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Sometimes you have to grab the bull by the horns and handle things for yourself!
I am so tired of the whining from whatever quarter it may come from on the Affordable Care Act Marketplace website and the "glitches". It is simply a site much like Priceline.com which lists health insurance plans created by private insurance companies in one convenient place for people to sign up for. NEWS FLASH There is nothing from preventing anyone from going directly to private insurance company websites and looking up the plans they offer on the exchange and signing up through their website. If priceline.com went down for whatever reason are you telling me people would stop booking vacations? No of course not. They would just go directly to Airlines to book flights. People this is NOT rocket science. I am bewildered by the confusion and sky is falling mentality I am seeing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)

    Mighty Proud Of My Liberal Heritage

    by mighty on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:35:07 PM PST

  •  If you need subsidies (13+ / 0-)

    You need to sign up through the website in order to qualify for subsidies.
    If you don't qualify then yes You can and should shop and compare plans at the insurance co website directly

  •  No subsidies available without the exchange (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annecros, lina, CoyoteMarti

    Additionally, per ABC news even if you call or mail in your application - they are still stuck in the same queue.

    http://abcnews.go.com/...

    But yes, you can go directly to the insurer - it's just not advisable until you know all your options.

    Look, I tried to be reasonable...

    by campionrules on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:43:55 PM PST

    •  the website (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros

      is also handy for knowing who the local players are in the market...when it is working.

    •  they should have said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jan4insight, ybruti

      they were stuck in the same queue.  That's information from Oct. 11.  It's working much better now.  But hey, let's keep flogging the stories from the first two weeks instead of talking about how it's working now.

      •  It Was Taken Down Sat Overnight for Updates (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        viral

        and repairs. So it should be doing better.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 01:31:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, today we are still stuck (0+ / 0-)

        where we were on 10/4, approved but unable to finish the last two steps to enroll. Phone peeps can't get further either. And yes, that's of today around 2pm. Look, we are patient and not complaining, but we also can't deny there are still problems, especially for early appliers. [And before someone else suggests, yes we always clear our cookies, and we also may consider starting a new app with a new email, but we want to stay with the process for now, if only to be able to report success when it comes.]

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

        by CoyoteMarti on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 04:58:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Please try to refrain from diseminating faulty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CoyoteMarti, MRA NY

    information.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM UID 2547

    by ROGNM on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:53:20 PM PST

  •  Subsides or enhanced Medicaid eligibility are only (7+ / 0-)

    available via the Federal or state exchanges.

    Furthermore I've read some anecdotal stories that some insurers have plans within the exchange that are named similarly to their plans outside the exchange and yet are offered at lower prices within the exchange. It's hard to confirm this but I've read it several times. It's possible they're pricing more competitively within the exchange because you can easily compare plans from multiple vendors.

    If this last factoid is not true then it might make sense to go direct to insurers if you are absolutely sure you are not eligible for any subsidy. However I wouldn't take the chance. I'd make a very strong effort to work my way through the official exchange before bailing out and going directly to the insurance companies.

    So I think your diary is well intentioned but fundamentally misleading. I'd suggest you update it or withdraw it.

    •  KaiserPermanente has similar named plans at.... (0+ / 0-)

      different prices for my county.  Our household is in the process of buying new insurance. We make too much for any subsidies, so I've been researching both on the exchange and off.  I discovered that KaiserPermanente is offering insurance plans both off and on the exchange with similar names but different prices.  As far as I could tell they are (almost?) identical plans, but one costs $20.00 more per month.

      I think we will end up going with the new insurance co-op being set up in our state even though KaiserPermente is offering cheaper plans. I still wish that there were a public option, but at least the co-op is slightly better than sending money off each month to a private company.  Our monthly premiums are also going up, because we no longer have the option to buy a plan with a $7500.00 per person deductible.  With our incomes, the high deductible made sense, but since most American's are living paycheck to paycheck I do understand why they made the cutoff lower.

  •  You have to go the insurer's sites anyway (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, lina

    One of the big differences between various plans is the network.  Perhaps many people who are getting health care for the first time in years, the network that is available is not an issue.  

    However, for people who have illnesses, they may have relationships with doctors.  The big question is whether the doctor is on the plan.  I have heard that some states are trying to add the information concerning the networks.  

    Generally, the lower the cost of the plan, the more restricted the network.

    I've done a lot of shopping on the individual insurance companies websites.  They do a fairly good job of indicating which plans are entitled to a subsidy.  At the end of the day, you will have to go through the official websites if you want a subsidy.

    •  Man that's rough. (0+ / 0-)

      It seems to me that the Federal and state exchanges are lagging in getting some of the fine grain detail of the insurer's plans uploaded into their sites. So things such as doctor networks and formularies might not be available via the exchange while they are of course available via the private insurer websites.

      On the other hand the private websites are not capable of authorizing subsidies (although they may have an unofficial calculator similar to Kaiser or Valuepenguin).

      So that suggests to me that people may have to bounce back and forth between the exchange web sites and the private web sites in order to be fully informed. So find the two or three apparent best plans on the exchange and then pivot over to the private insurer websites to check the details?

      Does that sound right?

      If so - I'm glad I work for a big company with health insurance as a standard bennie.

      This individual market is brutal (before and after ACA). It's becoming pretty obvious that there is a significant flaw in the law with respect to the grandfathering. They should have set it up so the grandfathering was triggered from a baseline of 2013 and not 2010. They should have worked harder to try to minimize disruption to the several million people who seem to have had reasonable but technically deficient plans. Giving them a year or two to transition seems like it would have been better.

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