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Old 03-15-2014, 09:18 AM   #21
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I signed up in October, and have used the new insurance alot already. Got a colonoscopy (polyp biopsies benign), had two basal cell cancers (on my back) removed, and have had many costly prescriptions filled. And I've resumed seeing my therapist (dx: GAD and MDD.) As of this week, I've met my out-of-pocket max ($500) and deductible, so I'm "home free" for the rest of the year, confirmed by BCBSKC. Just for an example, an $800 Rx that I paid $20 for in February will now be a zero-copay.

My situation may be atypical, though, for at least two reasons. I had cancer at age 27 and again at age 43, so my medical needs are higher than most. The ACA brought my premiums way down after many years (retired in 2007) of paying very high rates -- not to mention no more preexisting conditions worries.

But also, I am lucky because almost all of my assets are, by design, in IRA's, so my MAGI is very low -- I'll have to do a modest Roth conversion each year just to qualify for the subsidies. But obviously it is a no-brainer to do so, and I am very grateful. Having added up the EOBs so far, I've easily saved over $10,000 already, while the Roth conversion will only increase my income taxes a few hundred dollars.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:37 AM   #22
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Yes. Tried to sign up to early and had lots of problems but all worked out late in December. We have used it for physicals, and minor doctors visits with no problem. All our doctors are in network and many more that were not before. Kids have also used the dental they get with it which was really nice and the vision. Our premiums are about half what they use to be and our OOP max is a third of what it use to be. It has been a very good change and a tremendous cost savings for us! Very Happy with it!
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:44 PM   #23
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Works just fine. We signed up last November, made the initial payment last December, and got our new cards and whatnot in January. We're with a large HMO, and it works just like it always did. Same doctor, same specialists, same pharmacy and medications.

The biggest impact item was from the HMO switching it's payment processor as of January. THAT is just now starting to work properly.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:39 PM   #24
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I signed up directly with an insurer for an ACA-compliant policy since my state exchange was DOA. Signup was simple, but the insurer completely screwed up my first payment. I eventually got it corrected. My premium is a few dollars less than my COBRA policy's premium for last year, for a policy which is almost identical. Since my new policy is for 2014 and COBRA was ending in 2013, I figure I'm definitely paying less than I would have if the ACA didn't exist. I am not getting a subsidy. Instead, I am doing capital gains harvesting and Roth conversions until I'm eligible for Medicare and most likely later sign up for Social Security.

My state had a high-risk pool I could automatically get insurance from after COBRA exhausted (even though I'm not high-risk), but not surprisingly, my ACA premium is lower than it would have been in that pool. I like knowing that I can move anywhere in the country and be assured of getting a policy at a fair price, and also that some preventive care must now be covered with no deductible.
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Old 03-15-2014, 01:49 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by bizlady View Post
....Only thing I do not like is the payment system. If you auto pay, they draw on the 10th. So I opt to send checks, and they do not cash them until the 10th. Feels late and drives me crazy.....
What's the difference? The same amount comes out of your bank ~ the 10th either way. Or am I misunderstanding you?

I prefer auto-pay only because if for some reason the premium doesn't get taken when it should its their fault and responsibility and not mine. I just need to make sure there is enough in the account (which is not a problem).
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Old 03-15-2014, 02:20 PM   #26
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What's the difference? The same amount comes out of your bank ~ the 10th either way. Or am I misunderstanding you?

I prefer auto-pay only because if for some reason the premium doesn't get taken when it should its their fault and responsibility and not mine. I just need to make sure there is enough in the account (which is not a problem).


It is the 10th either way. But in my mind, the thing should be paid by the first since the premium is for the current month. Just one of those things that bugs me!
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Old 03-17-2014, 01:36 PM   #27
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I was planning to buy insurance on the exchange in March of 2015 as I will have employer coverage until then. I live in MA and our state had a well run website since 2006 when health insurance became mandatory but ever since the conversion to Obamacare the website site has been dysfunctional and the state today fired CGI the same company that designed the federal site. The officials will be asking the federal government for an extension until next fall's enrollment which will cut it close for my needs.

At least I'll have the COBRA option if it's not fully functional by then.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:37 AM   #28
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Can anyone give me there average monthly cost on an ACA plan please?
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Old 03-18-2014, 06:09 AM   #29
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Can anyone give me there average monthly cost on an ACA plan please?
Premiums vary widely due to location, age, and number of people covered. You can get a quote very easily here at healthsherpa.
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:25 AM   #30
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Go to the healthcare.gov site and view estimates

https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #31
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just curious - did anyone with an employer-sponsored retiree medical plan jump ship to an exchange plan?
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:58 PM   #32
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I qualify for Medicaid under the ACA Medicaid expansion (no asset test - only income requirements). Didn't even need to sign up, as I was transferred automatically to Medi-Cal from the existing low income healthcare plan that my California county operates.

I have made a doctor visit, had a blood test, and an ultrasound with this new coverage and so far, so good. Co-pays are zero, so no out of pocket cost at all (no premiums either). Naturally, I would rather have higher income and pay for my own healthcare but life under Medicaid has been painless so far.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:09 PM   #33
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I am assuming most of the "savings" people experience is based on receiving a subsidy. My available bronze ACA plan for me and DW ($975/mo) is cheaper than the old Texas High Risk Pool ($1250/mo) and more expensive than my company's COBRA ($950/mo). The bronze plan had slightly lower dedcutibles than the Tx Pool but not anywhere near my COBRA option. We had earlier threads about the abundance of millionaires on this forum that can control income to get the subsidy. I'm sure that's one of the many unintended consequences of the ACA but I hope to take advantage of it soon myself (if it still exists in a year or two).
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:48 PM   #34
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just curious - did anyone with an employer-sponsored retiree medical plan jump ship to an exchange plan?
I've looked into it but have run into these issues:

- "Income" pushes us into Medicaid.

- Our son who is 20 yrs old, living with us, has a pt job (made $11,000 last year) and is taking a break from college does not qualify as a dependent so he would have to get a separate plan in the exchange and probably would be pushed to Medicaid.

Looks like we'll keep my retiree plan until the 2015 exchange enrollment. The retiree plan is quite expensive compared to the exchange plans - especially when subsidies are included.
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Old 03-20-2014, 03:31 PM   #35
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Interesting. I didn't know you could get an "estimate" without applying. I just went to the site and browsed the prices. Pretty much in line with what we are currently paying. My local government employer allowed us to keep coverage but I have to pay full freight, which for the two of us is ~$1,100 a month. Looks about the same as the silver plans for us here. I've always assumed that continuing the former employer's plan was as good as I could get; ~3,000 employees on the plan and while it is run by United Healthcare, it's self insured by the city.

I'm ASSUMING our healthcare costs will go down when we hit 65 and Medicare. Never thought I'd see an advantage in getting older!
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Old 03-20-2014, 06:31 PM   #36
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I am assuming most of the "savings" people experience is based on receiving a subsidy. My available bronze ACA plan for me and DW ($975/mo) is cheaper than the old Texas High Risk Pool ($1250/mo) and more expensive than my company's COBRA ($950/mo). The bronze plan had slightly lower dedcutibles than the Tx Pool but not anywhere near my COBRA option. We had earlier threads about the abundance of millionaires on this forum that can control income to get the subsidy. I'm sure that's one of the many unintended consequences of the ACA but I hope to take advantage of it soon myself (if it still exists in a year or two).
No, we are a long way from qualifying for a subsidy (that's a very good thing!) and are saving $5K per year in premiums at the expense of an OOP that is $5K higher. My perfectly healthy and completely unsubsidized BIL saves because he no longer has to pay for the "high risk pool" insurance.

Golfnut: you are not required to take Medicaid, if you don't want to. However a subsidized, private plan will cost you more. Here's the explanation from the Kaiser Family Foundation:
How Poor Might Qualify For Obamacare Subsidies In States That Don't Expand Medicaid - WebMD
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