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ACA Help needed
Old 11-14-2013, 06:30 PM   #1
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ACA Help needed

Hello, this is my first post on this Forum. I have been lurking and learning a lot and joined specifically for ACA help. It seems to me the posters here know more about the ACA than anyone else I have found.

My husband and I are both retired (YAH!) and live in North Carolina (have to use the federal exchange). Blue Cross is the only major individual insurer in North Carolina and it appears to me that our individual policy rates are among the highest in the nation. Both of our existing heath insurance policies are cancelled as of 12/31/13. We will qualify for around $8000 of subsidies on the exchange, IF we can get approved on the exchange.

We have spent way too much time trying to apply for insurance on the exchange, both online and on the phone. We have also met with a Blue Cross agent and a Navigator. So far we have not been able to get an application approved. One of the problems seems to be that we had frozen our credit (husband's retirement account was hacked a couple of years ago) and we have not been able to prove our identity. We have done a temporary thaw of Experian credit report, scanned in identity documents, had our applications sent to the Resolution Dept., etc but still no approval. I am told there is a glitch the system that they have not been able to correct dealing with Experian.

Has anyone here been able to get approved when you have a credit freeze? Any advice for us?

I had assumed that if we could not get approved by 12/15 for a subsidy we could apply to Blue Cross for a non exchange policy and then cancel it later in 2014 once we finally got our subsidy approved. Today both the Blue Cross agent and the Navigator tell me this cannot be done. They say that once you buy on off exchange policy for 2014 you are prohibited from applying for a subsidy. Can this be correct?

I do not want a gap in coverage but I do not want to give up about $10,000 in subsidies.

Thanks for any suggestions!

Jo Ann
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Old 11-14-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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Can you do a paper application instead?
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:35 PM   #3
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We were told today that paper applications will not be approved by 12/15. It takes over one month for paper apps. We have done a telephone application but so far no approval.

Jo Ann
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:54 PM   #4
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One option if you can afford to float the $8,000-$10,000 subsidy would be to buy the plan you want without the subsidy and pay the full premiums in 2014 - then when you file your 2014 tax return in early 2015 you will get your subsidy back as a refund.

That might be a good Plan B if you can't jump through the hoops by mid December and a backwards way to force yourself to save $8,000 in 2014.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:29 PM   #5
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I would recommend you start over online, create a new account with different user name and email. I had several accounts that "broke" at different stages during october. I started over again in Nov and it went right through without a problem. They need access to your experian data or the verification will fail. Keep the browser cache cleaned seems to help also.

You wouldn't be able to change policies until the next open enrollment period. But you can change then and get a subsidy if eligible.
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:54 PM   #6
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i will try another account tomorrow. I have already tried several accounts that did not work but I guess I can try another. Is there a limit on the number of accounts?

Regarding the suggestion that we get the subsidy at the end of 2014, we have been told that does not work. Blue Cross says the only way to get a subsidy is to buy your insurance originally on the exchange. If you buy a non exchange policy you can never get the subsidy.

Jo Ann
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:27 PM   #7
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Yes, you need to buy an exchange policy in order to get a subsidy. Many people have had problems with income verification and what I suggested is a workaround that problem.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golftrek View Post
Regarding the suggestion that we get the subsidy at the end of 2014, we have been told that does not work. Blue Cross says the only way to get a subsidy is to buy your insurance originally on the exchange. If you buy a non exchange policy you can never get the subsidy.

Jo Ann
The subsidy can be taken two ways. You can have the subsidy applied to your premium payments directly or can get as a refund at tax time. Either way you have to purchase an exchange offered plan.

Again, you can switch to an exchange plan during the next open enrollment period. You would then start getting the subsidy. You would not get a subsidy for the period of time you are in a non exchange plan.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:27 AM   #9
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If having an accessible credit history is mandatory for ACA identity verification is it possible that you need to unfreeze your records at all three agencies? I keep my credit frozen and the two times I wanted to unfreeze it I had to do so at all three agencies.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:47 AM   #10
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The only number they give out to call is for Experian so I assume that is the only one they use. I did not have mine blocked and it failed ( back early Oct ). In fact it never even got to the point of asking the standard experian verification questions.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:50 AM   #11
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Eureka! This is the original poster and it appears we have been approved for our subsidy on Healthcare.org. We started with a fresh application this morning at 6 am and it went all the way through and we got approval. We get a subsidy of almost $800, it will be a great help to us. Regarding the credit thaw, we only thawed Experian. However, the last and most helpful person at Experian we talked to told us that the thaw was not really necessary and that if the Experian person is correctly trained they can verify your identity without the thaw. Gheesh!

Thanks for all the help from the board and I will be back.

Jo Ann
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