ACA application fiasco

Posted by: Jim_

ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 04:39 PM

What bullish‘t. This is sad. Applied on day 1 and of course I couldn't past the first page. Figured I'd give it some time to work the bugs out and finally tried again today, it's still crawling with 'em.

Went online, finished applying. Get to a page that says My Profile, (Identity Verified) but nowhere else to click. I then get an email that I have a message waiting. Clicked on link, logged in, got to a page that says;

James, what would you like to do?

View my current applications
Apply for new coverage (Doesn't apply to me)
2014 Ohio application for Individual & Family Coverage
Status: In progress
ID#: xxxxxxxxxx

If I click on the link, it takes me back to the start of the application process saying;

APPLICATION STATUS

Your application is incomplete
You haven't finished your application for health coverage. You must complete and submit your application to find out if you're eligible for coverage and to enroll in a plan.

CONTINUE APPLICATION

I click continue application and it starts all over again. Most of my fields are already filled in so it's just clicking through, but it does no good.

I finally called them. I am caught in what she called a roller coaster loop, they gave it a cute name, and I should try tomorrow as they are supposedly putting a fix in for it tonight. Don't know if it has something to do with being self-employed or whatever but don't care. 7 weeks after the roll out and it is still broken.

They shouldn't have given the contract for the website to the lowest bidder.

Ask me about my approval rating for Obama at the moment.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 06:25 PM

I never got my day 1 login/application to work, so I just created a new user and everything has been fairly smooth since then. It's a shame the site is still so frustrating -- maybe try applying via the phone number instead?
Posted by: DLC

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 07:01 PM

Yeah I'd start from scratch. The original might have been corrupted by the system then. Start clean ! ... or as 6-er suggests call the phone #.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 07:52 PM

Originally Posted By: DLC
Yeah I'd start from scratch. The original might have been corrupted by the system then. Start clean ! ... or as 6-er suggests call the phone #.

I actually did use a different user name and email this time.

So I went at it a third time, a different email and ID again and finally made it in. I noticed this time that the screen where one electronically signs was entirely different. It was after that where the problem was earlier.

Still, 7 weeks later and still fu'd. Sigh.
Posted by: Jim_

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 08:13 PM

Take that back. Another roadblock. I received a notice that I have a message waiting, click on the link, log in, see "You have a notice available about your Marketplace eligibility." and no choice to read it, only a choice to close the message.

On another note, looking at my coverage options, my premium will go from 234 month to 510 if don't keep my current plan, that's for a Bronze plan, 1 person. WTH?

I'll deal with this crap tomorrow, pretty frustrated.


See below, I was bit by the dumbass bug it seems.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 08:48 PM

Am I right that of the folks who have been looking for the ACA enrollment, only Gary lives in a state that has a state-run page?
Posted by: Jim_

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 09:05 PM

Ohio doesn't.
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 09:14 PM

Originally Posted By: Jim_

On another note, looking at my coverage options, my premium will go from 234 month to 510 if don't keep my current plan, that's for a Bronze plan, 1 person. WTH?


Only two things come to mind that would explain this result in the Bronze category. Either your income is high and you don't qualify for much of a Federal assistance, or the $510/mo is the premium cost without the subsidized amount subtracted from it. I wonder if OH residents are being screwed because they're red state? Just asking.

Bronze plans suck. They have high deductibles and copays do not apply until you meet the deductuctible. Silver looked like the best option to me.

Just as a point of reference go to CoveredCA.com > shopand compare >

There's no personal info you need to enter to browse.

I plugged in single, 50yrs old, income of $100K (lucky guy!). Use my zipcode 92262
In the California exchange the federal assistance won't apply for incomes greater than $50K wih no dependents.

These were the first page picks:






My advice, move to California and get a few dependents.

Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 09:27 PM

Neither does Virginia.

Also, Jim, I still have that "message waiting" notice and haven't been able to read it -- or even have a button or something that will let me. So I've simply ignored it ;-)

And, yeah, I'm beginning to think self-employed people who make enough to disqualify for assistance are in that portion that will be funding the rest. So I guess we can either be upset about it or take solace in that we're doing our part for the greater good. But only if this whole thing works -- if I'm paying more just to get a different but equally broken system, I'll stop being even this minimally magnanimous. I can't help but think that single payer would make me feel better about all of this.

Anyways, come down to Virginia -- at least our bronze plans (for me: single, 52) start at $250. I'll wager both of us would have been better off living in a state that at least tried to make this work ...
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 09:48 PM

Quote:
Bronze plans suck. They have high deductibles and copays do not apply until you meet the deductuctible.

Maybe in California.

Here's the least expensive Bronze plan offered to me (single, 52, no dependents, no assistance) in Virginia via heathcare.gov:



Which, you'll note, has a $6K deductible but a max out-of-pocket of $6K as well -- after you've met the deductible everything else is taken care of for the year. Oddly, the slightly more expensive ones DO have the copay-after-deductible and a slightly higher out-of-pocket ($6,350) …

This is the closest to my current coverage, which I consider to be "catastrophic" coverage, and is better at the cost of $100 more per month (which, after talking to acquaintances who are in similar situations, seems to be pretty much the norm.).

So yeah -- all things considered, could be a lot worse. And at least tax-deductible, so that's something =P

I think I'll wait for the first of the month before actually pulling trigger, just to see what other options there may be at that time (thinking of Barry's "fix" here) ...
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 10:07 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one


I'm beginning to think self-employed people who make enough to disqualify for assistance are in that portion that will be funding the rest.


How so? You didn't receive federal assistance on your policy but you also getting the mandate tax credit (isn't that around $700?) I don't think any part of your premium is being collected by the federal government . People not buying inurance are getting the mandate and paying into the sytem helping to fund the rest.

Posted by: Jim_

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 10:22 PM

Okay, my bad. I put down Gross sales instead of Profit line from Schedule C. Oops. Big difference. I will be paying less for more it looks like.

I couldn't find anywhere to change income so I created a new account.

I'll have to look at the details later. Too tired. After looking at what #6 was paying, single male in his 50's, I just could't figure out why I was going to pay so much so I had to try again.

I guess another good point is I was able to successfully create an account again.
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/19/13 10:37 PM

When I completed the income section I was able deduct all those things on my 1040 like self-employment tax, self-employment insurance, home office expenses, etc. as individual line items.

It took some time to be sure I included all the crap needed to show a lower adjusted income.
Also made sure it added up exactly to my 2012 tax filing … no red flags needed.
Posted by: steveg

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 02:25 AM

I have Medicare now, so I can dodge the ACA site bullet. But now I've gotta get a new policy for my daughter. I'm gonna wait another week or two before I wade in, and I'm also gonna check out the OH Medicaid expansion, starting 12/9, because she may qualify. If not, I expect to find her a good plan cheap via healthcare.gov.
Posted by: DLC

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 06:57 AM

GOOD to hear you're making progress and may pay less.
IF I can do an on line app for any task, I'll do it; but if the situation gets "Iffy" (lots of questions or possibilities) I like to talk to a real person ! Keeps you from going down the wrong road and getting shocked...e.g. premiums from $240 to > $500 !! eek . . BUT that's just me.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 08:26 AM

Originally Posted By: garyW
Originally Posted By: six_of_one


I'm beginning to think self-employed people who make enough to disqualify for assistance are in that portion that will be funding the rest.


How so? You didn't receive federal assistance on your policy but you also getting the mandate tax credit (isn't that around $700?) I don't think any part of your premium is being collected by the federal government . People not buying inurance are getting the mandate and paying into the sytem helping to fund the rest.



First: no, I don't qualify for the tax credit.

Second: It's an insurance pool, which by definition means the premiums of [healthy people/responsible drivers/etc.] pay for the costs of claims made by [less healthy people/less responsible drivers/etc.].

If your premiums go up and you don't qualify for any breaks/discounts/subsidies, you're absolutely paying more to fund the rest of the system. Which in the case of the ACA shouldn't be surprising since *somebody* (which would be the new and existing healthy people in the insurance pool) has to pay for the costs that aren't offset by government assistance ...

Unfortunately, the penalty/tax/whatever for individuals choosing not to participate is meant as more of a stick to get those people to join-up rather than a means of actually covering costs -- there's no way those penalties make-up for people actually paying premiums …

My point was that (at least in our little sampling of a whole two people ;-) it's looking like being self-employed and not qualifying for a subsidy is a particularly bad combination if you are hoping for a break on your premiums ...
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 10:06 AM

But your premium is paid to the insurance company, not the federal government.

The way I see it the premiums are still sky high, same as always, maybe worse. For qualifying applicants the federal government supplies assistance making those policies "affordable". The insurance company is still the one profiting. That's why this was a plan devised by the geniuses at the Heritage Foundation.

The government saves enough from the payout to ER & Hospitals for the uninsured by the newly insured, saves by the ACA regulations on Medicare waste and duplicity, and somehow this all calculates to what the Congressional Budget Office says is a $800B savings over 10 years. So it goes.


Maybe the 2016 elections can bring about a clean sweep by the Democrats and we can move ahead with Medicare for all/single payer.


Posted by: Jim_

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 11:11 AM

Originally Posted By: garyW
The way I see it the premiums are still sky high, same as always, maybe worse.
Ex-laxly. The whole problem's the out of control Health Care industry in general and the greedy bastiges that are making millions off of $20 bandaids, from insurance companies and hospitals, to the pharmaceuticals.

I doubt in our lifetime we'll ever see any change, they are too powerful and their influence is too deeply embedded in Washington. It's like big oil, no one wants to take them on.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 02:19 PM

Quote:
But your premium is paid to the insurance company, not the federal government.

Of course premiums are paid to the insurance companies; for better or worse they're still the ones providing the insurance. I guess I'm missing the point you're trying to make here.

Look, the system is still funded by premiums -- the whole point of the mandate is to get more people into the system to pay premiums to cover the costs of expanding the insurance pool. The government is willing to subsidize some premiums but not others. If you don't qualify for subsidies / small business credits / any other offsets, you are going to be supporting more of the issuance pool out of your pocket than those who do qualify. It's pretty straight forward.
Posted by: yoyo52

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 04:09 PM

The insurance companies are scum-a-dum-dum. Their reason for being in the first place is to make money off potential diseases, and then, if you actually get a disease, to charge you more. I hate 'em hate 'em all.
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 04:12 PM

Originally Posted By: six_of_one
The government is willing to subsidize some premiums but not others. If you don't qualify for subsidies / small business credits / any other offsets, you are going to be supporting more of the issuance pool out of your pocket than those who do qualify. It's pretty straight forward.


Quote:
I'm beginning to think self-employed people who make enough to disqualify for assistance are in that portion that will be funding the rest.


I have a different understanding of it (or maybe we really are saying the same thing grin) .

The ACA states that everyone needs to be covered or they pay the mandated fee.
The ACA will subsidize those who qualify when buying through the Exchanges.

The insurance corporations are regulated as what must be covered in order for them to be able to qualify to participate in the Exchange. Once in the Exchange, the competitive pricing is what's going to attract enrollment in to each insurer's plan. The large number of people buying through the Exchange is what allows for the insurers to be competetive. They still sell policies outside of the Exchange, but within the regulated system they sell way more and profit more.

None of those profits go to the Federal government, I've previously stated where I think the money is coming that allows this to be a net positive.

So my original point (many posts back) was that an unsubsidized policy you buy from the exchange is still a better deal that what you'll get outside the Exchange. I don't see this as a portion that is "funding the rest". That's all. Either way you and Jim are getting screwed because the insurance corporations aren't forced to help those in your income bracket with no dependents.

Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 07:55 PM

Quote:
So my original point (many posts back) was that an unsubsidized policy you buy from the exchange is still a better deal that what you'll get outside the Exchange. I don't see this as a portion that is "funding the rest".

Look at it this way: We both have the same Greatest Insurance Policy In The World™ which has a premium of $100/month. It's a great plan. Takes care of everything. A tremendous deal. Both of us pay our $100 /month into a pool, along with millions of other people who also have the same Great Plan. The idea being that some people will actually need that money to pay for healthcare, while others will not. Which sounds like a gamble, since you might never need the cash but will still be paying into the pool regardless. But that's the risk we're willing to take, and we comfort ourselves that this really isn't a form of Socialism. Honest.

So just by paying premiums, each one of us is already "funding the rest," especially since what we take out of the pool (if and when we do) will probably amount to vastly more than we contributed. Like I said: not Socialism. At all.

So now the government comes along and says that *everyone* has to participate in the pool. Since this means more people taking money out of the pool, costs will go up. But there's also more people paying in premiums, so maybe that will cover those costs. Heck, it might even save us money. The CBO says so, so it's probably true.

BUT

The government also says it will help out some of the people in the pool by covering, say, $90 of their $100 premiums. Those not qualifying for the government largesse with still have to pay the whole $100. The $100 premiums are still funding the pool, but now some people are only having to put in $10 out of their pockets, while others are still putting in $100.

To me, it would seem that those who are still paying $100 are "funding the rest" out of their pockets more than are the other folks. Mind you, the coverage is still great, still takes care of everything, is a tremendous deal. But that doesn't alter the fact that, everything else being equal, some are putting more into the pool ("funding") than are others.

Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, everyone according to their needs I guess. Just remember: not Socialism ;-)

Quote:
Either way you and Jim are getting screwed because the insurance corporations aren't forced to help those in your income bracket with no dependents.

Er, no. The insurance companies aren't being forced to help *anyone* at all, so I'm not really sure why they should be forced to help folks like Jim and me. It's the government that's doing all the helping. Jim and I are being screwed, relatively speaking, because instead of a single payer system where the government helps everyone, we get this scheme where the government helps some people and lets the rest pay full boat.

Which I don't really have a problem with if we actually realize the societal benefits this is supposed to bring. But I still think single payer would be a lot simpler, efficient and effective. We'll see ;-)
Posted by: garyW

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 10:39 PM

Lawrence O'Donnell had a great segment on tonight that spoke directly to you and Jim. He had a chart showing the percentages of people effected by the ACA. 80% not at all - either on Medicare or employer coverage. A largest portion of the remaining was for those eligible for Medicaid. 4% of the country is like me, individual/family buyers qualified for federal assistance. The last and smallest group was 1.4% individual buyers that did not qualify. I heard that and felt your pain.

I understand your view. I disagree that buying a policy and paying a premium is contributing to a pool. It's not a collected fund held by anyone other than the corporation you bought it from. It's a pool only in the sense that it's a growing subset of insured bodies within the population. The insurance corporations didn't want to conform to the new regulations, but they must if they want to jump on this gravy train. The pool is all their's. That's where all the premium money goes, including the part subsidized by the federal government.

Medicare and the ACA is socialism in spirt and intent, but under the surface it's all corporate capitalist nugget-filling same as always. At least it's a start at something better, for now in Blue states anyway.


Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/20/13 11:29 PM

Quote:
I disagree that buying a policy and paying a premium is contributing to a pool.

Of course it is. Otherwise insurance couldn't exist. And it obviously does, because that's what pays for claims. It doesn't really matter if it's controlled by a corporation and paid for by premiums, or controlled by the government and paid for by taxes. The concept is basically the same: pooling resources to provide coverage for everyone in the pool. That someone profits from this doesn't mean it doesn't exist or that premiums don't contiribute to it.

Quote:
It's not a collected fund held by anyone other than the corporation you bought it from.

Nevertheless it still exists, and your premiums fund it. The government doesn't fund it (except now in a limited sense, via subsidies). The corporation certainly doesn't fund it. Basically, your premium funds it and is the only thing that makes the whole thing even possible. The fact that a corporation makes a profit from this scheme doesn't make that any less a fact.

Quote:
The pool is all their's.

Yes, it is. And until the government takes it over, it will remain so. That doesn't mean that in the meantime the pool doesn't exist or that your premiums don't contribute to it. Nor does it mean that if the government subsidizes some contributions to it, others are paying more out of their pockets to fund it. Which is my entire point.

Insurance in concept is a completely Socialist construct. It wouldn't be tolerated in this country (because: Socialism!) if someone hadn't figured out a way to insert themselves as a middleman and skim profits. That magically makes it okay (because: profits!). It's one of the great ironies of our society (along with other radical Socialist ideas such as … communities … and states … and taxes … and other stuff that basically makes our country work) ...
Posted by: NucleusG4

Re: ACA application fiasco - 11/21/13 03:53 AM

Originally Posted By: Jim_
[quote=garyW] It's like big oil, no one wants to take them on.


Well.. Obama does and is...
Maybe get behind him on this?
It's the beginning of change... which is more than welcome.
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 12/03/13 02:16 PM

Just as an update, I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger and enroll on the Federal site today.

Hopped-on to may account (yes, "hopped" -- login was zippity-split!), went to my options, selected one and hit "Enroll." "Grats!" says the website, "you've successfully enrolled! Your carrier will contact you in a day or two with payment details."

Whole thing took about 30 seconds =D

NOW we'll see if I actually *have* that insurance -- apparently that's where the bugaboos are theses days. We'll see in a day or so ...
Posted by: lanovami

Re: ACA application fiasco - 12/03/13 02:57 PM

Please let us know if your carrier contacts you in a day or two.
Posted by: steveg

Re: ACA application fiasco - 12/04/13 09:11 AM

It's a failure. A train wreck. And gawd knows how many children, women, and seniors you've just literally killed! eek
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 12/05/13 09:04 PM

Well, so far not a peep. Guess I'll have to go to the CareFirst site and see if they have my info =P
Posted by: six_of_one

Re: ACA application fiasco - 12/10/13 03:44 PM

So … after having not heard anything over the past week, I called CareFirst today to see if they had my application from the marketplace.

Answer: No.

Oops! Glad I checked, since the healthcare,gov site still says I've been enrolled. Anyways, after making sure that if the application from healthcare.gov does show up eventually it won't screw-up anything else in the works, I applied directly on CareFirst's own website …

… and got approved about 20 minutes later.

So: stories that the government site's front-end works well, but the back-end (insert butt and/or Santorum joke here) still needs work appear to be true ...