The only article you need to read on signing up for Obamacare

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]any of you who are friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter may remember my daughter and son-in-law’s predicament come January 1, 2014.

In their late 20’s and married for just over five years they have an insurance policy through Blue Cross/Blue Shield. For this modest policy they pay $150 a month. Recently they received information from BCBS their policy, which they like, is being deleted from the product array. Instead, the best option for they were given beginning January 1, 2014 will be around $450 a month. Update below.

Today, Tony Morgan posted on his blog his experience related to Obamacare’s implementation. Among the things he has experience: doubling healthcare costs from his private insurance, inability to get an estimate from the government for his family, incompetence from the helpline, circular blame in the system, and more. In short, pretty much what you would expect if the government runs things: confusions and increased costs. Morgan writes:

I’m to the point in the application process where the system needs to verify my identity. It appears that there’s an automated system that is supposed to handle the verification online. That didn’t work for me.

Then the system indicated I needed to upload a copy of my driver’s license to verify my identity. I did that, but I’m still getting a message on the HealthCare.gov website indicating I need to provide additional information to complete the identity verification process.
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Because of that, I used the “live chat” feature on the HealthCare.gov website to try to confirm whether or not they’re still waiting for me to provide additional information or if I should be waiting to have someone confirm my identity and continue the application process.

The person on live chat told me I need to talk to someone at the government’s marketplace helpline. I called the marketplace helpline. That person told me I needed to call Experian, the company that’s handling the identity verification. I called Experian. The representative told me I didn’t have the right ID number available and that I needed to call the government’s marketplace helpline.

I called the marketplace helpline again. They told me to go back to the website to upload my driver’s license. I told them I already did that. I just wanted to confirm that they’ve received the copy of my driver’s license. The representative doesn’t have the ability to confirm whether or not the appropriate documents have been received. Because of that, I’m still unsure whether or not they’re waiting for me or I’m waiting for them.

As I wrapped up the phone call, I asked the representative on the helpline how long it will be before I hear back from someone. The representative said he has no idea how long it will take.

As frustrating this is for Morgan and who-knows-how-many-more-like-him, poor customer services pales in comparison to insurance premium hikes on so many in the middle class. (See the Washington Post analysis of who will remain uninsured after the ACA is fully implemented.

Update: My daughter and son-in-law were contacted just yesterday by BCBS. They have been offered the ability to keep their current policy at a mere 30% increase. However, since the plan is non-AFA compliant they will not be eligible for subsidies. Since they both have jobs that probably is not a possibility anyway. It appears new BCBS customers will have only the $450 month, AFA compliant option.

  • http://toddlittleton.net/ Todd Littleton

    Marty,

    This is a good post. Our youngest is searching for Insurance right now. It is not going well. She tried to access the ACA and got terribly frustrated. They had insurance through his former job. Now they have to find it for themselves.

    • martyduren

      Todd-
      I’m sorry to hear that. In time I’d guess the gov site will be repaired, but a lesser number of more expensive options does not bode well for our kids.

      My pure conjecture is the U.S. will have 2/3 the number of uninsured people we had before ACA, but a significant number of those will previously have had insurance.

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    What is the deductible with the BCBS $450 plan?

    • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

      Marty, you might suggest an alternative to insurance called The Health Co-Op. It bundles premium services to a health care sharing ministry (Samaritan Ministries). You can visit it at thehealthcoop.com

    • Beth Duren Lancaster

      Our current deductible is $3500, but I’m not sure about what the $450 plan offers. I’ll see if I can get more information. The letter stated that we can keep our current plan (with increased premium, of course), but that the plan is non-ACA compliant and doesn’t cover the “ten Essential Health Benefits” ACA plans must have under the law.