Search This Blog

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Obamacare Stories

Cindy Vinson and Tom Waschura are big believers in the Affordable Care Act. They vote independent and are proud to say they helped elect and re-elect President Barack Obama.
Yet, like many other Bay Area residents who pay for their own medical insurance, they were floored last week when they opened their bills: Their policies were being replaced with pricier plans that conform to all the requirements of the new health care law.
Vinson, of San Jose, will pay $1,800 more a year for an individual policy, while Waschura, of Portola Valley, will cough up almost $10,000 more for insurance for his family of four.
 "I was laughing at Boehner -- until the mail came today," Waschura said, referring to House Speaker John Boehner, who is leading the Republican charge to defund Obamacare.
"I really don't like the Republican tactics, but at least now I can understand why they are so pissed about this. When you take $10,000 out of my family's pocket each year, that's otherwise disposable income or retirement savings that will not be going into our local economy."
Both Vinson and Waschura have adjusted gross incomes greater than four times the federal poverty level -- the cutoff for a tax credit. And while both said they anticipated their rates would go up, they didn't realize they would rise so much.
"Of course, I want people to have health care," Vinson said. "I just didn't realize I would be the one who was going to pay for it personally."
At Slate, John Dickeron reports on one woman's attempt to get signup information on a "Live Chat."
 Thanks for contacting us. My name is PGSTX0534. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[4:30:51 pm]: PGSTX0534
Hello, how may I help you today?
[4:31:12 pm]: Alice
My information is not recording correctly in the summary of my application
[4:31:35 pm]: Alice
I have tried to edit it multiple times and it is still wrong
[4:32:21 pm]: PGSTX0534
Thanks for your interest in the Health Insurance Marketplace. We have a lot of visitors trying to use our website right now. That is causing some glitches for some people trying to create accounts or log in. Keep trying, and thanks for your patience. We'll continue working to improve the site so you can get covered
[4:32:40 pm]: Alice
what does that mean?
[4:32:52 pm]: Alice
It says my application is "in Progress"
[4:33:12 pm]: Alice
Does that mean it is not completed and I can continue to try to edit it?
[4:33:55 pm]: Alice
[4:34:14 pm]: PGSTX0534
Thank you. One moment please while I look that up.
[4:36:19 pm]: PGSTX0534
The only way we can see your application is you will have to call The Health Insurance Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. We are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you.
[4:36:47 pm]: Alice
What does the Chat Service do then?
She received no response to her last question.