Reading it – or the Twitter feed in general, which is for Colorado’s state Obamacare exchange – you’d never know that it represents a $13 million rate (read: ‘tax’) hike on Colorado voters. But that is indeed what it is. It’s also a budget that is more or less out of control, but more on that later.
For the first time in my professional life, I am in the position that I have to buy my own health care insurance. I had heard people were having difficulty with the process, but recently I have written and edited a lot of information about the Affordable Care Act and the new health insurance exchanges, so I felt familiar with the territory and ready to sign up. In addition, my wife is an attorney with a master’s degree in education, so I knew that with our two minds on the case, the process would be a snap.
Guess what happened? Go ahead. Guess.
And then two days after we started, our patience snapped, and we decided to forgo buying insurance off of the exchange to purchase a policy on the open market at about five times the rate we were quoted on the exchange.
[On Sept. 28, Cover Oregon’s team] had gathered on a Saturday for final testing of the state’s health insurance exchange. More than a website, it was a gateway to a new era of better, more affordable, more democratic health care.
But their high hopes turned to shock and alarm when the website didn’t work. It crashed, it flashed repeated error messages, it couldn’t process the most routine insurance enrollment scenario.
“Shut it down,” said Rocky King, Cover Oregon’s executive director. “Let’s not waste anybody else’s time here.”
Just last week, my wife, Kris, tried to sign up on the health exchange website that’s available to us.
Now, my wife is a very sharp woman, she’s a former computer software consultant. She’s also an amazing person and a great mom, but that’s another story.
When Kris went onto the website, she typed in all our personal information and that of all our three children.
And then, when she tried to browse the various plans, the website denied her. She tried again, and it still didn’t work. When she called someone and asked for help, she was told the system just wasn’t working right now and it was best to try again later.
Many in New York’s professional and cultural elite have long supported President Obama’s health care plan. But now, to their surprise, thousands of writers, opera singers, music teachers, photographers, doctors, lawyers and others are learning that their health insurance plans are being canceled and they may have to pay more to get comparable coverage, if they can find it.
They are part of an unusual informal health insurance system that has developed in New York in which independent practitioners were able to get lower insurance rates through group plans, typically set up by their professional associations or chambers of commerce. That allowed them to avoid the sky-high rates in New York’s individual insurance market, historically among the most expensive in the country.
…Why? Because of people like lawyer Barbara Meinwald, Manhattan lawyer who was already paying 10K/yr for insurance before, but will now have to pay 15K/yr for worse coverage. Turns out the government decided to drag all those people to the individual market in order to get the healthy ones paying into the exchanges (and thus avoid an exchange death spiral), and Ms. Meinwald gets to go along for the ride. Her reaction? Continue reading Latest victim of #Obamacare: …New York cultural mavens? Is the man MAD?
More than 2,400 Connecticut customers who bought health plans on Access Health CT were given incorrect information about their insurance plans, in one case underestimating the maximum out-of-pocket by at least $4,000.
The website for Access Health CT, the state’s new health exchange, had incorrect information online about deductibles and co-insurance impacting all 19 individual health plans from the three insurance companies that offer those plans through the exchange: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, ConnectiCare, and HealthyCT.
John Javaruski, a 62-year-old retired actuary from Farmington, said he received a letter dated Nov. 1 after he signed up for an Anthem plan with a $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum and zero deductible. According to the revised schedule of benefits attached to the letter, Javaruski’s plan jumped to $6,250 out of pocket and a $3,000 deductible.
I’m sorry*, but there’s no other way to describe these enrollment numbers. Which are, by the way, from a state exchange – meaning that the problems of healthcare.gov should theoretically be irrelevant to the conversation:
Enrollments have grown to 15,074, marketplace officials announced Monday.
Marketplace officials set a goal of 136,000 people covered on exchanged-based plans by the end of 2014, but so far the exchange has failed to reach even worst-case enrollment projections.
Officials’ worst-case scenarios pictured 22,215 people enrolled by Dec. 13. Their mid-range enrollment projection for that date is 40, 372.
Time to test Minnesota Nice to destruction, I guess:
…Minnesota’s top insurers have laid out a list of technological problems that they say may keep people who’ve enrolled in a health plan from being covered on Jan. 1.
Insurance carriers selling plans on the state’s insurance marketplace say enrollment information they’re getting from MNsure, is inaccurate and incomplete – and that time is running out to fix these problems.
“At this late date, the health plan companies do not have most of the names or information on individuals who have enrolled through MNsure,” Julie Brunner, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Health Plans wrote in a letter to MNsure Executive Director April Todd-Malmlov and Lucinda Jesson, Minnesota Commissioner of Human Services.
The D.C. insurance exchange where thousands of Hill aides are shopping has confirmed that an outside scammer is redirecting customers to a fraudulent website.
Some shoppers are being directed from the insurance website to an outside site that appears nearly identical to the real exchange, officials confirmed Friday. The fraud is widespread enough that they’re considering adding disclaimers to its website to warn users against divulging their check card or PIN numbers.