Health Insurance with…Rainbow Sprinkles?Posted: October 30, 2013 | |
ObamaCare screw up sends callers to cupcake shop
In yet another bungle for the botched government insurance rollout, the state Health Department has mistakenly listed numerous non-health-related business as enrollment sites — including a Brooklyn cupcake shop that has been besieged by callers.
“I have nothing to do with this,” said Carmen Rodriguez owner of Brooklyn Cupcake in Williamsburg. “I run a very busy establishment, and I’m like, what is going on?”
Because of the mistake, her bakery has gotten 150 calls from people seeking medical-insurance information.
“There has to be somebody who can help with ObamaCare; that’s their own mess,” she said.
New Yorkers shopping for medical coverage under ObamaCare are being directed by the state’s health-exchange Web site to 288 locations where so-called navigators can offer personal assistance.
They are reaching places such as Rodriguez’s shop because the erroneous listings contain the businesses’ accurate addresses, phone numbers and even languages spoken.
The cupcake maker is at her wit’s end.
“I don’t want to be listed, because they are calling my telephone off the hook,” she said.
In nearby Red Hook, the dispatcher for a limo company was equally puzzled at finding his company to be among those listed as enrollment sites.
“If you want me to get you a car, I can help you out,” said Allen Amor of Apex Car & Limo. But ObamaCare? Sorry, wrong number.
Marco Abad, of Zambrand Auto Repair in Sunset Park, said he didn’t even realize his business was among those listed.
“That’s something crazy, because we fix cars over here,” he said.
Amar Git, owner of Desi Deli in Hell’s Kitchen, said he couldn’t possibly help navigate ObamaCare because he doesn’t have insurance himself.
“How can it be? How can I help?” he asked rhetorically.
A receptionist at a supposed navigator site that is actually Crystal Skin Care on Mott Street hung up on a Post reporter.
A clerk at the nearby Dragonland Bakery, another listed site, said no one there spoke English.
One of the places listed at least dealt in health issues — though they were not an enrollment site.
“I’m frustrated, I’m not registered to be a navigator!” said an exasperated Patrick Wu, manager of the Bowery Pharmacy at 95 Bowery. “I don’t know why my name is on the list.”
He said he has fielded about 50 calls since the national health plan launched on Oct. 1 and they’re interfering with his ability to do his job.
A Health Department spokesman insisted only a few businesses were listed by mistake and the list was being corrected.
The spokesman, Bill Schwarz, also said that in some cases workers in the affected businesses aren’t aware that the owners had joined the navigator program.
“Many of these enrollment sites are located in settings — small businesses, libraries, etc. — where New Yorkers go to shop or recreate. As such, some employees of these locations may not be fully aware of the enrollment- assistance efforts,” he said.