Mary Kay Feely is one of thousands believed to be stuck in the twilight zone of a website that just keeps on failing, despite repeated promises from state officials that a fix is at hand, assurances that are being greeted with mounting skepticism by frustrated, frightened customers.
“I keep thinking it’ll correct itself but it just seems to be getting worse,” Feely told WBZ Political Editor Jon Keller.
Feely is a self-employed marketing consultant who applied for health coverage last fall, and has been writing, calling, and sending checks to the connector for months.
Apparently, the application still hasn’t gone through.
“I didn’t have any application they could find. I wasn’t in the system. They had my money, but it was in a holding pen because they didn’t have any place to apply it,” she said. I find I don’t have any insurance and I don’t know when I will have insurance.”
Feely is one of scores of people flooding the Connector Facebook page with similar complaints.
At this point, she is feeling more than just frustration with a balky bureaucracy. She’s frightened about what would happen if she became ill or injured.
“I would have to pay out of pocket everything, she explained. “I would probably be seriously on the brink of losing everything.”
When asked about the complaints, Governor Patrick was defensive, insisting that the problems would be fixed.
“I think what the public needs to know and what I have said publicly is that no one is going to be at risk of losing their insurance,” the Governor said. “I think it’s important for all of us who have a public voice, me and members of the media, not to play into that panic, not to encourage that panic, but rather to assure people that they are covered.”
But that message wasn’t good enough for Feely.
“I have no idea if I will have any insurance until March. So yeah, nice talking point but it’s not true,” she said when asked about the governor’s comment. “He’s basically telling me that ‘you’re wrong.’ He’s telling me, ‘no, no, you have insurance and its going to happen.’ I don’t, and it’s not happening.”
Feely, a self-described supporter of health care reform says the experience has badly shaken her faith in government.
“I’ve lost my insurance, I have no insurance,” she said.
As she waits for the fix state officials have been promising for months, she treads carefully on the snow and ice outside, mindful that one nasty fall could be the end of her financial stability.