It gets better, the closer you look. By better I mean, of course, much worse.
Here is the top of the March 11 notice I had absolutely no notice of (until, in desperation, suddenly, irrevocably without health insurance or access to affordable health care, I stumbled on it on April 14):
That highly effective, legally impeccable March 11 notice, transmitted immediately to my insurer (my only copy was belatedly found, a month too late, nestled in the inbox of the website we are forced to visit once a year to re-enroll,) referred to the “separate notice” I also had, exclusively in my inbox on their website, the one placed in my inbox the day after I re-enrolled last December.
Emails from your agency, your corporation, reminding us about voluntary customer surveys untaken, updating us about your handy new phone app? Sure, absolutely, we can send as many of those as you like. A single email informing you your health insurance is in immediate jeopardy of sudden cancellation without notice? Show us the law that requires that, loser!
An unambiguous warning, you must admit, that March 11 notice. If I’d seen it, I would have known what I needed to do immediately (as I quickly and easily did on April 14, as soon as I found the March 11 notice on-line). Unfortunately, the law doesn’t protect LOSERS from their own negligent mistakes, loser! What’s hard to understand about read the fine print CAREFULLY?
There was, admittedly, a strong hint in December’s “separate notice” informing me that, although I had apparently successfully re-enrolled for 2020, and would be covered for a long period, that I was not yet actually fully qualified for the insurance that had been approved (and that covered me from Jan.1 through March 31, and from May 1 til the end of the year, presumably).
That much was made plain in the very first lines of the 12/7/19 letter, the “separate notice” noticed in the notice of March 11. In hindsight, the clues “for a limited time” and “required document(s)” are dead giveaways. How could I have been so dang STOOOO-pit?!
The 12/7 notice begins:
We have redetermined your household’s eligibility on December 6, 2019 for enrollment through NY State of Health based on updated information we recently received. Below are the results of our determination: EW Marketplace ID: HX000075019789123123345677889
Eligibility Result: Eligible to enroll in the Essential Plan with a $(redacted) premium per month for a limited time. This means that you must return required document(s) to NY State of Health to continue your eligibility. The Essential Plan will cover all essential health benefits with low co-pays for certain services and no annual deductible. You may choose to also enroll in dental and vision benefits for an additional monthly premium. This eligibility is effective as of January 1, 2020.
What you need to do next: Provide additional information in order to confirm your eligibility – More information about what documents you need to provide NY State of Health can be found in the “Request for Additional Information to Confirm Your Eligibility” section of this letter.
Using your health coverage – You will receive services through your health plan. Information about your benefits can be found in the “Additional Plan Enrollment Information for Essential Plan” section of this letter.
In fairness, the “Request for Additional Information to Confirm Your Eligibility” section plainly described the document I needed to submit. It was right there, in impossible to miss black and white, on a long list on page 12 of the twelve page letter. It is likely the drop-dead cancellation date of March 5 (triggering the March 11 notice to insurer to cancel effective March 31) was also explicitly mentioned somewhere in the bulk of the letter, perhaps after the several pages that repeated certain legal rights in a host of languages spoken by the citizens of New York State (which is where the tax document I uploaded was listed).
The point, of course, is not whether any of it is fair or not. The point is not whether somebody with the means would hire a lawyer and take legal action to have something done about this kind of outrageous institutional abuse. A person of means would not find themselves in this position anyway, there are certain minimal protections for the average prosperous citizen, even as they may not be robust protections (except for the extremely wealthy). The point is: if you depend on the kindness of your government and the corporations it does business with TO HELP YOU, what are you going to fucking do about it, you fucking loser? LOOO-zuh!
Go write a sarcastic tweet, as is your absolute privilege under the United States Constitution, Amendment One.