A Nevada family says it was left with more than $1 million in medical bills after a series of errors on their health plan left their newborn daughter off their policy and mixed up details.
Father-of-five Kynell Smith says he used Nevada Health Link to sign up for a new plan last year, but payments were lost, his wife’s insurance card was inaccurate and the couple still hasn’t been able to add their newborn, who was born prematurely in February.
“I think it's a disaster,” he said. “I don't know who to blame, and I really don't care who's to blame.”
Smith is considering legal action after the series of mistakes left his family in debt.
“I have spent countless hours on the phone trying to get this resolved,” Smith told KSNV-TV. “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?”
But the checks Smith is writing are being cashed.
"In December, I submitted a payment and they couldn't find it," Smith said.
In January, when his children visited doctors the insurance company, Anthem, said it had no record of their policy. The visits weren’t covered.
When they received insurance cards in February, his wife Amber’s listed the wrong date of birth. Smith said it ended up being a paperwork nightmare. Then she gave birth to their fifth child, Kinsley, early. Kinsley still hasn’t been added to their policy. She was in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Amber’s appendix nearly burst. The family’s medical costs skyrocketed to $1.2 million.
“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.”
Spokesman for the board of the state exchange, C.J. Bawden told the Review Journal that it is “fully aware” of Smith’s situation.
“We’re working very quickly to solve it,” Bawden said. “There are multiple issues incorporated in this case, and it’s something that just takes a bit of time to work through. But we’re trying to solve it as quickly as possible so they will have access to their health insurance, and will be able to go back and make sure charges accrued over this time period are taken care of by their insurance.”
But the Smiths are ready for the nightmare to be over.
“I’m just praying for January to get here so I can get out of the exchange as quickly as possible,” Smith said.
Image source: Flickr Creative Commons / U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Joseph A. Boomhower