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Old 07-02-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
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HealthCare.gov

HealthCare.gov is an interesting new site that talks about health insurance options. It provides a lot information about the Affordable Care Act and the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan including state high-risk pools, and lets you pretty easily look at options in a specific state.

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Old 07-02-2010, 07:56 AM   #2
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Good site.

Hey mods, can someone please add the HealthCare.gov link to Martha's Health Insurance FAQ?

Thanks.
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Old 07-02-2010, 09:49 AM   #3
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Good site.

Hey mods, can someone please add the HealthCare.gov link to Martha's Health Insurance FAQ?

Thanks.
OK, it's included on that FAQ now. Thanks for pointing it out, Coach!
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Old 07-13-2010, 05:31 PM   #4
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I like it. The look and feel kinda reminds me of Turbotax (bluish colors, Q & A's). I'm sure I'll check back in the future.
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Old 07-15-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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Of course, there is not a single mention of advice to find a local independent agent to help you choose the right policy. Since health insurance is one of the most complex consumer products available in any industry, I'm sure everyone will know how to pick the right plans for themselves. It's sort of like telling people to visit webmd.com to diagnose their own health problems instead of going to a doctor that knows what to look for.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:45 PM   #6
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Of course, there is not a single mention of advice to find a local independent agent to help you choose the right policy. Since health insurance is one of the most complex consumer products available in any industry, I'm sure everyone will know how to pick the right plans for themselves. It's sort of like telling people to visit webmd.com to diagnose their own health problems instead of going to a doctor that knows what to look for.
It might be nice to add disclaimers to your health insurance related posts that you yourself are a health insurance agent.

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:48 PM   #7
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It might be nice to add disclaimers to your post that you are a health insurance agent.

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Why? What I do has nothing to do with the fact that 95% of consumers have no idea what their health insurance covers, what it costs, what their potential expenses are, or even if it's the best plan for them. If I had a nickel for each time I had someone say "I don't need coverage for brand name drugs, I don't take any"....

Does everyone here add disclaimers about their job to every post relating to something they have knowledge of based on their career?
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:53 PM   #8
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Why? What I do has nothing to do with the fact that 95% of consumers have no idea what their health insurance covers, what it costs, what their potential expenses are, or even if it's the best plan for them. If I had a nickel for each time I had someone say "I don't need coverage for brand name drugs, I don't take any"....
I notice that you post almost exclusively on insurance topics on this forum - and most often on health insurance. It does matter that you are in the business.

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Old 07-15-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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I notice that you post almost exclusively on insurance topics on this forum - and most often on health insurance. It does matter that you are in the business.

Audrey
That doesn't answer the question...why does it matter? Everyone here posts opinions based on their own personal experiences. Do you put a disclaimer in all of your posts stating your job since it influences your opinions? I experience every day the fact that people have no idea how to compare health insurance in any way, shape, or form, so I commented that it would be helpful if they told people to seek the advice of a broker who knows what they're talking about instead of sending people directly to the insurance companies that will push them into a plan that doesn't suit them because their salespeople make $9/hour and could care less. Anyways, I'll leave it at that.
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Old 07-16-2010, 12:12 AM   #10
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Got myself on the waiting list for California's High Risk Pool. My employer paid premiums for me for many years when I was younger. When young and healthy the insurance companies (one in particular actually) made money from me, as I didn't have any serious health issues. Now that I am a little older with a touch of arthritis in my knee, no-one will touch me. They don't want to know.

I'm really hoping that this new high risk pool will help me get affordable coverage.
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:50 AM   #11
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Yes a good informative site and easy to navigate.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:06 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dgoldenz View Post
Of course, there is not a single mention of advice to find a local independent agent to help you choose the right policy. Since health insurance is one of the most complex consumer products available in any industry, I'm sure everyone will know how to pick the right plans for themselves. It's sort of like telling people to visit webmd.com to diagnose their own health problems instead of going to a doctor that knows what to look for.
You and I butt heads fairly frequently on insurance issues, but I am one who frequently suggests getting help from an independent agent, it is good advice. I worked with an agent I know well when I applied for our state's risk pool. I knew more about the risk pool than he knew, but he knew more about how to complete applications than I did and he helped me evaluate the odds of getting non-group insurance and passing the underwriting process. So my opinion is to educate yourself by reading sites like linked in this thread, read the info the FAQ section, post questions here, and also see an independent agent.

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Does everyone here add disclaimers about their job to every post relating to something they have knowledge of based on their career?

Everyone has their own opinion on disclaimers. I use one as part of my signature line to make clear that I am not giving legal advice. Other lawyers and doctors often use them here as well. Some use them to poke fun at us that use them as CYA. Given that you seem to post on insurance issues exclusively a disclosure/disclaimer would be nice so people know where you are coming from.
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:47 AM   #13
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That doesn't answer the question...why does it matter? Everyone here posts opinions based on their own personal experiences. Do you put a disclaimer in all of your posts stating your job since it influences your opinions?
I assume you are rightfully proud of your profession and expertise. IMO disclosure/disclaimer may actually enhance the credibility of your posts.

Those in sales are particularly vulnerable to the perception of a conflict of interest, as Audrey implies. A disclosure acknowledges that you aware of that and are thus taking pains to be objective and forthright.

As for disclaimers, I figure there is no harm to me or anyone else reading my posts. In the unlikely event that someone takes action based on my general reply rather than on advice from their doctor, a disclaimer makes it easier for me and the board to confirm that the reader was aware of my advice against doing so. Maybe it's of little value, but I am not aware of a down side.
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Old 08-01-2010, 11:30 AM   #14
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Of course, there is not a single mention of advice to find a local independent agent to help you choose the right policy. Since health insurance is one of the most complex consumer products available in any industry, I'm sure everyone will know how to pick the right plans for themselves. It's sort of like telling people to visit webmd.com to diagnose their own health problems instead of going to a doctor that knows what to look for.
Maybe the site is concerned about appearing to be a shill for the industry.

Planning for retirement is also one of the most complex consumer challenges in any industry, but a lot of this site's posters seem to do just fine with the DIY approach. I don't see many threads on here about finding a good CFP or a trusted stockbroker, and I doubt you'll see much membership interest in finding a good insurance agent either.

If you're looking for fertile ground to plow in whatever quest you're pursuing then maybe you'd do better over at Bogleheads or a M* board. If you share resources here to help people educate themselves then you might enhance your credibility. But your "don't try this at home, kids" approach has been tried by many, many previous industry enthusiasts who, for one reason or another, are no longer with us. You can't go wrong by following Martha's example.

In case you're really wondering and not just trolling, a lack of disclosure reduces your credibility almost as much as a tendency to pound on a one-key piano about using an agent. People can find enough info in my profile to decide for themselves whether or not I have enough credibility to talk about ER and the military. Your signature's a welcome step in the right direction.

You've made your point about seeking professional help before it's too late, and it's beginning to shade over into the appearance of implying that the board's members are too ignorant to figure out their own healthcare. Should that be the case, I suspect many would find it patronizing & condescending.

But that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:06 PM   #15
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Planning for retirement is also one of the most complex consumer challenges in any industry, but a lot of this site's posters seem to do just fine with the DIY approach. I don't see many threads on here about finding a good CFP or a trusted stockbroker, and I doubt you'll see much membership interest in finding a good insurance agent either.
DING! DING! DING!

Yup. I'll just add that, like many people here, I had a number of... interesting encounters with professionsals who promised me all sorts of good advice, at Absolutely No Cost to me. Gosh, so many nice, helpful folks out there.


Forgive me if I happen to show a lack of innate trust in strangers attempting to do me a favor, particularly those who appear to have some bias in their presentation, yet fail to present a curriculum vitae that might establish their qualifications and biases.

One tends to become leery after a few encounters with all those Exciting Opportunities and Valuable Consultations that can come one's way after, oh say, someone in HR sells a list of employees after a very successful merger. Eccch.

But that's just my opinion.
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:15 PM   #16
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dgoldenz.....

Despite the comments by several board members above, I've appreciated your comments and hope you will maintain your activity here on the board. I don't always agree with your view and I take your professional status into account, but I've learned a number of things from your posts and from the responses they generate.

So, whether you add some sort of generic disclaimer or not, please carry on.......

edit: Thinking over the disclaimer situation, it seems that a simple statement like "Consult with your own independent health insurance agent regarding your personal situation" would do it and would be very analogous to what the CFP's, MD's, lawyers, etc. use here on the board. And it's a message you frequently deliver within the text of your posts already.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:45 PM   #17
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Why? What I do has nothing to do with the fact that 95% of consumers have no idea what their health insurance covers, what it costs, what their potential expenses are, or even if it's the best plan for them. If I had a nickel for each time I had someone say "I don't need coverage for brand name drugs, I don't take any"....

Does everyone here add disclaimers about their job to every post relating to something they have knowledge of based on their career?
Well, I do...........
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:47 PM   #18
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Planning for retirement is also one of the most complex consumer challenges in any industry, but a lot of this site's posters seem to do just fine with the DIY approach. I don't see many threads on here about finding a good CFP or a trusted stockbroker, and I doubt you'll see much membership interest in finding a good insurance agent either.
Hey, the info is on here, and I certainly have tried to help many times, but I don't think anybody really cares, its too easy to cry "bad, mean FA", when noone on here knows how the business REALLY works.........it would be like me saying how I know how the military works inside, because "I read a lot about it on the Internet"........
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:45 PM   #19
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dgoldenz.....

Despite the comments by several board members above, I've appreciated your comments and hope you will maintain your activity here on the board. I don't always agree with your view and I take your professional status into account, but I've learned a number of things from your posts and from the responses they generate.

So, whether you add some sort of generic disclaimer or not, please carry on.......
+1 on that sentiment. I take everything with a block of salt, so I guess I put a mental disclaimer on every post I read (including my own!). Please, do carry on, there is far too much group think on this forum for my tastes, and I value insider and alternate viewpoints, and am grown up enough to accept there might be a twinge of bias here and there.

I'm so skeptical, I always chuckle when I think of the B.B King line:

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