I’m not even logged into the site, and I get this pop up. Freaked me out, I thought my medical was unpaid. It’s like a horror movie jump scare. I didn’t even know how to get past it for a moment. It seemed so threatening, because I’m terrified of losing health insurance coverage, that my normal instinct to click on the background was overriden. I really wanted a button that said “I already paid” or “Login”. Instead I clicked PAYNOW, because I thought they knew something I didn’t.
I realized this was a general announcement, and on my next trip, clicked on the background. But when I tried to login:
Yeah, so get fucked Ambetter. You might wonder why I’m so stressed about Health Insurance coverage. There are many reasons, from not trusting insurance companies, to not being able to get coverage for years, and that my daughter will require an organ transplant. So keeping that insurance up and running is life and death for me. The biggest reason though is that private companies fuck up, and the government fucks up, and when you mix those two together – you get awesome fuckup potential.
Ambetter cancelled my health insurance and then charged me $10,000
A few years back, I had an interesting experience. Ambetter withdrew almost $10,000 directly from my checking account, without any warning or request for permission. They overdrew my account on a Friday, which made it nearly impossible to understand what was going on, or to get my money back. Looking back, I definitely over-reacted, but in my defense, it was a lot of money and I felt pretty violated that it was done without any communication with me. I take that back. I just remember – I ALSO received notification that my insurance had been cancelled. Trying to login to Ambetter sent me to an error page.
It took a few weeks to sort out what happened, and at least 8 hours sitting on phone calls. When you sign up for healthcare through Obamacare / Healthcare.gov, your application is sent to the health insurance company you chose. They create an account for you, get you that account information, and you are then responsible for making payments. Kindly refer back to the image at the top of this article. This announcement is for people who have most likely been signed up via Healthcare.gov, but have not paid yet.
When I was setting up my application, there had been a problem. If you have insurance with Ambetter, and the year ends, you will be automatically set up to continue your healthcare on the same plan for the coming year. There was some confusion with my account, and two applications were created. One rolled over properly, and the other got stuck in the system.
6 months later, that second application “unstuck”. Ambetter promptly cancelled my insurance, and then immediately signed me up their insurance! This new account was seriously past due! So they autobilled me $1850 x 5 months. This whole process also fucked up my main account, so any any attempts to login in there still get me an error message.
Sorry, nothing we can do
Sorry nothing we can do
I permanently lost access to my older healthcare information. There was no way to reattach the accounts, and all my deductibles were lost. This didn’t personally affect me, so I wasn’t willing to fight that fight. But that seemed like it would be pretty shitty for them to try and deny payment because my deductible had been paid on the account they cancelled… not the new one they set up.
Overall I’m lucky and grateful. I know how to navigate these systems, knew I’d get my money back eventually. Had enough money that I could absorb my checking account being “stolen”. I could have even claimed fraud, and had my bank return the money. I know many people who would have been completely paralyzed by this type of situation, unsure how to proceed, unable to spend 8+ hours stalking down the right people and applying enough pressure to get it fixed.
At least fixed “good enough”. They couldn’t undo the problem – but they did eventually refund the money, give us new cards, and live moved on. I do sometimes accidentally type in the wrong login, and I get autodirected to a frozen account that I can’t sign out of. But a “clear cache” and I”m back on track.