Finally! I bought health insurance through Obamacare
I made the December deadline to buy insurance that takes effect Jan. 1, and my new insurance reduced my monthly cost by 45 percent.
It took a lot of persistence on my part, but I finally was able to buy insurance through the Obamacare online marketplace. After a disastrous rollout, it's working much better these days.
And even better, the new health plan I picked from the many options available is much more affordable than my current policy.
I made the Dec. 23 deadline for purchasing coverage that will begin on Jan. 1. Note: If you began the HealthCare.gov process on Dec. 23 but didn't successfully complete it, you have another day to finish the application and still have coverage on Jan. 1. (Open enrollment in the state online marketplaces ends March 31.)
Let's compare: My current policy, which expires on Dec. 31, has a $5,000 deductible and a $5,000 out-of-pocket maximum. For out of network, it's a $7,500 deductible and $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum. It costs about $830 a month.
My new plan, the lowest priced bronze plan available in Montana for someone my age who smokes, costs $464 a month for a $3,950 deductible and a $6,350 out-of-pocket maximum. The limits are higher for out-of-network care.
Under both plans, preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies are fully covered by the insurance company, as required by Obamacare. And because of Obamacare, neither plan can deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, which used to be the norm for people who buy individual insurance.
Like many Americans, I had a really difficult time getting access to the online marketplace at HealthCare.gov after it opened Oct. 1. (My state Legislature made the unfortunate decision not to set up our state’s own marketplace. The process worked much better in the 14 states that have their own.)
I started an application, but it wouldn't save properly. And I was informed that my ID could only be verified by emailing a copy of my driver's license or other ID. I did that several times, but nothing happened after that.
Once it was announced that most of the bugs had been fixed, I killed my old application and started anew. It still wouldn't save properly, and a customer service rep completed the application for me over the phone.
I finally had access to the insurance plans offered in my state and I made a selection. Word to the wise: They're complicated, but if you need help, you can call the companies with questions. I did.
Since HealthCare.gov opened for business, some changes have been made to the deadlines and rules. One was designed to accommodate those whose individual plans are being canceled because those plans don't meet the Affordable Care Act's requirements for basic health services. Those people will be exempt from the mandate to have insurance in 2014. Says Bloomberg:
People whose plans are canceled must apply to the government for a hardship exemption from the requirement to carry insurance and submit the letter they received from their current insurer. Once the government approves the exemption, they are eligible to purchase catastrophic plans, which usually have the lowest premium of any coverage sold on exchanges. The plans aren't eligible for federal subsidies, meaning there's no discount for the premium.
I have to wonder: Why would people not want a better health care plan than the one they have now -- rather than a bare-bones catastrophic plan -- particularly when buying a better plan on the marketplace could make them eligible for a subsidy, depending on their income.
You're eligible if you earn between 138 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level. That's $15,850 to $46,000 for an individual, and $32,500 to $94,200 for a family of four.
You'd get better insurance and you'd get help in the form of a tax credit to reduce the premiums -- basically better insurance at a lower cost.
Majority of Americans aren't affected
Of course, much of this is of no importance to most Americans. The majority get health insurance through their workplace or through a government program like Medicare, so they wouldn't be using the marketplaces to buy individual insurance. Says the U.S. Census Bureau (.pdf file):
More than half of the U.S. population (55.1 percent) had employment-based health insurance coverage in 2011, and among the employed population aged 18 to 64, over two-thirds (68.2 percent) had health insurance through their own employer or another person's employer.1 In addition, over one-third (34.7 percent) of individuals who did not work received coverage through employment-based health insurance, usually from a former employer or another person's employer.
If you're uninsured or you don't get what's considered affordable insurance through work, go to HealthCare.gov or your state's own marketplace, if it has one. According to Reuters, more than 500,000 people have signed up to buy insurance through Obamacare since Oct. 1.
Have you tried to purchase health insurance on the marketplaces?
More on Money Talks News:
Here's a bullsh*t (propaganda) article. Wonder how much money Karen was paid to write this garbage.
You know Obamacare is worthless, for no other reason than the way it's being pushed. Something this "fantastic" doesn't need so much media support. If it really was as great as the media sheep and the tools in DC are saying, then it would speak for itself... AND the politicians would not have exempted themselves from it.
As Always the devil is in the details. She probably has pre-existing conditions, which is like writing a fire insurance policy on a BURNING building. It will only result is a loss for an insurance company. She probably is well over 45 as well.
Of course Obamacare will acquire patients like her. The Insurance company is guaranteed to loose money on her. Her policy will be subsidized on the backs of younger people who will pay double to triple what they could buy now.
The fact remains, the youth of this nation will never voluntarily offer to pay 2-3 times what they should to pay for this parasite. I use the term parasite, because she is happy to have someone else PAY HER WAY. She sounds like the very definition of leech democrat.
"Have you tried to purchase health insurance on the marketplaces? "
Thanks to Obamacare's requirements, the market place insurance rates are much higher than before. A part of the requirement are insurers must provide maternity care and prostate exams for everyone whether man or woman which raises the cost. How stupid can that be?
Also, the Obamacare websites were supposed to provide gateways to choices of outside market insurance but those portals don't work channeling people to the Obamacare site only. Suspicious as hell I think.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Your health may improve if you cut gluten out of your diet, but your pocketbook will take a hit -- unless you follow these tips.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'