Local Man's Two Month Effort To Get Obamacare

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A frustrated Pat Lightcap first talked to us in October.

At that time, he had decided to help a close personal friend apply on line for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

He says it took about an hour and a half to apply.

Two days after he applied, he showed us when he went on the website healthcare.gov to view his results, he was sent to a page to start an application all over again.

"I think the system probably got overloaded from what they anticipated," Lightcap told us. "But they had great anticipation, so they should've been prepared," he said.

A few days after we spoke to Lightcap, the President acknowleged problems with Obamacare sign up.

"Nobody's more frustrated by that than I am," said President Obama.

Lightcap's application never did show up on healthcare.gov.

Instead, he says after multiple phone calls and follow ups, he re-applied for the insurance over the phone.

Lightcap says he was pleased to find out his friend was eligible for $608 per month subsidy, leaving his friend to pay $80 a month premiums with reduced co-pays.

Lightcap says he then called the only Obamacare provider in the sunshine state, Florida Blue, ahead of the deadline by just a day or two to get his friend's coverage to be effective January 1st.

"I think the concept of having something available to people who fall through the cracks is a very good concept," he said.

Lightcap says he's cautiously optimistic about the insurance coverage.

According to census figures, Florida has the second highest uninsured population in the country.

Those figures show there are nearly 4-million Floridians under 65 years old without health coverage.


By: Andy Alcock
October 21, 2013

Madison County, FL - "There's no sugar coating it."

President Obama made that comment Tuesday about problems with the Affordable Health Care website.

"I think the concept of having something available to people who fall through the cracks is a very good concept," said Pat Lightcap.

We first introduced you to Pat Lightcap on Thursday.

It was two days after he tried to get health insurance for a close personal friend under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare on the website healtchcare.gov

Now, nearly a week after completing an hour and half application process, he still doesn't know if his friend is eligible.

"We clicked on that option it said webpage can not be found," said Lightcap.

President Obama says the website was supposed to make it easy for people to get health insurance.

Instead, he says the website has been too slow and many people like Lightcap have been stuck without answers either during or after the application process.

"Nobody's more frustrated by that than I am," said President Obama.

"I think the system probably got overloaded from what they anticipated," said Lightcap. "But they had great anticipation, so they should've been prepared for the load that they got," he said.

"And there's no excuse for the problems and the problems are getting fixed," said President Obama.

One change would allow applicants to more easily view health insurance plans in their area.

"The three or four people I talked with at the call center had not even been trained to show a consumer how to get to a list of plans in the county without applying, said Lightcap. "You can do that on-line on that website," he said.

President Obama didn't give a timetable on when the website will be fixed.

A computer expert CBS News interviewed said it could take weeks or even months to fix all the website's problems.


By: Any Alcock
October 21, 2013

Madison County, FL - Pat Lightcap is retired.

Two weeks after open enrollment began for the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, on Tuesday, he decided to help a close personal friend apply on-line for insurance.

He says it took about an hour and a half to apply.

Two days later he showed us when he went on the government website to view his results, he was sent to a page to start an application all over again.

"I think the implementation of the program and the program itself need a lot of fine tuning," said Lightcap.

Lightcap has been persistent in his pursuit of health insurance for his friend.

He says he's called the government's help center four times and checked on-line several times to see if his friend is eligible.

"I tried to call Senator Nelson's office about this the other day, forgot there wouldn't be anybody there because of the shutdown," he said.

Lightcap made some other discoveries.

While there are offices throughout Florida to get face to face help with the application process. there's no Madison County help provider.

He also found "Florida Blue" or Blue Cross is the only health insurance provider for Obamacare in both Madison and Leon County.

And most troubling, premium estimates on the government website are $300 per month less than actual costs.

It means unless his friend is eligible for a significant government subsidy, the Affordable Care Act may not be very affordable.

"I have the feeling it wasn't ready fo prime time," said Lightcap.

Lightcap has Medicare Part D coverage for his prescription medicine.

He says if he sticks with the same plan, his costs will more than double in 2014.

He believes the Affordable Care Act is pushing his medicare costs up.


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