I have been receiving a lot of calls on our Consumer Helpline (1-888-873-4585) from people having trouble signing up for the Charter Oak Health Care plan. Many of them are having difficulty in even getting answers to their questions from the toll free number that is the only one available for them to use. The number will keep them on hold for 10 or 15 minutes, only to transfer them to an automated voicemail where they are instructed to leave a message, which may or may not be returned.
Other callers know about the Charter Oak Health Plan but think of it a last resort for health insurance, because they are aware of the extremely limited number of doctors who participate. Another consumer, who considered Charter Oak, said that the premiums were too expensive and she didn’t think she could afford the co-payments and the $900 deductible for hospital care. It was her opinion that doctors should accept a certain number of Charter Oak patients – as a form of charity care. One consumer had actually been waiting for months to find out if she was eligible for Charter Oak. She was told she was eligible and that she would receive an enrollment kit, an insurance card and a provider directory. She didn’t receive any of them and so she didn’t really know if she was enrolled in the program. She wasn’t able to get necessary health care. She called the toll free Charter Oak number (1-877-77CTOAK) several times and left messages and her calls weren’t returned. She asked to speak to a supervisor and no one would allow her to speak to one.
A second consumer, a cancer survivor, has been trying for months to sign up for Charter Oak because her COBRA is about to run out. Thankfully, she may be eligible for HUSKY medical so she won’t have to keep trying to straighten out her Charter Oak application.
Unfortunately, the only phone number I’ve been able to use or give to people is the one they’re already trying and not having success with. I have been giving these consumers the phone number for the Office of the Health Care Advocate (1-866-HMO-4446). Someone from that office informed me that Infoline (211) also has access to the applications and people can call there to find out the status of their applications.