I wish IBM would hold a public hearing with their stockholders on the transition to Extend Health. Whomever vetted Extend Health aka Towers Watson should be fired.
As I have written earlier, I did all my homework and checked THREE times with EH to be sure what I was doing would be acceptable to EH such that I could get my subsidy both before and after my enrollment call. Everyone I spoke to at EH confirmed my selection would meet the criteria for enrollment such that I could get my subsidy. And, my profile says I have enrolled and my application is being processed. My choice, which was confirmed, was to enroll in a part D insurance plan I already am using in 2013.
When does an EH enrollment mean "maybe not"? You aren't really enrolled in an insurance plan until the insurance company processes and accepts your application. Better still - EH will say it is not their problem if the insurance company rejects your enrollment EVEN WHEN THEY KNOW IT WILL BE REJECTED.
When a colleague tried, this week, to do a similar enrollment to mine the EH agent he worked with knew enough to stop him from doing it. My colleague referenced my enrollment and gave the EH agent my name to say ... that person did it ... why can't I? According to the EH agents he worked with - my enrollment through EH will be rejected by my part D insurance plan because I already am enrolled in that plan. Ergo, I will not have enrolled via Extend Health so EH will not show as the agent of record. Ergo, I will not have access to my subsidy because I did not pick a plan where EH would be the insurance agent of record on my part D plan.
Now, one would think the EH agent would immediately flag my profile and tell someone to call me because he knew my name and that I will have this problem. Instead - he told my colleague this wasn't an EH problem - they are only the insurance agent. The insurance company will send me a letter and tell me about the duplicate enrollment rejection. My guess is the letter will say since you are already enrolled you don't need to enroll again. My further guess is they will say nothing about the fact that EH is therefore not the agent of record for you plan. And, therefore, had my colleague not tried to do the same thing, I would go on believing I had full access to my subsidy.
Nice - right? Wait - it gets better. If the insurance company tells me this after December 7th, I will still be in a stew even if I then realize it impacts my subsidy access. I will not be able to switch to another part D plan because Medicare Fall Enrollment will be close and I have no SEP for my part D plan. Ergo - no subsidy for me! Wow, this really demonstrates how EH is totally invested in helping us make the right insurance choices.
I decided I will just call EH and just tell them I changed my mind and want to enroll in another part D plan rather than try to fight this battle with them. I'm the one that has the most to lose. Ugh, another hour on the phone with EH enrollment listening to boilerplate and repeating my name and SS# a thousand times. It's a good thing I am retired.
Time to write another letter to Dr. Rhee.