For Tambra Momi, who has Dercum’s disease, health coverage can’t come soon enough.
Courtesy of Tambra Momi
Tambra Momi has been eagerly awaiting the promise of guaranteed health insurance.
Since 2011, she has battled Dercum’s disease, a rare and painful condition in which noncancerous tumors sprout throughout her body, pressing against nerves.
Jobless and in a wheelchair, Momi needs nine different drugs, including one costing $380 a month, to control the pain and side effects. No insurer has been willing to cover her, she says, except a few that have taken her money and then refused to pay for her medications.
Yet her effort to sign up for the health law’s coverage has been painful in its own way. Momi, who lives in Fort Mohave, Ariz., hasn’t been able to complete an application on the federal HealthCare.gov website. Three attempts to submit an application over the phone haven’t panned out. Once when she called back, she says she was told they had no record of the application. Another time, officials told her they could see the application but couldn’t open it.
“I was so elated with this whole thing,” Momi, 46, says about the health insurance marketplace., “Now I’m praying to God that I’ll be able to get something.”
Enrollment has been open since Oct. 1, but hitches such as those that Momi encountered have put many people behind schedule. The next three weeks are critical for consumers keen on getting health coverage as soon as the health law allows it on Jan. 1. People who want coverage by then need to sign up no later than Dec. 23. Consumers can still enroll up to the end of March, but their coverage will begin later.
For people in the states with
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