Family rushes child surgery because of healthcare - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Family rushes child surgery because of healthcare

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POWHATAN, VA (WWBT) -

A local family has been trying for months to sign up for a plan under the Affordable Care Act, but with no success. Now they have to move up their son's surgery in order to pay for it.

"The last thing I wanted for my 4-year-old is to have surgery on Christmas Eve and then not be able to get him Christmas presents because we have to pay for the surgery," said Melody Pickels.

Pickels is living her worst nightmare. Her dream Christmas won't be a reality, now that most of her family's time will be spent at a hospital with their son who has to have throat surgery.

"We have to make sure it gets covered by our insurance company because we don't know if we are going to have insurance January 1 or not because the government doesn't know what they are doing," Pickels said.

Pickels has fought relentlessly over the last three months to get insurance coverage in the Healthcare Market Place. She has battled web site issues and disconnected phone calls, until finally a glimmer of hope. She got a letter saying that her application had been received - that hope would quickly be shattered.

"So I call them and they can't even find the application," said Pickels.

After re-submitting that application several times, Pickels was told Monday that no record had been found, so now she and her family remain in limbo, not knowing if they will have healthcare by the first of the year.

"I think it's really bad technology. I think it's just no one is being held accountable, and the insurance companies are not communicating with the marketplace. No one cares," said Pickels.

If you or anyone you know are having trouble signing up for health care with the government, you can get help by contacting federal agents at 1-800-318-2596.

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