Politics

Woman Paid For 2 Health Care Plans After Trouble Disenrolling From Obamacare

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This Oct. 21, 2013 photo shows the government Internet health insurance exchange HealthCare.gov. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

This Oct. 21, 2013 photo shows the government Internet health insurance exchange HealthCare.gov. (credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

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For more information about the Affordable Care Act, visit CBSTampa.com/ACA.
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DELTONA, Fla. (CBS Tampa/AP) — A Florida woman had to pay for two health care plans after she had trouble disenrolling from Obamacare.

Melissa Battles tells WOFL-TV that she originally signed up through HealthCare.gov for insurance for herself and her autistic son.

“I enrolled online and it is very convoluted and takes a very long time to enroll,” Battles explained.

After getting a full-time job with benefits, Battles went to disenroll from the Obamacare insurance she purchased through HealthCare.gov. But trying to disenroll from Obamacare turned out to be a full-time job in itself.

“The first person I spoke with after being on hold for 49 minutes couldn’t do anything and they had to refer me to a specialist, who still couldn’t do anything,” Battles said. “They had to refer me to an event resolution center. There was no email address, there’s no direct number to the event resolution center, only the main 800 number. And there’s no mailing address to file any type of grievance or complaint about how it’s handled.”

By the time it took her to finally disenroll from Obamacare, she was already paying for both health plans.

“I was blown away that they had not thought forward enough to realize that people are going to disenroll,” she told WOFL. “This is going to be a common practice.”

Health and Human Services officials said more than 442,000 Floridians have signed up for plans since October. That’s not far from the Obama administration’s target goal of 477,000 for the end of March and surpasses the 381,600 goal for the end of February. A dozen other states, including California, are also on track.

The administration refused to directly say whether they thought they’d reach their soft target of 6 million enrollees by March 31. Instead, health officials said they expected a surge in enrollment with millions more Americans signing up in the next few weeks. The 6 million figure comes after the Congressional Budget Office scaled back its original target of 7 million because of ongoing problems with the federal website.

Nationwide, 4.2 million signed up for private coverage under President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to data from federal health officials. But with open enrollment ending March 31, that means to meet the goal, another 1.8 million people would have to sign up by the end of the month, an average of about 60,000 a day.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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