HEALTH

Affordable Care Act: Maryland man repeatedly rejected by health exchange

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President Obama has insisted that when it comes to the Affordable Care Act, "If you like your plan, you will be able to keep your plan."

But some health insurance seekers aren’t buying it.

Brian Shaffer is one of the estimated millions of Americans being dropped by their health insurance because it doesn’t measure up to the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act.

And so far, Shaffer isn’t being allowed to buy new insurance.

“I went to the Maryland Exchange, filled out the application, and at the end it told me I wasn't eligible because I was not a U.S. citizen, he explained.

Shaffer's birth certificate shows that he was born in Allegheny County, and that he now lives in Cumberland. But even after faxing his driver’s license and birth certificate twice, the state is still saying it needs to verify his citizenship.

"I believe it's just sheer stupidity," he said.

Shaffer spent 25 years researching his family’s long history to find that they came to the U.S. on the Mayflower.

“For the past 13 generations, my family has lived in this country, was born in this country," he insisted.

Maryland Health Exchange's Director of Operations confirmed that certified navigators are able to verify citizenship documentation.

"We regret that Mr. Shaffer has experienced difficulties in recent weeks. We will have someone in touch directly with Mr. Shaffer in the next 24 hours to assist him."

And in an additional statement from Rebecca Pearce of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, she wrote:

Maryland Health Connection’s purpose is to help Marylanders obtain quality, affordable health insurance. While we have been pleased with the interest in Maryland Health Connection, we have not been satisfied with the performance of Maryland’s health insurance website, or with the pace of improvements to the site since it launched on October 1.

In response to our concerns about the site's performance, our prime contractor, Noridian Healthcare Solutions (“Noridian”) is making a number of changes, including increasing the resources devoted to the project. These new resources will provide additional information technology and project management support; additional expertise in electronic data interface with insurance carriers; and enhanced user testing capacity. The Maryland Health Benefit Exchange is currently working with Noridian to identify additional measures that may be necessary for the project's success.

We are committed to the success of Maryland Health Connection and to fixing the technical problems. We expect the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange board to meet in the days ahead to address these matters. We will continue to keep the public informed as we move forward.

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