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I am writing this diary inspired by commenters to my comment on "Rocky start to HealthCare.gov could erode support for law" by Joan McCarter, of my families personal experience and financial benefits enrolling for the Affordable Care Act. First to interest you financially this was my bottom line outcome: I just saved a fortune. I hope the law does not change. After allowed website deductions of income my wife and I had 57K income and were awarded a 690 monthly tax award toward the premium. We chose a Gold Level package comparable to the one we currently have under Cobra at a 960 dollar monthly premium. Our out of pocket will be 270 a month. Our current years Cobra premium, 1265 a month a savings of just under $1000 a month.

Our unemployed daughter who is over 26 and a dependent on us gets the identical Gold coverage for $480 a month minus a $345 tax credit costing her $135 a month. A savings from her current Cobra payment of 580 dollars of $445 per month.

I also did a HARP mortgage reduction that reduced our monthly mortgage from $2700 down to $1500 a month. Is there any wonder we regard the President as a Saint?

by politics64 on Mon Oct 21, 2013 at 05:26:20 PM PDT
My navigating advice for dummies like me below

The first week of rollout was a disaster and I barely got through the first section of the application. When the news announced a weekend shutdown to take care of some traffic issues I left for a week and came back. When I returned I was able to complete the application.

When building your Household make sure to put everyone you live with or who lives with you in there. Later the system will instruct you of who you can remove as it did with my elderly mom who lives with us but files her own taxes and is on Medicare. My unemployed daughter who is over 26 and has no income is a dependent and in need of healthcare so I entered her info as well.

Just keep clicking NEXT as you complete each section. The income part is really really important because if you over report your anticipated 2014 income or fail to take deductions to it that you are entitled to take your subsidy amount or even your qualification for a subsidy will be adversely effected.

For me the most time consuming part was the section on information about your current healthcare. The entire reason my family came to the site is that with household income down significantly since the great recession, our premiums alone consumed over 25% of our annual income. That leaves precious little for mortgage, car loan, utilities, etc etc etc. The two most difficult parts of this section involved the entering of a policy number which does not match any number on my current insurance healthcard. They want something with 12 digits and has three letters. My United Health Care card has a ten digit all numbers no letters. I improvised and it worked. I typed in the first three letters of my last name and the first nine of the ten digits of my policy number and it worked. The second difficult area was selected the insurance carrier from a drop down selection that is very long, not alphabetized! I have United Health Care but the system lists over a dozen variations of that company and most of us would not know which one we are with. I picked the one where the state of my former employer was located and it worked.

Finally after initializing the application I got the great news of my subsidy and hit the button to SELECT A POLICY. I wanted apples to apples. No point choosing an inexpensive Bronze policy with high co-pays and deductibles when my current policy is Gold level with low deductibles and pretending that I am saving money. I chose a Gold level Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield. Same deductibles and out of pocket as my United Healthcare plan. The rest you know from the beginning of the post. Takes under half an hour but was it not worth the effort? Thanks to Wildthumb and DeadHead whose comments inspired me to share this in diary form.

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