Dear PoPville – Anyone Have Success with DC HealthLink?

by Prince Of Petworth January 3, 2014 at 3:15 pm 13 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Faucetini

“Dear PoPville,

I have been trying to enroll in the DC HealthLink since mid-November and I’m STILL not signed up for insurance. At first my account locked me out, then someone at Mary’s Center (bless their hearts over there!) advised me to just set up a different account, which I did. I was then able to submit a completed application. For the past 2 weeks, it has been asking me to please upload financial documents, which I did 2 weeks ago! Today I received an email asking me for a good deal of personal info, which I won’t send out to some random person claiming to be from DC HealthLink! (Plus, they asked for my email address which is a little odd, given that they emailed me to ask). In the meantime, I have no idea what my insurance status is.

Has anyone else had this problem? Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to go to get this taken care of?”

  • Your best bet is to call the DC Dept of Insurance with your concerns: (202) 727-8000. They should be able to tell you about any problems with Health Link and also should be up-to-date re: any potential scams.

  • PrettyPaula

    I signed up pretty easily but I am not requesting a subsidy.

    • Anon

      Same here. The only glitches I encountered were 1) it took DC Health Link several weeks to pass on my first payment to CareFirst, so there was a chance that I wouldn’t get my new cards by the new year (I got them, though) and 2) the website erroneously had me listed as enrolled in 2 identical plans. When I called DC Health Link they told me that this must be a website-only error, as they could see that I was only enrolled in 1.

      • logandude

        This has been exactly my experience, too. Signed up on October 2 (did not request a subsidy), mailed in my check early December (it finally showed up at CareFirst on December 30), got my insurance card yesterday, and the website shows me as enlisted in plans beginning both Jan 1 and March 1 (but I’m in the CareFirst computer as only in the plan beginning Jan 1). I also found the 1-800 number for DC HealthLink’s customer service to be very helpful.

      • Blue

        Same glitch. I was enrolled in two plans and was billed for two plans (CareFirst and Kaiser). I was invoiced for both plans and the folks at DC Healthlink advised me to just pay for the one I wanted and that they would figure the rest out. One month later and DC HealthLink has no idea which plan I’m signed up for, and they don’t keep the payments records. They are not able to tell me which company they sent my payment to, and Carefirst has no record of me enrolling. It’s quite frustrating and all they tell me is “you should be getting something from whichever company received your payment”. Meanwhile I remind them that DC HealthLink is the one that cashed my check. I was already a Carefirst member, expiry 12/31, I have no idea whether my individual coverage will stretch until these companies figure out what’s going on. It’s Jan 4 and still no idea of who will cover me. FRUSTRATING!!

  • Anon.

    I’ve been trying to sign up since day 1, without a subsidy, just the form. Every time I complete the application is doesn’t attach to my account. As in, it tells me I’m all set but i I go look at my applications there is nothing listed. I called the # and was on hold for over an hour without speaking to anyone. Every email I’ve sent has resulted in a form/generic response that does nothing to help

    Totally frustrating on every level

    • Have you tried different browsers?

  • CK

    I created my profile in October and requested a subsidy. I uploaded my financial document at the end of October, and signed up for a plan in mid-November. Come late November, they still hadn’t approved subsidy request. I called them (they’re really friendly and have late call center hours), and they told me to email my document to their general email account and they’ll make sure it gets attached to my profile.

    In December, I received confirmation from my health insurance provider, and then the holidays happened. I checked my profile this week, and my financial documents were finally approved. It takes awhile, but you should just sign up for a plan anyway and use the calculator to guestimate the final cost of your plan.

    If you’re having a lot of problems, I really suggest going to one of their Enrollment Centers to work with a human being. MLK Library has later hours Mon-Wed. Also I noticed that the website only truly ‘works’ with Chrome.

  • Anonymous

    I had a similar situation. I was hoping to get Medicaid or regular insurance without a subsidy. The website told me I’d need to submit some documentation, which I uploaded. But it seemed to be taking a while (more than 2 weeks) for my uploaded documents to be verified. I called DC Health Link to ask how I could expedite the process, and they told me I could bring the documents to an Income Maintenance Administration (IMA) office. I visited the H Street location and waited 5.5 hours to see someone. When I finally saw someone, she didn’t seem to know how to access my application to mark the documents as verified. But the next day, I received an electronic notification from DC Health Link saying I had been approved for Medicaid, so I guess she figured it out. But when I call Medicaid to ask questions, they have no record of me. So it seems as though the IMA people can process your documents, but there is obviously a hiccup after that

  • biggie

    It’s a total disaster and i feel bad for anyone trying to navigate this. I had tons of website problems and spent countless hours (i stopped counting after 12 hours) trying to get insured (thanks to Mr. Pres, my policy I had for the past 17 years was cancelled). This Thursday I finally received confirmation from BCBS that I was covered and my insurance cards on Friday (slightly lower monthly payment but way more expensive if i actually go to the doctor). How we all allowed the government to take control of this is a complete mystery to me. Hopefully there will be some class action suits against the government and a quick replacement of the current administration who dumped this mess upon all of us.

  • George

    One of the worst websites to fill in an application that I’ve come across in a long time. Sometimes, I couldn’t even log in. Then everything from code errors, double sign-up for a plan (no referential integrity- if I already signed up for Bluecross health insurance once, why would you let me sign up again?), downloading forms that were not coded as PDF (i.e. had to save the file and add “.pdf” to it), etc. When I called DC Healthlink, the people I talked to were clueless, blamed me for not doing things right (I sure as hell knew I was in the right) and to just try again. Massive fail!!!

  • wylie coyote

    I had LOTS of problems signing up (Error 500, over and over), but my S.O. signed up on her first try. No idea why one of us had problems and the other didn’t. Very strange. I called for help twice, but neither person was able to help me. The second person offered to walk me through it on the phone (me telling her the info, her typing it), but when she told me it would take up to 30 minutes and if the phone call dropped, I’d have to start all over, I said “No thanks”. I don’t get it….the military invented the Internet….how could the government have this much trouble running a website? Amazon has to be getting a hundred times the traffic dchealthlink dot com is, so why can’t they get it right?

  • Anonymous

    if they’re disorganized enough to actually ask you for your email address when they emailed you, it’s probably a legit government communication!


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