Attorneys: Task force needed to solve health link problems - 8 News NOW

Attorneys: Task force needed to solve health link problems

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LAS VEGAS -- Hundreds of people with life-threatening illnesses are now coming forward saying the troubled state health insurance exchange has failed them.

Many of them are joining a class action suit against both Nevada Health Link and Xerox, the company that created and managed the exchange website.

Their attorneys are now pushing to start a special task force to get people with serious illnesses coverage before open enrollment begins again in November.

They say there is no time to waste because lives are at risk. For Tom Liefer, every breath feels like he is getting air through a tiny straw. That is life with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. He is without insurance, but it is not for lack of trying.

"I made my payments in February. I made my payments in March, and the billing was completely messed up," Liefer said.

He still had no coverage.

"Every time I've called, they've just basically said, ‘we don't know what we can do for you right now,’" Liefer said.

Attorney Matthew Callister has filed a class action suit against the health link and Xerox. He has spent months going through reports similar to Liefer’s, which he says proves the health exchange knew early on the system wouldn't work.

An outside firm hired by the state found in July that there was "limited functionality" in the health link website, and they should work to "ensure all issues are resolved before implementation."

Callister says that never happened.

"I think Xerox failed the people. I think Xerox knew day one that they could not perform this contract,” Callister said.

He filed this petition to start a task force, run by insurance brokers, in both the northern and southern Nevada. The goal is to take serious cases like Liefer's to the governor's office to get them covered sooner.

"Right now, we have people who are coming to us in droves on a weekly basis who need something right now,” Callister said.

Liefer is afraid of what could happen if he does not get coverage. He now wishes Xerox never got into the insurance business.

“They should have stuck with making copiers," Liefer said.

Until steps are taken on his health link account, he is stuck with few options. Right now, there is no timeline on when the task force could be established.

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