When President Obama promised that his signature health care law would expand access to health care to more Americans, he never mentioned that would include pets.
But apparently at least one dog has managed to sign up for health insurance on the new marketplace, so far. (No, he didn’t try the website.)
Baxter, a 14-year-old Yorkie, received a congratulatory letter from Colorado’s state insurance exchange on Tuesday, informing him that an account had been opened in his name. The letter was delivered about one month after his human owner, Shane Smith of Fort Collins, attempted to sign up for health insurance.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is so awesome,’” Smith told KDVR. “They have gone out of their way to insure my 14-year-old Yorkie.”
Of course, Baxter’s letter, which was addressed to “Baxter Shane Smith,” was the result of a processing mistake made by Colorado’s exchange. Smith had called Connect for Health Colorado to enroll himself in a new insurance policy after he received a notice that his current plan was being cancelled because it didn’t meet new standards required under Obamacare.
During the call, a representative asked him a series of security questions, one of which, he answered with his dog’s name. “They must have just put it in the wrong slot or something,” Smith said.
In response to the incident, a spokesman for Connect for Health Colorado said in a statement, “as with any new system, mistakes are possible and when notified by customers, we work quickly to resolve the situation.”
Indeed, the issue has since been resolved. But Smith, who is among at least 4.2 million Americans who received cancellation notices, said the new healthcare law has caused a fair share of headaches. And he didn’t even use the tech-troubled HealthCare.gov!
“There’s been a lot of headaches that’s come from all of this. All the phone calls. All the nonsense. They ended up giving me good coverage I think, but who knows if they’re going to take it away,” Smith said “As long as Baxter’s covered that’s all the counts,” he joked.
This is just the latest in a series of glitches experienced by Americans in the wake of Obamacare’s troubled rollout. Although Smith was still able to sign up on the exchanges, problems with Healthcare.gov, as well as long wait times at call centers have deterred or prevented people from enrolling. Indeed, the official enrollment numbers released by the Obama administration last week show just 106,000 people have signed up for plans nationwide—far below the 500,000 the White House had anticipated to enroll in October.
In Colorado, some 3,736 have signed up for coverage. But the state might want to do a recount, just in case someone else took the Adorable Care Act campaign a little too seriously.
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