Tag Archives: chaos

Vermont fires creator of its ‘unacceptable,’ glitchy ObamaCare site

What month is this? Oh yea, August and open enrollment starts in a little over 3 months. Vermont fires creator of its ‘unacceptable,’ glitchy ObamaCare site | Fox News.

An estimated 14,000 Vermonters are tied up in “change of circumstance” glitches with Vermont Health Connect. Since CGI launched the site this past October, health officials have received a steady stream of complaints from people unable to make adjustments to plans online.

Chief of Health Care Reform Lawrence Miller explained CGI’s firing in a statement to press.

“For many, Vermont Health Connect works as it should. For others, the system is still failing them and causing deep frustration. That is unacceptable to me, and we will explore every option and take every step to make this system work for all Vermonters,” he said. “Today’s changes are steps in that direction and more can be expected in the coming weeks.”

The Colorado Exchange, Connect for Health Colorado, uses the same contractor as Vermont, Massachusetts, healthcare.gov and Hawaii, CGI. CGI has now been terminated from Vermont, Massachusetts and healthcare.gov.

If I had to say…. being able to change coverage in the middle of a policy period is a Qualifying Life Event and I don’t believe changes have gone all that smoothly in Colorado either. They do seem to have initial sign ups under control if you can do the Medicaid dance.  Uugh.

 

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Thousands to Be Questioned on Eligibility for Health Insurance Subsidies

What a mess – Thousands to Be Questioned on Eligibility for Health Insurance Subsidies – NYTimes.com.

Federal subsidies for the purchase of private insurance are a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act. More than eight out of 10 people who selected health plans through the exchanges from October through mid-April were eligible for subsidies, including income tax credits. So far this year the federal government has paid out $4.7 billion in subsidies, and the amount is expected to total $900 billion over 10 years.

Since June 1, the government has notified hundreds of thousands of people that “the information in your application doesn’t match what we found in other records.” Accordingly, the notice says, “you need to follow up as soon as possible and provide more documents to make sure the marketplace has the correct information.”

“If you don’t send the needed documents,” it says, “you risk losing your marketplace coverage or help you may be receiving to pay for such coverage.”

Be careful out there.

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$1.2 billion failed exchange amateur hour

Obamacare’s Failed State Exchanges – Reason.com.

The federal government spent more on broken state-run exchanges than it did on its own troubled system. Of the 14 states, plus the District of Columbia, that established their own health insurance coverage under Obamacare, seven remain dysfunctional, disabled, or severely underperforming. Development of those exchanges was funded heavily by the federal government through a series of grants that totaled more than $1.2 billion—almost double the $677 million cost of development for the federal exchange. (emphasis added)

When was the law passed, remind me one more time?

  • Passed the Senate 12/24/2009
  • Passed the House 3/21/2010
  • Signed by Obama 3/23/2010

What date is it now?  2/27/2014

Days from singing signing of Obamacare until today: 1437

Days from singing signing of Obamacare until open enrollment started: 1289

Yet 50% of the state run exchanges couldn’t get their act together.

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Oregon exchange amateur hour

Congressmen want probe of Oregon’s Obamacare exchange.

An Oregon congressman and other legislators on Thursday called for a federal probe of Oregon’s deeply troubled Obamacare health insurance exchange, which has been unable to enroll anyone online despite receiving $305 million in federal grants.

“The catastrophic breakdown of Cover Oregon is unacceptable and taxpayers deserve accountability,” U.S. Rep Greg Walden, R-Ore., and other leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote in a letter to the General Accountability Office, naming Oregon’s health exchange.

Apparently Oregon is the worst…

“Although the rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been problematic nationwide, no state has had more complications than Oregon,” Walden and the other congressmen wrote. “The state of Oregon’s exchange website, Cover Oregon, has been such a technological failure that the site has been unable to enroll anyone months after the start of the open enrollment period.”

Wow, at least Maryland enrolled 33,000 people.

The site has had so many technical difficulties that its enrollment is a paltry 33,000—significantly below what officials had hoped to see for Maryland, which is one of just 14 states operating its own Obamacare marketplace.

Amateur hour. Remind me again, how long did they know this was coming down the road?

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Maryland fires Obamacare exchange IT contractor

Amateur hour – Maryland fires Obamacare exchange IT contractor.

Some may say it’s a couple of months late and $65 million short, but Maryland finally fired the contractor that designed its botched Obamacare exchange.

It’s nice to know how much money is too much money. They should have done this months ago with less than 40 days left in open enrollment.

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Articles: ObamaCare May Devastate the Real Estate and Travel Industries

Articles: ObamaCare May Devastate the Real Estate and Travel Industries.

Check your network and check your doctors. Most Obamacare plans offer restricted networks in state and you are out of network if you are out of state.

Americans are among the most mobile people on earth, but ObamaCare may soon start freezing them in place. Millions are losing their health insurance policies and being forced onto the ObamaCare exchanges, where most plans only provide local medical coverage. As Americans realize they must pay for all non-emergency medical care when they leave their home county, their decisions may have a profound impact on the real-estate market, particularly the second home sector, and on the travel business.

I recently interviewed a woman I’ll call Sue, whose story may become increasingly common. Sue, a 60-year-old retiree, and her husband bought a second home in South Carolina to escape the Connecticut winters. “I had a Blue Cross Blue Shield policy in Connecticut, and I used it with no problem in South Carolina. I found an internist and ophthalmologist and dermatologist down here, and kept the rest of my doctors up north.”

“The price was reasonable. It cost me $450 a month, with a $2,500 deductible. It was slightly more for out of network; there was no co-pay, and I got my prescriptions filled in both states with no problem.”

“Then I got the letter telling me that my policy would no longer exist, because it didn’t comply with the new health care law. They wanted to transfer us into a new plan that doubled my premium to $900 a month. The deductible went up to $3,500, and it covered zero out of network.”

In Colorado, the only companies offering plans with nationwide networks are:

  • Rocky Mountain Health Plans
  • Cigna (only available for purchase in the immediate Denver metro area)
  • Assurant Health

In fact Assurant Health offers plans with nationwide networks in 42 states. HOWEVER, you won’t find them on any Federal or State “Exchange or Marketplace”. That means their plans are not eligible for premium assistance but they are still the same Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum plans required by Obamacare.

One issue that bothers me in the above article is this paragraph:

“My husband looked around and finally found a policy that has out of network coverage, but it comes with a very steep price. It’s $900 a month, with a $7,000 deductible and a co-pay on everything. Basically, it’s catastrophic insurance, and I’ll be paying my South Carolina doctors out of pocket.”

The maximum out of pocket per person for any ACA compliant plan is $6350. Either this plan is not ACA compliant (i.e. not a true major medical plan) or Sue is confused about the deductible.

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An Obamacare supporter’s misadventures with HealthCare.gov

An Obamacare supporter’s misadventures with HealthCare.gov | The Daily Caller.

Our troubles may strike some as trivial and particular, although they wouldn’t if it happened to them. And anyone who wants a successful system – as we do – must understand that these nightmares are happening across the nation to the very people who want Obamacare to work.

This story appears to be the Deliverance version of signing up for Obamacare.

Unfortunately, having dealt with many clients, it’s all to believable.

  • Restricted provider networks
  • Restricted formularies
  • Complicated subsidy eligiblity
  • Possibly higher premiums

All of the above are gifts of Obamacare.

If you don’t qualify for a subsidy or it is very small, my recommendation is:

  • Do NOT use the exchange
  • Contact a broker
  • Purchase directly from the carrier, which will also avoid security issues with the exchange websites.
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New low for Obamacare

CNN Poll: Health care law support drops to all-time low – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs.

Only 35% of those questioned in the poll say they support the health care law, a 5-point drop in less than a month. Sixty-two percent say they oppose the law, up four points from November.

Nearly all of the newfound opposition is coming from women.

“Opposition to Obamacare rose six points among women, from 54% in November to 60% now, while opinion of the new law remained virtually unchanged among men,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. “That’s bad news for an administration that is reaching out to moms across the country in an effort to make Obamacare a success.”

According to the survey, 43% say they oppose the health care law because it is too liberal, with 15% saying they give the measure a thumbs down because it is not liberal enough. That means half the public either favors Obamacare, or opposes it because it’s not liberal enough, down four points from last month.

Sixty-three percent say they believe the new law will increase the amount of money they personally pay for medical care, which may not be a good sign for a law known as the “Affordable Care Act.”

No fooling. The troubling issues is anyone with a brain could have figured out that higher prices were coming. I’ll stop there.

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Sebelius orders review of Obamacare website woes

Look in the mirror Kathleen – Sebelius orders review of Obamacare website woes – CNN.com.

“I believe strongly in the need for accountability, and in the importance of being good stewards of taxpayer dollars,” she said, adding that “we need a thorough review of the contractor performance and program management structure that resulted in the flawed launch of the website.”

Whatever.

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Want Obamacare coverage to start January 1?

Feds against paper health applications | TheHill.

Federal health officials have been advising ObamaCare counselors this week to stop using paper applications to enroll people — out of fear that the applications wouldn’t be processed in time.

Based on interviews the Associated Press conducted, enrollment counselors and brokers facilitating the insurance sign-up process have been advised by the Obama administration to stop using paper.

Uninsured consumers in the United States must sign up for health insurance by Dec. 23 in order to receive coverage starting Jan. 1.

“We received guidance from the feds recommending that folks apply online as opposed to paper,” Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Insurance, told the AP.

Amateur hour.

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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.

 

 

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