MD Health Exchange Woes
August 6, 2014 2:00 PM   Subscribe

I've been applying for health care since November, but I'm still on my pre-ACA health care plan. People at the Maryland Health Connection tell me that my information has been sent to my provider three times, but my provider says they've never gotten anything. What can I do?

I've called Maryland Health Connection's customer support center a few dozen times. I've called Kaiser several times. I called Barbara Mikulski's office on the advice of my brother who used to staff for her. The staffer I talked to gave me other numbers to call. One didn't connect. The other hasn't responded. I'm told that there's no ombudsman, no way to file a complaint, nobody else I can talk to. I don't know what else to do at this point.

The most frustrating thing is that I know that some of the customer support people have been telling me that they'll do things and then just not done them. I'm told that appeals and investigations have been filed or that supervisors will call me back. Callbacks never happen, and when I call to ask about investigations, I'm told that there's nothing in my file, and the reference numbers I give them only say that I called.
posted by Akhu to Law & Government (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you can get to an office with three-way conference calling, try this.

* Call the customer service at Maryland Health Connection. Ask them to wait so you can get your provider on the phone to "help sort this out."

* Call your health provider customer service and ask them if they can join you on a call with Maryland Health Connection to "help sort this out."

* When you've gotten all three of you on the line, explain to both of them that "Cindy at Maryland Health connection is saying that they've sent my papers to my health provider, but Lucy at my provider is saying they don't have it; maybe Cindy can tell Lucy what address you were using, or has more details that I just don't know?" And then sit back and let the two of THEM sort it out, while you're listening in (and are there to answer questions if they need you).

They're using you as a middleman right now, and sometimes getting out of the middle and getting the two of them to speak directly can help sort this shit out. Be polite and make like you're assuming that maybe someone somewhere just gave a wrong address so "gee, let's have the two of you speak directly so we're all extra super clear it's the right address this time" or whatever.

The thing is, you've gotten the two people who speak the same language talking to each other rather than talking through you, and that can speed things up sometimes ("we sent it on blah blah blah and the SKULER-BINDING number was [schmeh]." "....Oh, it was [schmeh]? We've been looking in [ZING], no wonder - ah, here it is.") Sometimes they have secret knowledge that they know to mention to each other that they wouldn't think to mention to a regular member of the public.

Good luck.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:16 PM on August 6, 2014 [3 favorites]

-Find out from MHC how they are sending this info to your provider. Fax, email, postal mail? What number or address are they using? Check with your provider to verify the address is correct.

-Call the senator's office again and tell them those numbers don't work. They need correct numbers for all constituents, not just you, so ask them to get the correct numbers.

-Call your House Rep's office, the office of your state senator or your state rep.

If you get no satisfaction on the phone, try switching to email:

-There is an appeals page on their website with an email address. An email to that address might not go to the right place, but it may get forwarded to the right place.

-MHC has a twitter and facebook account. You could try direct messaging them. If the person managing the account can't help you, ask for an email address of someone who can help you.

-There is a feedback form on the website that accepts comments. You could try to send them a message there as well.
posted by soelo at 2:50 PM on August 6, 2014

Also , try talking to your local connector organization. And your local state senator and delegates.
posted by postel's law at 4:46 PM on August 6, 2014

Call the Dem nominee for governor. He will probably help.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:59 PM on August 6, 2014

Yeah, Maryland's Exchange clearly did not work as hoped and they are redoing it based on Connecticut's leaner (but working) functionality.

Your best bet is to be a squeaky wheel with the constituent services people of your Congressional reps. There's probably nothing the people on the phone at Maryland Health Connection can do to overcome a non-functional system. It's not worth your time to keep calling them if they are unable to help.
posted by 26.2 at 6:29 PM on August 6, 2014

If you can send the information to the provider yourself, maybe you could send it certified mail. Then when you call someone with the provider and they say they never received your info, you can say, "That's weird because a woman named Becky Signature Lady signed for it at 4:19 p.m. on Wednesday. Maybe I can talk to her?" I don't know how these things work but an insurance company kept telling my husband that they never received the claim info from the hospital he had visited so he sent the claim by certified mail. Good luck.
posted by kat518 at 8:43 PM on August 6, 2014

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