Daily Archives: November 28, 2013

You better check once, better check twice

Can you keep your doctor? Healthcare.gov can’t tell consumers whether they can keep their doctors | WashingtonExaminer.com.

 Waltman said federal cost-cutting pressures on insurers are forcing them to reduce the number of doctors and other providers in their networks.

The result is that consumers must choose among provider networks with fewer doctors and hospitals.

That means many consumers who join the Obamacare exchanges won’t be able to keep their doctors despite President Obama’s repeated promise to the contrary.

Dave Berman, an independent insurance broker in Indianapolis at the brokerage firm Neace Lukens, said people could become confused if they expect their current insurance firm to offer the same network through Obamacare.

“It’s going to be very confusing to consumers who may be used to an insurance company and not knowing that they are going into a restrictive network,” Berman said

You must, must, must check your network. Not just the insurance company but the netowork that is being offered with the plan being purchased. If you are purchasing a plan from healthcare.gov or a state exchange this is critically important.




Insurance is not the same as Healthcare

Network participation – Survey finds doctors rebelling against Obamacare, famous hospitals declining to join | WashingtonExaminer.com.

Be careful out there. Please, be careful out there.

If you’re looking for a plan and are involved in the medical system or require certain services, the first item you should be investigating is network participation. Check on providers and facilites you might reasonably or even unreasonably expect to access.


Obamacare glitches persist

Insurers: Despite deadline, Obamacare glitches persist – CNN.com.

Customers who signed up for coverage are calling the companies with questions and finding they aren’t in their systems. And insurers have been testing the site, submitting John Doe records and not seeing them come out the other end, an industry official said.

“There’s no part of us that thinks all of this will be fixed in three days from now,” the industry official said, referring to the administration’s self-imposed Saturday deadline to make the site work for a “vast majority” of users.

Another insurance industry insider was more blunt, saying: “It’s still all jacked up.”

Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the insurance trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans, was more circumspect.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to make sure that enrollments can be done and processed accurately,” he said.

If the problems aren’t fixed, insurers fear a worst-case scenario where consumers sign up for insurance through the website and think they’re enrolled, only to find out at the doctor’s office that they don’t have any coverage.

Amateur hour.


We have a lot of work left to do in the next few days,”

says CMS spokesperson Julie Bataille. – No Thanksgiving Celebrations for Obamacare Website Team as Deadline Nears | TIME.com.

By my calculations there are 5,000,000 people who need to replace their insurance plans, not to mention new applicants that don’t have coverage. The number of days between Dec 1 and Dec 23 is… 23. That means on average, 217,000 people a day need to sign up.




Seventy-five percent of the people on terminated individual plans in Colorado have coverage through two carriers

That would be Rocky Mountain Health Plans and Kaiser Permanente – Colorado’s Canceled Health Insurance Count Tops 200,000 « CBS Denver.

So when Rocky Mountain Health Plans President and CEO Steve ErkenBrack states

The exchange and Medicaid have made some good progress, said board member Steve ErkenBrack, who is head of Rocky Mountain Health Plans in Grand Junction. But, he said, he knows there are many who desperately need to get through to a new policy by Dec. 15.

“This is not a theory for people, this is about real people with real problems, and we need to make sure that transition is as smooth as possible,” he said.

Well of course he does. He is responsible for many of these “real people with real problems” having their plans cancelled. Great job Steve.

Also, how did Rocky Moutnain Health Plans and Kaiser Permanente, not to mention the Colorado Department of Insurance, know that you couldn’t keep your plan prior to President Obama? Inquiring minds want to know.


Obamacare Resort Area Rates

The Department of Insurance will be in Frisco Colorado on December 5th to explain “Why does geography affect your health insurance premium.”  If you live in a resort area, you know what I’m talking about.

Download (PDF, 105KB)


This graphic sums up the issue facing resort area residents if they don’t manage their income to stay below the subsidy level…

I see a “manage your income” industry rising up to assist people with staying subsidy eligible.