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Health Care Headaches Continue

WATERVLIET -- Health care headache!  The state-run health exchange has been open to insurance shoppers for more than three months now, but many people are still having trouble signing up for coverage.  At the same time, some have been losing their existing plans. 

One local man contacted CBS 6 saying he's one of those falling through the cracks.  He says he's running out of time, and looking for help!

Brad Blauhut from Watervliet says he's been without insurance since the plan he had was discontinued at the end of 2013.  The Affordable Care Act forced him to find a new one.  Like many, he had trouble just getting on to the website.  But that was just the beginning, and he's reminded of it every time he walks out the door.

"The state of New York is spending money on advertisements when they don't have the product to sell," Blauhut said.There's no going home to avoid your problems.

Two doors down from Blauhut's front door, a big billboard announcing the day you can find a quality health plan.  Blauhut says today's not that day, and it hasn't been since he first dialed the state of health call center for help.

"She said that my application was complete and that I would receive a letter and a card in the mail," Blauhut said.  "That was December 10th.  I haven't received anything."

"It's incredible," he said.  "I don't have health insurance for the first time in my life."

Blauhut says his navigator hasn't been able to help him.  He says he uploaded all the documents for which he was asked, and still can't select a plan.

"It's not as intuitive as one might think it would be so I can see someone having a problem with something like that," said Dan Colacino from the Rose & Kiernan firm, which works between insurance companies, businesses, and the state.

Blauhut runs his own business, too, as a home improvement contractor. Other business owners are having trouble when it comes to tax credit eligibility.

"We've had a lot of employers who have talked about it and just gave up and said it's probably not worth it so they just haven't done it," Colacino said.

Blauhut says he can't give up, and he's running out of time.  If he got insurance today, he wouldn't be covered until the first of March.

"I've been going to the same doctor for twelve years," Blauhut said.

 "When I go every single time I have to show an insurance id card.  That's the first thing they want to see."CBS 6 reached out to the New York State Health Department.  We were told that representatives would be giving Blauhut a call to see if they can straighten out his issue and see if they can sign him on as soon as possible.

According to the state, more than 294,000 people have been able to enroll.
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