As promised, I went on the Healthcare.gov website to enroll since I will be losing my healthcare in April.
The online part was easy and quick. Except that if you currently have health insurance, you need to take a form into your employer and have them fill it out. I get my insurance through the Screen Actors Guild. The work is done via many employers. They are usually based in California or New York. So, you can’t go to one employer and have them fill it out. One year I worked on 60 projects.
Let’s call someone and figure this out. We call and a happy phone machine gal answers. She asks what state we are calling about. I am put on hold for a short time. Great. The rep has a heavy southern, yet comprehendible accent. Fine. She asks for phone number, name and address.
I explain that the healthcare is via a union. The rep says go ask the employer to fill out the form.
“But this is Screen Actors Guild. My husband is an actor.”
“Tell him to speak with his employer.”
“Do you understand how Screen Actors Guild health insurance works?” I figured she wouldn’t and I could get someone who may know or at least some resolution.
“Then, you know he would work for lots of employers.”
“Ma’am, what do you mean by actor?”
“He works as an actor. Do you have a television set?”
“Yes, ma’am. I watch some housewife show [sic] and football.”
“Have you ever seen a film?”
“He is an actor in films. So, I guess you don’t know how artistic unions work.”
She hung up the phone. I had previously agreed to answer a survey on customer service. One, on a scale of one = bad, was not a lonely number.
I tried again. I cut right through the beginning for phone call two and stated ‘representative’ at the first prompt upon the happy phone machine gal answering the call.
Okay, Bambi was trying to be helpful. [Real name] She put me on hold to try and figure out where to send the call. She had one suggestion- call the union. They must be fielding this from a lot of actors losing their insurance on a quarterly basis. Well, at least that is a next step. She also explained that although the insurance need would be past the regular enrollment period [ends March 31, 2014], I would qualify for extenuating life changes such as death, birth and loss of insurance.
Off to call the union. Will a union based in California and New York, where they have their own state programs, understand what we need to do in Pennsylvania?