You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Frank Gray

  • WWII bomber drops in on city
      If you go into most museums, you’ll find plenty of staffers warning you to keep your hands to yourself.On Monday morning, though, the ultimate in hands-on museums arrived at the Fort Wayne International Airport.
  • Animal lover's petting zoo sullied by false allegations
    Darlene Chrisman has lived in the same place just outside the city limits for 20 years, and she says she’s had horses since 2000.
  • Paulding reports big-cat sightings
    It's not necessarily a case of who's hunting whom, but over in Paulding County, Ohio, there have been reports of a big cat – a really big cat – lurking in the woods and fields a few miles southeast of the county seat.

Issues persist in health care quest

Ted Baumgartner is retired but he had a full-time job in October trying to get his wife signed up for insurance on the website.

He spent 80 hours online, not to mention all the times he had phone conversations or online consultations, trying to get coverage for his wife, who isn’t of retirement age and whose employer-provided insurance was being canceled because it wasn’t comprehensive enough to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

Baumgartner was getting nervous because the deadline for getting her signed up was approaching and the last thing he needed was his wife going with no insurance. She is in good health, but things happen.

Well, Baumgartner got some good news a couple of weeks ago, and we wrote about it. After taking some time off from his insurance chase, he went online and tried again, and somehow everything worked. He signed his wife up for a policy. It cost more than she had been paying, but at least she was now signed up.

After that, it was just a question of waiting for the insurance company to mail him verification, along with details of the policy, little things like what hospitals are part of the plan, and what doctors, and how he was supposed to pay for the policy.

That’s been a couple of weeks ago. He still hasn’t gotten confirmation in the mail, though, so he decided to call the insurance company directly.

Well, he was told, the insurance company wouldn’t be able to tell him anything until next month. It couldn’t verify that his wife actually has insurance. Information on who is in the plan won’t come until next month, and as far as how Baumgartner should pay the bill, they wouldn’t be able to tell him anything until next month.

So an antsy Baumgartner went back to the website, where he was told his wife’s application for insurance had been canceled. He hadn’t canceled it.

“They said it was pending, then they said it was canceled,” Baumgartner said. “I’m just plain in limbo. I’m not the only one. I know others who are having the same problem.”

Meanwhile, Baumgartner says, he’s a nervous wreck.

“All I can do is wait,” he says. “And if they don’t call back,” well, he’ll have to figure out what to do.

He’s thinking of possible alternatives. In a pinch, can he just go to an insurance company or agent and buy his wife a policy? Probably, “But will she still be eligible for a subsidy?” Maybe.

Baumgartner has tried calling different numbers he’s been provided. The people at one number, he said, referred him to a different number. He called that, and they gave him another number – the one he’d called in the first place.

I advised Baumgartner to try to be patient. They’ve extended the deadline for actually paying the insurance premium until Dec. 23. Certainly in a month they’ll have this sorted out, I said – maybe.

Frank Gray reflects on his and others’ experiences in columns published Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He can be reached by phone at 461-8376, by fax at 461-8893, or by email at You can also follow him on Twitter @FrankGrayJG.