Affordable coverage by January 1?
This week I have to make a final decision about a new health insurance plan for my family.
Yes, I’ve been dawdling. Partly because I wanted to wait and see how my state’s health exchange would work (there were several glitches, so I’m glad I waited) and whether the administration might “fix” or delay parts of the law, as it did when it suggested insurance companies could extend canceled policies through 2014 ( my state has refused to play).
And, to be honest, I’m procrastinating because I’m angry about losing my current policy, about paying … Continue reading
Glitchy exchanges improve…kind of
The big news this past weekend, other than Black Friday deals and mayhem, was the much-anticipated announcement that by the end of the day Saturday, Nov. 30, the federal health exchange, healthcare.gov, would—finally—be working as it was supposed to.
Well, is it? That depends.
Most of the media report that the website is “improving” and working better than it did on October 1. That’s a pretty low bar. The official Health and Human Services exchange website, hhs.gov, states:
The site is better today than it was on Oct. 1. We are on track
… Continue reading
A sleeping giant awakens
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, it’s probably pretty clear to you that I am not a fan of Obamacare.
I want affordable health insurance, and affordable, accessible, stable and uniform health care for everyone. But for many reasons, I have never thought Obamacare would get us there.
Over the last year I have posted about sticker shock, subsidies, narrow networks, high deductibles and cancelled policies.
I expected the worst, and for the most part I have not been disappointed.
Although, with all honesty, I did not foresee … Continue reading
…because health care is still sick
So the political brouhaha is over in Washington, DC (for now) and Obamacare can continue it’s rollout unchecked–except by the federal exchange’s own technical ineptitude.
But eventually the online marketplaces will be functioning as they are supposed to, and all Americans–regardless of their economic or health situations–will be able to buy affordable health insurance and have access to the best care possible.
Or will they?
Our health care system has long been described as broken, sick, on life support. Obamacare has taken the system back into surgery to try and repair some of … Continue reading
A leaner, meaner network
Last week the health insurance exchanges, or marketplaces, opened for business. Many potential insurance buyers were met with non-working or glitchy systems on that first day, but slowly these technical issues are being resolved.
I tried my state’s wahealthplanfinder.org the first day, and I, too, ran into performance issues. The following day, however, I had no problem accessing the site. I could make a few suggestions as to how to improve the look and function of the website, but I was much more interested in content–what plans are available and how much do they cost?
Because … Continue reading
An intriguing question
The other day I was complaining (again) about the steep hike in my insurance premiums when someone asked me, “Why don’t more people sign up for the health-sharing co-ops?”
“What do you mean,” I asked. “The new Obamacare CO-OPs?”
These non-profit health insurance companies received start-up grants and loans to provide more competition with not-for-profit and for-profit health insurance companies on the exchanges. They are available on about half of the exchanges. Their rates will still be comparable to other companies, though, because of the mandated benefit coverage (more benefits = higher premiums).
“No,” he said. “The … Continue reading
The anticipated and dreaded letter . . .
. . . from my health insurance company finally arrived yesterday.
We are writing to let you know about some important changes to your individual health insurance coverage. . . . Your health insurance plan will no longer be available after December 31, 2013.
We very much want to continue serving you and so have selected a new ACA-compliant Regence plan for you. Your new plan has more benefits and a different price.
Wow. You bet it does. Looking at the enclosed rate sheet, I found my family’s new monthly … Continue reading
It’s all about the subsidies
Key to Obamacare are the subsidies or tax credits that low- and middle-income individuals and families will receive to help them pay for health insurance.
How these subsidies will work is pretty complicated, but what could you expect when two bureaucratic behemoths–health insurance and the IRS–are responsible for them?
It’s taken me ages to reach some level of understanding about the subsidies, but follow along with me and I’ll share what I know as clearly as possible.
Who is eligible?
The eligibility guidelines are straightforward:
- You do not receive or are eligible for (affordable) health
… Continue reading
Health insurance exchanges: Ready, set . . .
The health insurance exchanges, whether state or federally run, are set to open for business on October 1, or close to it.
For those who have never bought health insurance, or those who used to have insurance provided by an employer but will now be shopping on the exchanges, some of the basic concepts and definitions might be confusing.
It’s important to understand all the terms, however, so you can buy the best plan for your health needs and budget.
The biggest reform brought about by the Affordable Care Act is … Continue reading
Getting to know you
I started this blog a little less than a year ago. I was so frustrated by the decline in our health care system and the rise in costs. After listening to me vent my grievances on oh-so-many occasions, my friends and family finally suggested, “Why don’t you blog about it?” So I did.
And it’s been fun! But our health care system is still in decline and the costs are still climbing. And I’m still frustrated.
My real purpose behind the blog, I think, other than letting off some steam, was to start a conversation.
I’ve … Continue reading