A typo on a Nevada mother's insurance card may cost her family up to $1.2 million in medical bills.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Amber Smith delivered her daughter — named Kinsley — five weeks prematurely this February. As a result of the premature birth, Smith was forced to undergo two surgeries and stay in the hospital for 40 days. The newborn child also spent 10 days in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Smith and her husband Kynell also have four other children, and the resulting medical bills have been too much to bear for the family. The couple's insurance —with Anthem Blue Cross — was purchased through Nevada Health Link, the insurance exchange created as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The company, however, is refusing to accept the couple's claims because Smith's birth year is written as 1978 on her insurance card, rather than the correct year of 1979.
Both Smith and Kynell maintain that they made two premium payments this January and should be in good standing with their insurance company. Anthem, however, has refused to provide coverage. They have apparently also been denying the couple's attempt to add Kinsley to their plan.
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"I have spent countless hours on the phone trying to get this resolved. 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?" said Kynell, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Fox News reports that the couple has contacted a law firm regarding their case, although they have not moved forward with any litigation at this time.
Nevada Health Link was one of the many sites that experienced technical difficulties during the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act's exchange marketplaces. Nevada's online system, which was created by Xerox, was apparently designed so that changes to data such as birth years need to be conducted through the system rather than through the specific carrier.
Earlier this year, Nevada's Silver State Health Insurance Exchange board voted unanimously to drop Xerox as the contractor for its website, opting instead to use the federal Healthcare.gov.