Monday, November 10, 2014

ACA window-shopping: What are you seeing?

The 2015 rates were posted on HealthCare.gov today,  allowing people to start preparing for Saturday's start of the open enrollment season.  I plugged my info in and quickly got a menu of plans.  But because I have workplace insurance and didn't do this last year,  I don't have much sense of how rates and plans are changing.

So if you already have insurance through the exchange,  please take a peek and let me know what you see.  You can let your current plan renew automatically,  but experts say it's smart to check the 2015 options to see if you can get a better deal.

Update:  I'm hearing from people who went to their personal account and couldn't get anything new.  What you have to do is go to the general HealthCare.gov page and enter general info  (zip code,  income  and age/smoking status of those who will be insured)  to get rates for 2015.  I don't think you'll be able to get an official individual quote until Saturday.

Image: TheTakeaway.org

A few reminders:  The Mecklenburg  branch of Get Covered America will hold an opening day enrollment and information event at the Children and Family Services Center,  601 E. Fifth St.,  from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday,  Nov. 15.  If you plan to apply,  bring your Social Security number,  date of birth,  employer information,  proof of household income and policy numbers for any existing coverage.

While you can't sign up for subsidized insurance until Saturday, you can schedule an appointment for in-person assistance in North Carolina now by calling 1-855-733-3711.

And you can get a lot of helpful tips by downloading HealthInsurance.org's  "Insider's Guide to Obamacare's Open Enrollment."

On a separate but related note:  I've heard from several people distressed about big increases in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's rates for Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D insurance.  I plan to follow up,  but got sidetracked last week when I made a temporary return to the education beat to help cover the departure of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Heath Morrison.

Read more here: http://charobshealth.blogspot.com/#storylink=cp

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is subsidized the right word? It seems like it would more appropriate to say welfare. If we ever want to have an honest conversation about important social issues we shouldn't allow 'political correctness' to control the debate.

Anonymous said...

If you sign up for insurance and get a subsidy, is there a guarantee that the subsidy won't be revoked by the supreme court in 2015 and you'll be stuck having to pay the bill yourself? From what I've read, there's a good chance the supreme court is going to halt subsidies in states without exchanges, such as North Carolina. Then what would happen to people who are getting subsidies at that point? Would they have to pay for the rest of the year without a subsidy? For the previous parts of the year?

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:39, that's a great question that I'm trying to get answered.

Anonymous said...

Regarding "subsidized" being the politically correct word for "welfare", pc is winning. Given the usage of "affordable", "accessible" and other euphemisms, consider the following sentence: My home is unaffordable and inaccessible, and occupied by an unchallenged, non-diverse family.

Ann Doss Helms said...

11:39, just spoke with a law prof who wrote a casebook on health law. He says unlikely the court will knock down the federal exchange, but even if that happened, the ruling wouldn't come until spring or summer and wouldn't require people to repay subsidies they got. So he says go ahead and enroll. Worst case is the aid goes away in 7-8 months, but that's better than being uninsured.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ann! That's the best answer I've gotten on the high courts question.

Anonymous said...

I like how they say it is unaffordable without a subsidy. I pay taxes so others can have better - more affordable - health care than I do. Seems to me if they were going to provide a welfare (subsidy) it should be a very basic plan with a higher ($200) copay. This notion that people won't access healthcare if the copay is too high just doesn't make any sense - if I need medical care and I don't have the $200 copay and I can't get it from friends or family - that says something about my friends and family - not the taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading some of the problems people with ACA insurance are experiencing.

A woman had two aneurisms, they removed one and the other had stopped growing so they monitor it every few months.

The tests she gets cost between $1,000 and $2,000 at each time. She has low insurance premiums because she gets a subsidy (welfare) but she still have a problem. With those low cost subsidized policies come very high deductibles. She has a $6,000 deductible so she can not afford to go to the doctor any more for the tests and results. She is just hoping for the best.

The only thing she can afford now is annual physicals because the health care provider has to pay 100% of that.

I read more but that gives you some idea of how much those subsidized rates are helping people.

I have found two things with ACA and the open market, you either pay very high premiums for good insurance that pays or you pay very high deductibles for low premiums.

This nation has been sucked in, new medicaid people are doing ok. Couldn't they give them medicaid without destroying everyone else's healthcare?

I'm betting it's not about healthcare at all but control of people's lives.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a simple solution is to allow people to buy into medicaid. Then subsidize that if people can't afford it. Is that too simple of a solution or is it that they don't want us to know how much the government is paying for medicaid?

Wiley Coyote said...

We can only hope SCOTUS will end this madness.

Anonymous said...

4:50 Many who work in the health insurance industry have already dubbed Obamacare "Medicaid Light" because of the narrow networks and substandard care for serious illnesses. So in a way, the ACA already lets people buy into Medicaid. Of course, you won't hear this from Ann, who is paid shill of the insurance industry and their leftist allies.

Anonymous said...

To the commenter that offered "I have found two things with ACA and the open market, you either pay very high premiums for good insurance that pays or you pay very high deductibles for low premiums," that's how about all medical insurance has been working for many years - same as auto insurance, same as homeowner's insurance. Pay more every month and you are basically betting you will have claims. Pay low premium every month and you are betting you WON'T have a claim.

Anonymous said...

I missed your evidence that Ann is a shill for anything. Would you like to share facts with us, or just throw out totally unsupported accusations? If you have a point to make with facts, why not simply make your point with facts?

Got facts?