Metro man has trouble terminating marketplace health insurance

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Enrollment ends Tuesday on the government’s health insurance marketplace if you want coverage to start January 1.  As some people are getting coverage, a metro man contacted us about his trouble getting out of his.

Vince McCarty was thrilled to have health insurance through the marketplace.  He got a subsidy so his coverage was reasonably-priced.

“I loved it.  Not bad, not bad, so I stuck with it,” said McCarty.

This fall, he turned 65 and became eligible for Medicare.  That coverage would start in November.  On October 12, he called the government call center to give the required two-week notice that he was terminating marketplace coverage.  He says the call taker didn’t seem to know much about our health care system.

“He had no idea what Medicare was.  None whatsoever.  And he couldn't understand why I was terminating. I said I have to.  I don't have an option,” said McCarty.

He says he understood his marketplace coverage would be stopped, but then he got a bill from the insurer, Coventry, for November.  Coventry hadn’t been notified by the government.  When he contacted the call center again, there was a record of his October call.

“It just said I terminated.  He asked me if I terminated the call.  I said no, I didn't terminate the call.  I was terminating the insurance,” said McCarty.

He wound up having to pay Coventry the November premium since the government didn’t terminate his coverage until November 14.

FOX 4 contacted CMS, the agency that handles the marketplace.  It says it will see that McCarty’s notification is dated October 12, so he can get back the November premium.

McCarty says there’s a lesson to be learned.  He says he should have enrolled in the marketplace through a health insurance broker who could have helped him get out of his plan

“I would have gotten a broker and done this.  Even though it was easy for me to apply, getting out of this has been a real pain,” he said.

Brokers can help with health insurance enrollment on and off the marketplace. To find one, go to this link.