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Obamacare Call Center Will Not Offer Healthcare Benefits to Employees

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posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 06:53 PM
Okay, this has to be a bit embarrassing. Especially when local workers and politicians alike are apparently crying foul over this not being the way it had been presented or advertised. The irony though, is impossible to miss.

In order to ensure Americans understand how to access the benefits available to them when many provisions of the Affordable Care Act go online October 1, the Obama administration announced last month that it is setting up a call center that will be accessible to Americans 24 hours a day.

Sounds good so far. People will need a call center with the confusion and issues that are sure to come with and in this whole transition period. You'd think the employees who will be touting Obamacare would have a little of it themselves, right? Err.. Well, no. Actually...

According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.” The county supervisor, Karen Mitchoff, called the hiring process “a comedy of errors” and said she “never dreamed [the jobs] would be part-time.”
S ource

Now that's a piece of bad P.R....but it doesn't stop there. I tracked down the original article that some of the above was originally drawn from and found this, to my surprise.

One recent hire, who last week learned the job would be part-time, said the new "intermittent" employees feel like they've been used as a political tool, and many now regret applying for the positions.

"What's really ironic is working for a call center and trying to help people get health care, but we can't afford it ourselves," said the worker, who asked for anonymity out of fear of losing the job. The county says it had been telling the public and supervisors all along that some positions would be full-time and some part-time. However, portions of staff reports list all 204 jobs as full-time, and a job posting said the same.

It's not good when your brand new employees are saying they wish they hadn't even applied. Especially in a climate where 200 some jobs got 7,000 applications, as the stories indcate. However, the actual numbers these people were handed are downright scary. THIS is the face of Obamacare.

Those who became part-time were told they would have to pay full freight on their health plans, ranging from $600 to $1,200 a month for a single worker and between $1,400 to $2,900 a month for an employee with a family. That is a steep bill for employees with part-time jobs paying from $15.33 to $18.63 an hour.

Another applicant said he ditched another job offer after getting a congratulatory hiring letter from call center operators in June, only to be given the runaround in the months since.

Now to be entirely fair, this call center is a California operation and more to the point, locally handled for the contracts and such in Contra Costa County. However, that doesn't change it being Obamacare, as the ACA is designed to be run state-local with required guidelines and directions to follow from Washington but not so clear as to make it a direct ownership down to this level.

Whatever those details for line of control, the fact remains, this call center to tout Obamacare will be staffed by people going broke to supply their own health care.

Now I wonder, ATS..... What kind of friendly folks will you find, calling this center and how helpful and happy to serve you will they likely be? Oh... This is not a good start to things in California, at the very least.

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
Bending over the folks whose job is to help everyone else? The Affordable Care Act is starting to rear it's ugly head- please make sure to wear your asbestos underwear for when it really gets going and starts breathing fire, because this is only the beginning!

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:14 PM
Oh holy mother you have got to be kidding me!!! I have to say this president has made me laugh in disbelief more than any other in my life time. The way he can get away with this kind of mess is brilliant and unnerving.

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:29 PM
This is as ironic as it gets.

You would think that any 'program' even remotely connected to ObamaCare would make sure all employees get insurance

What a boondoggle (again).

They even had local politicians hoodwinked, and the ads were misleading.

I bet next we hear that the call centers will be in India

Those PT'ers are screwed bigtime because they will have to pay and then try to 'qualify' for subsidies on top of not making enough to pay bills. They will become 'front-liner' victims ripe for a test of wits. They will have to deal with 'other' ObamaCare employees that are sure to be of the nosy type and will certainly make errors.


posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:33 PM
Woo hoo!

Wonder if those people will get their jobs without passing background checks too?

This spring, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee lawyers were also told by HHS that, despite the fact that navigators will have access to sensitive data such as Social Security numbers and tax returns, there will be no criminal background checks required for them. Indeed, they won’t even have to have high-school diplomas. Both U.S. Census Bureau and IRS employees must meet those minimum standards, if only because no one wants someone who has been convicted of identity theft getting near Americans’ personal records. But HHS is unconcerned.

Read the rest

Surprised the current administration didn't outsource that call center to India.

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:49 PM
I'm not sure what your objective here is. Are you saying that part-time employees should be covered by their employers health insurance policies? Because I agree with that.

Or are you suggesting that because it's associated with 'Obamacare' that everyone should just be getting free healthcare?

Edit to add:

Originally posted by xuenchen
You would think that any 'program' even remotely connected to ObamaCare would make sure all employees get insurance

I guess that is what some people think.
edit on 26-7-2013 by links234 because: Added a quote.

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 07:57 PM
reply to post by links234

Well, 'objective' would be the wrong word, as the intent is to share an interesting story, topical and related to the overall discussions we're having here daily.

However, as it happens, the stories show pretty clearly that the job listings were outright deceptive and so much so, some of these people left full time jobs with benefits in the belief that the "full time" positions listed in this new call center, would be full time. In a place with jobs being as hard to find as the response to these job ads suggest? Those who got baited and switched are now stuck and out of luck by all indications.

Then, look at what they just got told they will still HAVE to pay for their insurance? Well.... I'm sure they'll be very happy reps for all the people calling to get information on Obamacare. That part is the irony thick enough to cut with a knife.

So, it's as much an example of the bad communication, misdirection (Intentional and unintentional) with just pure lack of coordination to so much of this as anything else. As noted, a bad omen of things to come with the other statements of confusion and disorganization coming from all over the nation on this topic.

posted on Jul, 26 2013 @ 09:16 PM
reply to post by Wrabbit2000

So really, it has nothing to do with Obamacare and everything to do with poor planning on the county's part.

Or are we still on the idea that everyone should have affordable health insurance, full-time, part-time, or whatever? I'm so glad to hear that so many people in the thread are rooting for the employees, moreso, they're all rooting for the local union.

Either you've all become advocates for unions and easily accessable health insurance or it's just another shot at the PPACA and how bad you think it is.

posted on Jul, 27 2013 @ 07:40 AM
I wanted to come back and add a couple minor details I was able to dig up last night. It had originally been in relation to the post above mine but I'm going to make it more general because feeding the derailment isn't where I'm going to be led on this.

However, it was fascinating to learn these call centers are by no means a strictly local affair. They are opened and managed on the local level, but the calls they receive will appear to be routed from the National 1-800 number Obama announced recently as the single contact point for Americans on Obamacare. It's really interesting to look into for how they are integrating all of the small parts into what is supposed to function as a seemless national whole.

Anyway... The call center is owned and operated by Cover California, which itself is in charge of implentation of Obamacare to insure State compliance with the requirements and mandates of the ACA. The call center itself is fulfilling part of that mandate to carry California's part of the National network for this.

States that have their OWN exchanges, operate this way. In a few cases, single companies take the role of Cover California for multiple states under contract with Washington. California is big enough to handle it themselves, but again, directly under Washington for implentation of the program.

This is going to be a fascinating thing to watch roll out. Especially in states like mine where they have literally outlawed any cooperation, on any level, in ANY form with the Feds on exchanges or ACA coverage for state residents. (Or the penalties, mandated payments or anything else related to this). A quote I came across last night was priceless. Sebelius was quoted as saying, in reference to states like mine, 'It will be complicated'. lol... Yeah.. That's like saying the Ocean will be wet. Lots of fun to come!
edit on 27-7-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 27 2013 @ 07:56 AM

Originally posted by links234
I'm not sure what your objective here is.

Really? You seriously don't get the irony of this story?

The Obamacare workers thought they would be getting full time positions with health care benefits. So did the politicians who lobbied to get this job opportunity pushed through. But instead, the people in charge short changed the workers and made the workers part time so that those in charge could escape having to pay health benefits.

If there was no requirement for free Obamacare, then these positions could be full time instead.
Once again ... Obamacare HURTS people instead of helping them.

Employers across the country are dropping the full time workers down to part time in order to evade having to pay for Obamacare. So the workers, instead of getting health care out of all this, are instead having their income levels dropped.

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