HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Waikele man who waited nearly two months for health insurance that he signed up under Obamacare may have been the victim of bad advice and a fluke in Kaiser Permanente's computer system.
Roughly 4,300 people in Hawaii have enrolled for health care under the new program since October 1, but this man has been waiting for seven weeks to be get coverage.
"I'm just afraid that if I do get hit by a bus that no one will take care of me because one, I don't have health insurance to be covered," said Rob Rabideau who decided to enroll for health insurance on Christmas Eve, the first deadline for the Affordable Care Act, after being without insurance for five years.
He went online to the Hawaii Health Connector web site and signed up for a Kaiser bronze plan. But a few hours later he said he decided he wanted a Kaiser gold plan, which would cost him about $100 more a month but offered lower co-payments. So he called the Hawaii Health Connector.
"They said, yes, Mr. Rabideau, we'll change it. But we don't have the equipment to delete the bronze plan that you signed up for. But we're going to submit the paperwork to Kaiser," Rabideau said.
A Health Connector spokesman said he should have been allowed to cancel his first plan, so he may have gotten bad advice from the connector staffer by phone.
Rabideau said Kaiser notified him in early January he was enrolled in the bronze plan, the lower-priced option that he did not want.
A Kaiser spokeswoman said Kaiser's system won't allow people to register for two types of insurance in the same day, figuring that's an error, so it would only recognize the first plan they signed up for. That's a feature that's being updated and improved, she said.
"They basically have been pointing fingers at each other. The Kaiser reps have been saying 'Oh, you need to call the Health Care Connector people and, Keoki, I've done that. I've done that at least on four different occasions," Rabideau, a computer consultant, said.
He's also called Kaiser several times since early January and said one representative told him there was a backlog in processing new applications from the Hawaii Health Connector. A Kaiser spokeswoman said applications are now being processed in a timely manner but she can't say whether there was a backlog earlier this year.
"I just want to pay for the plan that I want, not the plan that you folks have me on your record," Rabideau told a Kaiser representative by phone Thursday.
Thursday, he finally received good news. A Kaiser representative said he could enroll in the Gold Plan -- the more expensive one he's been trying to join for nearly two months.
"I'm glad I'm finally being given some answers. But why this long?" Rabideau said.
Kaiser spokeswoman Laura Lott said Kaiser has proved medical care to patients whose insurance paperwork is still in progress to make sure they get the services they need.