But now is the time to tune back in, before it’s too late, as we are being told that the big deadline is coming March 31.
ALREADY COVERED? NO WORRIES
Most people don’t need to do anything. Even before the health care law passed in 2010, more than 8 out of 10 U.S. residents had coverage, usually through their workplace plans or the government’s Medicare or Medicaid programs. Some have private policies that meet the law’s requirements.
If you’re already covered that way, you meet the law’s requirements.
Since October, about 4 million people have signed up for private plans through the new state and federal marketplaces, the Obama administration says, although it’s not clear how many were already insured elsewhere. In addition, many poor adults now have Medicaid coverage for the first time through expansions of the program in about half the states.
President Barack Obama is urging people who have coverage to help any uninsured friends and relatives get signed up.
NEED COVERAGE? IT’S CRUNCH TIME
Chances are you’ll hear more reminders about health care this month. The push is on to reach millions of uninsured people.
The administration, insurers, medical associations and non-profit groups are teaming up with volunteers to get the word out and guide people through the sometimes-rocky enrollment process. They plan special events at colleges, libraries, churches and work sites.
Singing cats, dogs, parrots — even a goldfish — are promoting the message in TV and online spots from the Ad Council.
A big hurdle for the effort: As recently as last month, three-fourths of the uninsured didn’t know there was a March 31 deadline, according to polling conducted for the Kaiser Family Foundation. Most said they didn’t know much about the law and had an unfavourable opinion of it.
Plus, many worry they won’t be able to afford the new plans.
The enrolment campaign is emphasizing that subsidies are available on a sliding scale to help low-income and middle-class households pay for their insurance.
How to enrol? Start at HealthCare.gov or by calling 1-800-318-2596. Residents of states running their own marketplaces will be directed there; people in other states go through the federal exchange.
After March 31, many people won’t be able to get subsidized coverage this year, even if they become seriously ill.
The next open enrolment period is set to begin Nov. 15, for coverage in 2015.
There are exceptions. The big one is the Medicaid program for the poor.
People who meet the requirements can sign up any time, with no deadline.
Also, people remain eligible for Medicare when they turn 65.
If you are insured now and lose your coverage during the year, by getting laid off from your job, for example, you can use an exchange to find a new policy then. People can sign up outside the open enrolment period in special situations such as having a baby or moving to another state.
You can choose to buy insurance outside the marketplaces and still benefit from consumer protections in the law.
People who do that wouldn’t normally be eligible for premium subsidies. But the Obama administration says exceptions will be made for people whose attempts to buy marketplace insurance on time were stymied by continuing problems with some enrolment websites.
MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WON’T GET COVERED
Some 12 million people could gain health coverage this year because of the law, if congressional auditors’ predictions don’t prove overly optimistic.
Even so, tens of millions still would go without.
That’s partly because of immigrants in the country illegally; they aren’t eligible for marketplace policies.
Some of the uninsured will not find out about the program in time, will find it confusing or too costly, or will just procrastinate too long. Some feel confident of their health and prefer to risk going uninsured instead of paying premiums. Others are philosophically opposed to participating.
Figuring out just how many of the uninsured got coverage this year won’t be easy because the numbers are fuzzy.
The administration’s enrolment count includes people who already were insured and used the exchanges to find a better deal, or switched from private insurance to Medicaid, or already qualified for Medicaid before the changes.
Some who sign up will end up uninsured anyway, if they fail to pay their premiums.
The budget experts predict enrolment will grow in future years and by 2017 some 92 percent of legal residents too young for Medicare will have insurance.
But even then, about 30 million people in the United States would go uncovered.
SOME ARE LEFT OUT
A gap in the law means some low-income workers can’t get help.
The insurance marketplaces weren’t designed to serve people whose low incomes qualify them for expanded Medicaid instead. But some states have declined to expand their Medicaid programs. That means that in those states, many poor people will get left out.
People who fall into the gap won’t be penalized for failing to get covered.
Some others are exempt from the insurance mandate, too: American Indians, those with religious objections, prisoners, immigrants in the country illegally, and people considered too poor to buy coverage even with financial assistance.
THE IRS IS WATCHING YOU
The law says people who aren’t covered in 2014 are liable for a fine. That amounts to $95 per uninsured person or approximately 1 percent of income, whichever is higher. The penalty goes up in later years.
A year from now, the Internal Revenue Service will be asking taxpayers filing their forms for proof of insurance coverage. Insurance companies are supposed to provide that documentation to their customers.
If you owe a penalty for being uninsured, the IRS can withhold it from your refund.
The agency can’t put people in jail or garnishee wages to get the money. But it can withhold the penalty from a future year’s tax refund.
Courtesy of: #ConnieCass
#AceHealthcareNews says during the “Christmas” period l was looking at certain companies that purport to serve the betterment of society and especially the ” Health Care System” one such company that had certain articles – very skilfully woven was “Blue Cross” looking deeper and a little research later l found more this time from various new providers.
One of the worst things about companies that are involved in the “Healthcare Industry” is that they look first at turnover, secondly profit and thirdly at their future growth. The word “Care” should be applied in thought, word and deed, but it never gets a look in, as smoke and mirror’s covers up the #truth.
This latest article confirms my suspicions and highlights not the article that l will add to the bottom of this post, but what really certain not-for-profit companies really mean by not-for-profit as these fee scales show:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, the state’s largest private health insurer, has notified customers it’s raising their premiums by as much as 10 percent in January because of eight new levies and fees in the Affordable Care Act, or ACA.
Blue Cross linked the increase to taxes and fees taking effect Jan. 1.
“The ACA includes new taxes and fees,” the insurance giant told each policyholder in a three-page letter, titled “Information about Your 2014 Renewal.” “The costs required to pay these new taxes and fees are included in your premium and will not be charged separately.”
Blue Cross of Montana sent out a similar notice, while Blue Cross of Alabama cited the taxes on its bills with a separate line item for “Affordable Care Act Fees and Taxes.”
Blue Cross polices and costs are expected to set a standard for the industry, influencing how insurers adjust to the law, which is also raising premiums because of mandates that expand coverage and benefits. Aetna has also blamed taxes and fees for coming rate hikes.
Specifically, the insurance companies have referenced two Obamacare charges taking effect Jan.
1. One is a flat 2 percent tax on all health insurers, which is expected to raise $8 billion for the administration to help pay costs of the overall act in 2014, but raise health-care premiums for consumers by more than 3 percent. The other is a yearly “reinsurance fee” of $63 per person insured.
2.There’s also a $2 fee per policy that funds a new federal bureaucracy called the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. Insurers also must pay a 3.5 percent user free to sell health plans on the HealthCare.gov website.
Although these taxes are imposed on insurance companies, policyholders end up paying for them in the form of higher premiums. Over the next decade, the Washington-based Heritage Foundation estimates the average American family will pay roughly $5,000 more in premiums to pay for them all.
And these are just the Obamacare taxes and fees that insurers are warning customers they’re passing on to them. There are also hidden taxes, such as the medical equipment levy that will make heart valves, stents, pacemakers and other medical devices more expensive.
All told, there are more than 20 new or higher taxes and fees embedded in the Affordable Care Act – more than half of which affect families earning less than $250,000 a year.
The new taxes, which cost more than $675 billion over the next decade, include:
- A 2.3 percent excise tax on U.S. sales of medical devices that’s already devastating the medical supply industry and its work force.
The levy, which took effect Jan. 1, 2013, is a $20 billion blow to an industry that employs more than 360,000 working in plants across the U.S.
- Stryker Corp. of Michigan, which blames the tax for 1,000 layoffs.
- Indianabased Zimmer Corp., which cites the tax in laying off 450 and taking a $50 million charge against earnings.
- Indiana-based Cook Medical Inc., which has scrubbed plans to open a new U.S. factory each year.
- Boston Scientific Corp., which has opted to open plants in tax-friendlier China and Ireland to help offset a $100 million charge against earnings.
- Minnesota-based Medtronic Inc., which expects an annual charge against earnings of $175 million.
- A $50,000 excise tax on charitable hospitals that fail to meet new “community health assessment needs,” “financial assistance” and other rules set by the Health and Human Services Department (took effect in 2010).
- A 3.8 percent surtax on investment income from capital gains and dividends that applies to single filers earning more than $200,000 and married couples filing jointly earning more than $250,000 (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A $24 billion tax on the paper industry to control a pollutant known as black liquor (took effect in 2010).
- A $2.3 billion-a-year tax on innovator drug companies (took effect in 2010).
- A 10 percent excise tax on Americans using indoor tanning salons (took effect July 1, 2010).
- An $87 billion hike in Medicare payroll taxes for employees, as well as the self-employed (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A hike in the threshold for writing off medical expenses to 10 percent of adjusted gross income from 7.5 percent (took effect Jan. 1, 2013.).
- A new cap on flexible spending accounts of $2,500 a year (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- Elimination of the tax deduction for employer-provided prescription drug coverage for Medicare recipients (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- An income surtax of 1 percent of adjusted gross income, rising to 2.5 percent by 2016, on individuals who refuse to go along with Obamacare by buying a policy not approved by the government (took effect Jan. 1, 2013).
- A $2,000 tax charged to employers with 50 or more workers for every full-time worker not offered health coverage (delayed).
- A $60 billion tax on health insurers (effective Jan. 1, 2014).
- A 40 percent excise tax on so-called Cadillac, or higher cost, health insurance plans (goes into effect Jan. 1, 2018).
As promised here is that article posted and sent to my news desk:
DETROIT, Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is the only health insurer to offer coverage to people in all of Michigan’s 83 counties on the federally-run health insurance marketplace that opened today at 8 a.m.
Blue Cross and its affiliated HMO, Blue Care Network of Michigan, offer some of the lowest-priced plans across Michigan’s 16 rating regions. In the majority of counties in Michigan, BCBSM or BCN bronze and silver plan options offer some of the most affordable premiums on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Products, pricing and plan design are available onwww.healthcare.gov and on the BCBSM website at www.bcbsm.com/myblue.
“Blue Cross and Blue Care Network have worked very hard to put affordable health insurance options in front of Michiganconsumers as uninsured people and small employers begin open enrollment today,” said Terry Burke, BCBSM vice president for individual business. “As people examine their choices, Blue Cross will be offering guidance – both online and on the phone – to help people make a health plan choice that is right for them.”
The Blues offer a total of 18 options for coverage. These products are available on the federally-run Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, opening today, through independent Blue-certified insurance agents and directly through BCBSM and BCN.
“The Affordable Care Act has significantly changed what health insurance covers, how it’s sold and what it costs. With the marketplace now open, consumers will be able to choose from 18 competitively priced Blues products, with options available toMichigan residents in every county,” Burke said. “We are proud to offer some of the lowest-priced plans in Michigan. These affordable options give more people the opportunity to choose Blue Cross plans.”
Both Blue Cross and Blue Care Network will offer plans at the Gold, Silver, Bronze and Catastrophic levels. Under ACA guidelines, Bronze plans will cover 60 percent of health care expenses, Silver plans cover 70 percent, and Gold cover 80 percent. Catastrophic plans, available to individuals under the age of 30 or those qualifying for a hardship, have a higher deductible and are not associated with metal level actuarial values.
Editor – says judge for yourself.
- 2014 Look Ahead: Insurance exchange outlook remains difficult to predict in Wyoming (trib.com)
- Thanks, Obama: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama will itemize ACA taxes on consumer bills (al.com)
- Blue Cross extends deadline for off-market plans (crainsdetroit.com)
- LPS, other districts to offer health coverage to same-sex spouses (journalstar.com)
- Alabama Mom’s ObamaCare Horror Story Gives America a Glimpse of Government-Run Healthcare (gopthedailydose.com)
- Alabama Mom Shares Devastating Experience With Obamacare in This Open Letter to the American People (ijreview.com)
- Insurance Company Lays Out Obamacare Tax Hikes (townhall.com)
- Unreported Obamacare Taxes Revealed (lexingtonlibertarian.wordpress.com)
- Affordable Healthcare ACT (considerthistruth.wordpress.com)
- Haslam: Let’s keep our eyes on the prize for a real universal health care system (vtdigger.org)
#AceBreakingNews says Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blocked implementation of portions of President Barack Obama’s health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control. Sotomayor acted on a request from an order of Catholic nuns in Colorado, whose request for a stay had been denied by the lower courts.
For more on this story, go to http://usat.ly/Ki9FPo.
Ace Related News: Affordable Healthcare
#AceGuestNews says this was provided by a guest and colleague who sends items to us on a regular basis, and asks should we like to feature the post. So we are pleased to give him a platform to air his article across our network .Hope you enjoy and please comment. Thanks, Editor.
Affordable Healthcare … Hi! I’m from the Government to Help You
Better than Paper – The healthcare industry has made tremendous strides in patient care and records management by riding themselves of paper records and doing more and more on-line and on device. The increased use of technology has helped control quality and cost, except when it comes to reporting patient services/care to the government.
I haven’t bothered to sit down and read the American affordable healthcare act that was passed a year ago, so that makes me about as qualified to talk about it as anyone in Congress (either side).
But in doing a little research, I have come to realize that:
– The American healthcare system just is not working for most folks
– The idea that you sign up or else (something like that) sort of bothers me
– Bureaucrats can’t develop a website to save their behinds
– To believe they can ensure data security defies logic
Globally, around 54.5 million people die each year because of disease or preventable healthcare issues.
One in eight of these deaths occur in children under the age of five.
At the same time, our worldwide population is over 7 Billion and climbing.
Since people are not going simply disappear when they turn 30 (as they did in Logan’s Run), we’re going to have to address the healthcare issue with the same focus and determination that has produced today’s feature-rich technologies.
It can’t be that the countries of the world are not spending enough on health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, we’ll spend more than $6.5T this year. Despite that expenditure, healthcare isn’t available to everyone.
In fact, there are gross shortages of healthcare professionals in way too many countries.
Care Distribution – While industrialized countries have done a lot to ensure better healthcare and services are provided to citizens, there is still a very large part of the world’s population that does not have even the basic assistance.
While WHO indicates the U.S. has sufficient services available, they also noted:
– The government spends more than any other country – $8362/person per year
– That works out to about $948 per person per year
– The WHO’s highly contested 2000 health report put the U.S. healthcare system in 15th in overall performance
– The US was 37th in overall ranking
WHO did not bother ranking countries in their 2010 report but … the Commonwealth Fund ranked seven developed countries on their health care performance and surprise … the U.S. was dead last.
The U.S. may be last, but they are investing in healthcare.
According to McKinley, seven percent of the average household income goes for healthcare and another 11 percent for personal insurance and pensions (if you live that long). That expenditure is expected to be 13.6 percent of the GDP (gross domestic product) this year; and by 2020, it is expected to be 19.8 percent of GDP.
All of those U.S. healthcare payments come from:
– 32 percent private health insurance
– 20 percent Medicare
– 15 percent Medicaid
– 13 percent other government funds
– 12 percent out of the consumer’s pocket
– 8 percent from private funds
It just does not look like Americans are getting the same ROI as people in other countries.
Room for Improvement – Even though the U.S. government, citizens and companies spend more on healthcare that others on the planet, citizens still have a lower average life expectancy than people in many other countries.
Americans have a lower life expectancy as well as higher rates of infant mortality, low weight birth, injuries and homicides, adolescent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, drug-related deaths, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, chronic lung disease and disability than people in other industrialized countries.
Throwing more money at the problem is not working.
It’s easy to see why Senator Ted Kennedy championed healthcare reform right up until he died, and Hillary Clinton (among others) pushed really hard for it.
The U.S. Affordable Healthcare Program got off to a rocky start…it sucked!
We spent $630 Million in technology to get the federal health insurance website open for business. Right after it was unveiled, someone figured they’d use it and … BAM!!!
Did not anyone run the numbers and notice that there are $300 Million plus people in the U.S. who might sign up or at least be a little curious?
Rotten Take-Off – The federal government said the healthcare web site was open for business and ready to fly, but it crashed within hours of being made available. Even a duck knows you try a few test flights, including take-offs/landings, before you show folks how good you are.
Instead of a showcase for Verizon’s data centers and the site developer, it’s an embarrassment … it crashed right out of the gate.
Amazon, Google, Oracle, Microsoft and other folks have jumped in to bail out CGI, “the important part of the team,” and straighten things out.
These folks don’t work for the government; they work for a living and understand the importance of availability, fast response/page refresh, customer satisfaction.
Hey, I am not an IT guy but after 20-plus years, I know IT is complex, was never meant to be commercialized like it is and that the Internet was not developed to handle the media and workload it does.
It’s so complex. With constantly changing with each browser, each device, system/tablet/smart phone, it’s a wonder that websites and the Internet work at all!
That’s why the companies listed earlier let people test it, try to break it, find the bugs … there are thousands of folks who just love doin’ that sorta’ thing.
If the federal folks had done some testing, they might have figured out, “Hey, this pig isn’t ready to be put on display.”
Big, Ugly – It didn’t take long for people to find out that the government’s healthcare services site was a bloated pig with a lot of serious issues. Not a great way to start a new, better program.
Millions of people tried, but early reports said only 100 – 250 struggled through the early process.
Even though they worked for the government or were trained government contractors, they should have figured out it had been thrown together, had not been thoroughly tested and was not ready for prime-time.
All they had to do was have the Cajone’s to go to the boss and say, “we’re going to have to have a few more weeks before we’re ready for business.”
The boss would have been ticked and the opposition would have something to crow about for a little while, but that’s better than showing the world you’re incompetent.
All they have done is insulted the intelligence of the people they’re trying to win over.
Trust is hard to win back–especially when you’re asking people to give you all of their personal and vital information.
Heck, we all know government spies, hackers, whacker’s and cyberspie’s are rubbing their hands together just waiting to start mining the site.
Inside, Outside – Most IT people will tell you that their major security problems arise from inside the organization, not from outsiders attempting to penetrate the organization. Most of the time, the security breaches aren’t malicious, it’s just easier if you bypass the security hurdles. But then, there are bad folks on the inside as well … sometimes.
As the recent Snowdon “excitement” has proven, government agencies can’t even handle their own internal security.
With all the stuff Snowdon “releases” the dude had to be taking 8-10 6 TB HD’s home every night!
And that was all about grabbing information from … well everyone.
The idea that suddenly one government department is going to keep a citizen’s information safe and secure from others is a real leap of faith.
We all know that bugs, crashes, delays and hacks are a fact of life in the industry. But if you’re trying to convince folks the site is good for their health and well being, putting up a garbage site as a finished product just doesn’t resonate.
Poor Norm – The U.S. Affordable Care Act was designed – and heavily promoted– to Americans to reduce fee-for-service provider payment updates and lower payments to private plans. The way the website registration has gotten off the ground, you may wonder.
It would not have taken much to dodge the bullet … label it BETA and you’d attract techie’s like flies who love telling you where you mucked up!
True to governmental protocol though, they opened a finished site and then were selective in the “facts.”
They tried to make you believe the site was pretty good, even though there were/are “a few problems.”
– HHS (Health and Human Services) said 15 million site visits proved it was popular
– Pew Research said 70 percent of the visitors have insurance and were curious.
– Pew Research reported that 46 percent said that the online exchanges weren’t working well
– 65 percent of the uninsured were going to get regardless of the law
The biggest issue with the site’s failure is that it makes people question the credibility, viability of the entire program and the competence of the people in charge.
Anyone who turns on a device and surfs the web knows the stuff should work perfectly – the first time, every time.
You also know that is not going to happen.
Just don’t lie to us … it makes us mad.
- So If Healthcare.gov is Working, Now What? (wnyc.org)
- Single Mom Hailed As Obamacare Success Story Now Can’t Afford Healthcare! (VIDEO) (thelibertarianrepublic.com)
- Affordable Care Act could hurt volunteer fire companies (fox43.com)
- What to consider when purchasing senior healthcare (theolivepress.es)
- Guest Post: Obamacare Is A Catastrophe That Cannot Be Fixed (zerohedge.com)
Healthcare.gov‘s Users Speak Out: ‘Clean This Mess Up’
by Charles Ornstein ProPublica, Oct. 24, 2013, 10:43 a.m.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began unveiling its effort to fix Healthcare.gov, the home for the federal insurance marketplace. Part of that was a blog post soliciting comments from folks who have tried the site.
“Most importantly, we want to hear from you, and make sure that your experience with HealthCare.gov is a positive one. If you have any comments, either complimentary or critical, please let us know by sharing your feedback at https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/. We’ve already heard so many stories of individuals getting health insurance for the first time, and we are dedicated to making that possible for all Americans.”
The Obama administration has not always been transparent about Healthcare.gov: A case in point is how HHS has withheld the number of people who have been able to successfully enroll. But in this instance, the administration allowed comments to the blog post to be seen by all (after moderating them and removing identifying information). Commenters’ identities were not verified and they are identified by whatever name they entered.
As of yesterday afternoon, we counted more than 500 comments. My colleague Mike Tigas pulled them from the site, and I’ve analyzed the feedback.
“Repeal Obamacare,” several commenters wrote, making political statements based on the website’s problems.
Some urged patience: “Turn off the TV and stop listening to the naysayers,” Darlene wrote. “Its [sic] better to wait patiently and get great health care than to get emotional and frustrated and wind up with NO healthcare…”
Others, like Kim, offered to help: “I have a home office and am VERY tech savvy. I would like to be able to help in whatever way I can.”
By and large, however, the feedback has been negative. While some comments root for the site’s failure, many are from people who’ve tried to use the site without success. Some pose specific questions; others voice general frustrations. Because their identities and contact information isn’t listed (for understandable reasons), there was no way to verify their stories.
The problems touch people from all over the country. The posts below have been trimmed for length, but the original grammar and spelling are used (even if they contain errors).
Wrongly Listed As Jailed
“Website said my wife and I were ineligible due to current incarceration. We have never been arrested in our lives, both 63!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” Fred wrote on Oct. 21.
Health Problems Made Worse
“I have a pre-existing condition …. a-fib…..and actually had an attack after getting frustrated with this confusing mess,” Bill wrote on Oct. 22. (A-fib refers to atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heartbeat.)
Daughter is Not a Daughter Anymore
“I am having difficulty with my account,” Joanna wrote on Oct. 22. “It appears that my daughter was added twice so that I now have two daughters with the same name and social security number. I am unable to delete one of them. Also, the drop down menu that relates to what relationship someone is to another is faulty. I choose that my husband is the father of our daughter and that my daughter is a dependant [sic] to me and my husband. What it actually shows though is that my daughter is a stepdaughter to her father and that my daughter is now both my husband and I’s parent. ”
“I can sign in … but cannot see the plans available to me — they claim my identity has been compromised. So frustrating!” Rhonda wrote on Oct. 22.
“I have tried to get into the system since the beginning,” Marion wrote on Oct. 22. “I have created 3 different accounts and am not able to log into any of them. When I request the user ID or to reset the password it throws me back to the log in page where I can’t login because it says I don’t have an account. When I try to reset the password with the email I used it, I never get an email to validate my account. I won’t let me create another account telling me I already have an account. I feel like I keep going around in circles. Will I ever be able to set up an account? ”
“I’ve now filled out that same application multiple times and even though there are hitches and glitches, I do manage to get to the point where I should be able to shop,” wrote one person whose name is listed as “likebillmurrayingroundhogday, on Oct. 21. “However, once at that point, there is no place for me to shop! The system just kicks me back to starting the application again. It’s like “Groundhog Day.”
“After many attempts I did manage to set up an account with a log in and password,” Francine wrote on Oct. 23. “NOW when I’m about to get to the meat and potatoes and go shopping a red box pops up and says “you can only do one application per state”. WTF? Several times I was able to find a page that asked me if I was a Florida resident with a yes and no button and it appears that after the site drops off my computer it moves this from yes to no. I can no longer find this page, so this site has BLOCKED me.”
Circular Security Questions
“I get an error message after I answer the security questions that say the answers can’t be the same, but they aren’t the same. If people are getting past this error message, I would like to know how,” Samara wrote on Oct. 20.
Name Not Unique
“I’ve been trying to create an account since program inception (October 1). I continually get a variety of crazy messages, the most recent being that I could not create an account because my first name, last name and email address are not unique!” Tom wrote on Oct. 20. “What the devil does that mean? Most people use their names in their email address, so it’s never going to be “unique.” I need health insurance for my 61-year-old wife and the Marketplace appears promising. Clean this mess up!”
Insurance Agents Stymied
“I am insurance agent also President of Insurance Agency (50+ Insurance Agents plus 30 employees),” John wrote on Oct. 21. “We have 1000’s of customers who want to sign up for health insurance and most will be subsidized. We have tried everyday since 10-1-2013. Maybe 2 applications have been processed. I have spent well over 250K getting ready for the ACA roll-out. My agency has written individual and small group insurance for over 25 years. We have marketed the uninsured and lower-income. We have held events to get pre-enrollment applications. We just want to help people get the insurance they need. What can you do to help me?”
Application Counselor Frustrated
“I am employed as a Certified Application Counselor in Scranton, Pennsylvania and I have not been able to successfully assist the approximately 50 people who visited me looking for assistance,” Suzanne wrote on Oct. 21. “I created an account for myself prior to October 1st to walk myself through the system and have not been able to successfully log in since October 1st. Needless to say, I am as frustrated as the consumers who visited me are. I hope the log in situation is fixed soon.”
ProPublica fellow Mike Tigas contributed to this report.
“Author Name, ProPublica.”
To brush up on today’s congressional hearings, see Charles Ornstein’s quick guide.
- HHS Predicted Obamacare Exchange Sign Up Would Take 28 Minutes (freebeacon.com)
- Consumer Reports: “Stay Away From Healthcare.gov” (youviewed.com)
- “5 key questions await developers of healthcare.gov” (goodolewoody.me)
- Healthcare.gov’s Users Speak Out: ‘Clean This Mess Up’ (propublica.org)