Customers complain of confusion in dealing with HealthSource RI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The most common complaint into the Call 12 for Action Center over the past three months has been problems with HealthSource RI – so Consumer Reporter Susan Hogan went straight to the source to try to get some answers.

Customers are getting angry with the state-run Obamacare marketplace, saying critical health decisions are being put on hold because they can’t get a straight answer.

Bill Liebrich of Warwick is a single guy – so why would HealthSource RI sign him up for 13 insurance plans?

Liebrich was shocked when he received his first bill, which he said was for nearly $2,300. Liebrich knew something wrong had happened when he signed up, but was it his fault or HealthSource’s? He said he wasn’t sure because no one could tell him what went wrong.

“The lady on the phone seemed almost as confused as I was,” he recalled.

Confusion seems to be a recurring theme with HealthSource RI.

“When I came through the door three weeks ago, it was apparent to me right away that we had some customer service issues,” said Anya Rader Wallack, who was recently appointed by Gov. Gina Raimondo as HealthSource RI’s new executive director.

Some of the complaints we’ve heard include:

  • “They cashed my parents’ check and they still have no health insurance.”
  • “For some reason my policy has been terminated again.”
  • “Payment was made for December and January, and they are telling me they can’t find the payments.”

Wallack puts some of the blame on HealthSource RI’s complex computer information system, which was built with more than $100 million in federal funding. She admits that HealthSource RI has had an alarming number of errors within their own system, and said they’re conducting a full investigation with their vendor.

“We have put more people in the contact center dealing with both customers who are calling in, and specifically with problem cases,” she said.

However, Liebrich’s problem case was pushed up to a priority in its third month, and it’s still not resolved. He does have one insurance plan now, but he still doesn’t have his dental card, and his account still shows he owes money from being on 13 insurance plans.

HealthSource RI said as of Wednesday, a little more than 28,000 Rhode Islanders have enrolled for coverage in 2015. State leaders are now debating whether they should keep the state-run insurance marketplace – and if so, how they should pay for its budget – or instead switch Rhode Island to the federal marketplace.

This year’s deadline for individuals to enroll in insurance plans through HealthSource RI is Sunday, Feb. 15.

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