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#1 9 HOURS in and Healthcare.gov still wont let me look at the actual PLANS12-14-2013, 06:16 PM
Sat Dec 14, 2013, 10:58 AM
9 HOURS in and Healthcare.gov still wont let me look at the actual PLANS
Last edited Sat Dec 14, 2013, 12:40 PM - Edit history (2)
As they would apply to MY family. I can see the generic plans available to everyone in the STATE but anything beyond that returns an error message. 8 hours and a hundred crashes to get this far.
In my mind I am picturing millions of Americans trying to make the largely unannounced December 15th deadline and running headlong into this. It's impressively and spectacularly bad. It is a freaking marvel of fail, the cirque du Soleil of incompetence. Right now my wife is so frustrated by the experience that she is ready to drop kick her computer out the window.
So we CALLED the 800 number to get it straightened out.
To be precise, I called the 800 number while my wife sat in our darkened bedroom, crying and clutching her cat and occasionally shrieking out random ACA induced profanities.
The guy on the phone, after taking down all my information and typing it into his computer yet again, reached the exact same place the system had hung up before, and he ran into the same error message we had encountered. Good news, I thought to myself, He was able to duplicate it, he'll know what to do! My optimism was misplaced however. He informed me that he had tried hitting enter three times. This was apparently the limits of his troubleshooting skills. He politely offered to hit enter for me a few more times, but I assured him I could do this myself. I asked what I was supposed to do now, and he did not know. He said, and this is close to a quote "Yeah, it's a mess, it pretty much does this kind of thing all day. Maybe you can try back some other time, that might fix it."
Jackasses like Limbaugh or Paul Ryan say that government is the problem. It's a sentiment that I oppose, not because I don't recognize the partial truth in their words, but because I think the necessary good that government can provide is more important than the all-too-predictable incompetence and corruption.
That said, we just handed them a six-hundred million dollar example to point to.
UPDATE: SEE RESPONSE BELOW ENTITLED UPDATE
May the FORCE be with you!
12-14-2013, 06:19 PMResponse to Demo_Chris (Original post)
Sat Dec 14, 2013, 12:48 PM
44. ***UPDATE**** We got it fixed, sort of!!!!
Okay, we managed to get it fixed by CHANGING the amounts that we were reporting as income for 2014. The issue was that my adult daughter lives and works with us but does not earn enough money to kick her over what would (in another state) qualify for the expanded Medicaid program. Once we 'adjusted' her income to put her over out of the expanded Medicaid range, the system processed everything error free.
Obviously, one would expect something like this to be picked up in bug testing almost instantly, but there you go.
In any case, now we can see the actual plans available to us. I don't actually understand them, sadly, but it LOOKS like some of them are a pretty good deal.May the FORCE be with you!
12-14-2013, 06:50 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
What I find interesting is that some posters are referring the OP to a Huffington Post article "7 Alternatives to Healthcare.gov."
The problem is that the "alternatives" are not all viable alternatives:
1. State-run exchanges: Depending on where you live....
2. Paper applications and the telephone: The federal government created paper applications you can use to find out whether you qualify for government programs like Medicaid, or for tax credits that help cover the cost of private insurance premiums. You can download an application directly and mail it in. Hotline operators at (800) 318-2596 can help explain how to fill out the form and can even take applications over the phone.
Comparing insurance this way would be difficult, to say the least, but submitting an application for financial help at least can get the ball rolling. Tax credits are available to people who earn up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which amounts to about $46,000 for a single person. Medicaid is available to anyone earning up to 133 percent of poverty, or around $15,300 for a single person, in about half the states, which are expanding the program under Obamacare.
And, of course, as Huffington points out (above) you can't compare insurance rates or choose what you want. This was precisely the OPs problem: he could not see the plans to compare them.
3. Navigators and other in-person assistance: The health-care reform law created new types of workers whose job it is to help people apply for financial assistance, insurance and government benefits like Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. These assisters can't charge for their services, can't take money from insurance companies and must show consumers all their options. Contact information for such organizations is available on a HealthCare.gov page not affected by technical problems. While HealthCare.gov remains faulty, navigators and others can still get you started and follow up with you later about completing the process.
4. State Medicaid offices: If your income is low enough, you and your children may qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program, either under the existing rules or via Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. Eligibility rules vary widely from state to state. The federal government provides links to state Medicaid agencies on HealthCare.gov.
5. Health insurance companies: Insurers commonly allow sales through their websites and call centers. Consumers can review a list of what insurance companies and plans are available in their states -- and even the average prices -- via a section of HealthCare.gov that's working.
This might be the only real option, but this means figuring out what insurance companies are operating on the exchange in your area and shopping around at all of them. Even if the OP can finally choose a plan, the insurer will have the same problem with the website the OP is having.
And of course, as Huffington mentions, you don't get the subsidy that way:
The biggest downside is that people who may qualify for help with their insurance costs need the federal government to verify their eligibility before they can choose a plan. Many companies also are selling products outside the exchanges that aren't compatible with tax credits at all. Another shortcoming is this makes it much harder to compare the prices and benefits of insurance offered by multiple companies, which is supposed to be one the biggest advantages of the exchanges.
6. Web-based insurance brokers: Not to be confused with the government-run exchange websites, these private companies offer some of the same conveniences, like the ability to compare multiple plans on price and benefits. Vendors including eHealthinsurance, GoHealth and GetInsured are approved to allow shopping and enrollment through the federally run health insurance exchanges. These brokers are paid by insurance companies, so consumers aren't charged a fee.
At eHealthInsurance, for example, consumers can use an online calculator to get an estimate of whether they're eligible for tax credits, compare health plans, and file an application. The company will do the rest and will follow up when the tax credit application is complete so the customer can finish the process and buy a plan. Customer service agents can help by phone.
These companies are still limited by the federal government's technical problems when it comes to tax credits.
7. Insurance agents and brokers: Professional help is available from local agents and brokers who have always provided advice to consumers shopping for all kinds of insurance. These services typically are provided at no cost because agents and brokers get commissions from insurance carriers.
But even the broker has to deal with the Federal website:
But while their expertise can be valuable, especially to uninsured people who've never bought a health plan before, these agents generally only offer access to insurance companies with which they do business. And if you think you qualify for tax credits to reduce your costs, agents and brokers can only do so much to help, since they have to use the same flawed federal system as consumers.
So really, all roads lead to Healthcare.gov.
The DUmmies who keep posting this Huffington link clearly haven't read the article carefully and/or clearly haven't had to get insurance through healthcare.gov.
12-14-2013, 07:10 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
Oh and about those paper applications:
From The Washington Post, 12/12/13
....Even though HealthCare.gov has been working better since the start of the month, there are still reasons why people may be having trouble getting coverage. One significant reason is that the federal marketplace has accumulated a backlog of 50,000 to 60,000 paper applications as cracks have appeared in that low-tech method offered this fall as a backup plan, according to government officials.
Federal health officials and workers at an outside contractor hired to handle those applications have been racing to try to eliminate the backlog by the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline. The backlog accounts for nearly one-third of about 170,000 paper applications that people have submitted since the marketplace opened in October, the officials said.
No one knows how many of the consumers who sent in a paper application have chosen a health plan online now that the Web site is working better. As a result, health officials are trying to work through the entire backlog, but it is unclear how completely or how quickly they can address it. The effort was hindered when a computer portal on which the contractor relies went down for three days in the past week, according to an individual with knowledge of the system who spoke on the condition of anonymity about information that has not been made public.
This fall, federal officials recommended paper applications as a Plan B while HealthCare.gov was being repaired.
Consumers cannot rely on paper applications to complete enrollment in a health plan. Instead, the applications are supposed to handle the important step of determining whether a consumer qualifies for a federal subsidy to pay for a private health plan or qualifies for a public program for people with lower incomes, such as Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
12-14-2013, 07:15 PM
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
And even more:
The National Review breaks down the Post's article (above).
...Today’s Washington Post features Julie Bataille of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services, explaining that the computer system is still not working correctly for administrators who need to process paper applications.
First she states that
some of the 50,000 to 60,000 [paper] applications have not been completed because consumers did not provide all of the required information, and workers from the outside company, Serco, have been unable to reach them by phone to fill in the blanks.
There’s another group of Americans who probably believe that they’re covered, or in the process of getting covered. Of course, without the completed application, they can’t get a bill for the first month’s premium. Without payment, you’re not covered. The Obama administration yesterday “strongly encouraged” insurance companies to “give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium and still have coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014,” which is another way of saying provide insurance coverage to people who haven’t paid yet.
Here’s a giant problem:
Health officials have not decided exactly how people would be able to request such extra time, whether they need to ask by the December 23 deadline, and the precise circumstances under which HHS would grant an extension.
Here’s where the online system problems come in:
In other instances, paper applications were placed on hold until last week because parts of the online system needed to answer the eligibility system were not working well enough.
In still other cases, Serco workers ran into one of various computer errors when they tried to process a paper application, and that error has not been corrected.
Besides the applications in the backlog, about 100,000 paper applications have been processed, but those consumers were not told of the results until recently. The applications are supposed to be mailed notification letters, but none were mailed out until recently and the vast majority still have not. As a result, officials said, Serco workers last week tried calling the roughly 100,000 people to inform them of the eligibility decision and urge them to go online to sign up. It is not clear how many they were able to reach.
12-14-2013, 07:39 PM
But,but...the website is all better...right???
This person MUST be a Freeper!!!!May the FORCE be with you!
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