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View Diary: A message from the Health Insurers of America (109 comments)

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  •  Interesting :) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glynis

    That's what we tried yesterday - setting up a new (fourth!) account under my husband's name.  The process got almost to the 'select plans' stage; it started throwing error codes at me then.  

    The last rep I talked to on the phone said that the system wasn't supposed to let you have two active applications at the same time.  Of course, that doesn't mean it couldn't happen.

    I had read RenaRF's posts about it and that is one reason why we attempted it.  

    Here's an interesting bit:  Even though on this fourth application we had entered our financial data, the 'eligibility notice' does not say that we are eligible for purchasing catastrophic plans.

    I'm apprehensive that this is something which hasn't gotten much attention on the Marketplace side.  I've talked to probably half-dozen reps on the phone and each of them has been surprised to find out that I'm supposed to be eligible for catastrophic plans.  They are all stuck on "must be under 30 years of age".  As I read the information on their site, anyone who falls into the category ("available premiums are greater than 9.5% of income") is eligible.

    This may be much ado about nothing, if the catastrophic plans are still unaffordable for us.  

    I'm beginning to wonder if we should insure only my husband, since he uses the bulk of medical services (among the three of us).

    •  I believe you have to apply (0+ / 0-)

      for a hardship exemption.  If you type 'catastrophic' in the search field on the home page "Can I buy a catastrophic plan?" is the first hit. It has the info about it.

      Perhaps the plans don't show up until you get the hardship exemption?  I haven't been able to find a hardship exemption form so you'll have to call them.  When you do, point them to the info about it that's on the website.

      I was comparing plans, not on the fed exchange, and saw catastrophic plans included in my list.  I don't remember if I was on ehealthinsurance.com or valuepenguin.com.  You might try it and see it you can see them.

      If you start getting error codes delete your cookies and cache at that point, restart your browser and login again and see if that helps.

      •  Thanks for the tip about cache & cookies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glynis

        but I still get this error:

        "There's a problem. Try logging in again after 30 minutes. If you continue to get this message, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. You'll need the Error ID and Application ID shown below. Error ID:500.000888"

        You may  be right about the hardship exemption needing to be done first.  And I also saw catastrophic plans somewhere else, I think valuepenguin.  But I'm not convinced of their accuracy - seems like actual quoted premiums were higher.

        •  that error might mean (0+ / 0-)

          they reached capacity and that's why you can't login.  Not a very user friendly message.  I read that they're supposed to have increased capacity by the end of this week so that 60,000 simultaneous users can be logged in at the same time.  It's 20,000-30,000 now.

          The premiums and subsidy amount may not be accurate on valuepenguin but the plans they show are.  I wonder if you could contact the insurer and get more accurate info on costs even if you have to apply through the exchange to ultimately get it?

          Also, I don't know what state you live in but as of Friday in TX, OH, and FL they're doing a pilot program that allows individuals to get a subsidy credit when they apply directly with insurers.  I saw the CMS announcement on TPM.

          •  Welp. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glynis

            This time it let me continue, and I got to the 'shop for plans' portion - still no option for Catastrophic.

            I reckon you're right, I need to apply for the exemption first.

            •  I left this thought out of my preceding comment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NinetyWt

              I wonder if the insurers in the pilot states who are able to give the subsidy credit would be able to handle the hardship exemption?  Of course if you don't live in those states it won't help you.

              Hope it all works out for you.

              •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glynis

                I'm not in a pilot state - I'm in one of those which refused to expand Medicaid and also refused to allow a state-run exchange.  We're lucky we've got any insurers at all in many counties... if our Insurance Commissioner hadn't begged Humana to step in, we would have had  36 of our 82 counties without any insurance plan options.  

                http://insiderlouisville.com/...

                •  Here's some info on the exemption: (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  glynis

                  "For income below the filing threshold, inability to afford coverage, short coverage gap, and unlawful presence exemptions, you will apply through the Internal Revenue Service, or IRS. The application may not be available yet. "

    •  I believe you are misunderstanding (0+ / 0-)

      But then ACA was intended to be clear as mud by design.  That's what scams need to be (impossible to understand). The "premiums greater than 9.5% of your income" refers to the fact that means you won't have to pay a fine for being uninsured.  It is true that you have to be under 30 to qualify for catastrophic coverage (and that's a scam too).

      •  This is straight from Healthcare.gov: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glynis

        "*For catastrophic plans only, individuals over age 30 generally may not enroll. However, individuals over the age of 30 with a hardship exemption in effect that was granted by the Marketplace are eligible to enroll. "

        This sounds as though glynis is correct, the exemption must be in place first.

        •  Also, on the page about exemptions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          glynis

          it says "Note: If you get an exemption because coverage is unaffordable based on your expected income, you may also qualify to buy catastrophic coverage through the Marketplace. This may be more affordable than your other options."

          •  Honestly I am glad I am on Medicare/Medicaid (0+ / 0-)

            It sounds like a nightmare for people trying to understand what they are supposed to do and what their options are. Making the wrong move could mean that you have to pay more than you should. And yes, many people do not know that there is a hardship exemption and therefore they are not subject to penalties.

            Why on earth the government does not make things clearer I do not know.

            All the states should expand Medicaid especially since it is not coming out of their pockets. They would get federal aid to do that. In my state of CA they have done that, so my sister's family is going to get it. My brother-in-law is not bringing in enough money to pay for insurance on the exchanges.

            Because each state is doing things differently it means there is no consistency. Without that, many people are going to be afraid to even sign up.

            The ACA needs to be better regulated as there seems to be too many loop-holes for the insurance companies. You would think that after all the years they have had to work on this that they should have been able to foresee some of these problems.

            I also cannot believe that after almost two months they STILL can't get their stupid website to work properly.

            For the most part the state enchanges seem to be working though. But of course not all states have exhanges.

            Good luck in getting the right coverage!

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