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Old 10-13-2013, 05:13 PM   #21
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I am not monkey, and I have not seen y'all in real life, but I do not think any of you are monkey to be able to post here.

Perhaps the end is still near, because it is really about "Everything is monkey in the end", and not "Everyone is monkey..." I take that back.

We are doomed!
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:19 PM   #22
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Monkeys need healthcare too As in, mama called the doctor and the doctor said....
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:42 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by NW-Bound View Post
I am not monkey, and I have not seen y'all in real life, but I do not think any of you are monkey to be able to post here.

Perhaps the end is still near, because it is really about "Everything is monkey in the end", and not "Everyone is monkey..." I take that back.

We are doomed!


It's turtles all the way down.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:51 PM   #24
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Just for grins I compared the numbers from eHealth and Colorado's market place. eHealth is $50 higher for the plan I am looking at getting. I entered the exact same data.
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:16 PM   #25
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Actually it is almost impossible to compare plans between two providers because the costs for the services are not revealed. So I pay 20% vs. 30% for xrays... 30% of what?? Kaiser has a cost estimator tool but it is only that, an estimator. It is really difficult to compare apples to apples.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:01 PM   #26
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From the above post by rockymountainhigh, out of curiosity, I went on the Colorado state exchange, punched in a ZIP code for Denver, and saw some prices similar to what I got on ehealthinsurance but for my AZ location. Yep, both are about $500 more than what I am paying with my existing pre-ACA policy.

It's only the healthcare.gov site that promises premiums below what I am paying now, while at the same time saying those do not even include subsidy. And it also offers no details on copays and deductibles like ehealthinsurance and specific web sites of the insurers.

I fear that there's misinformation that is going to disappoint people who get excited about the low cost promised by healthcare.gov.

As of one week ago, I told my wife we may just keep our existing pre-ACA insurance for another year until the dust settles. That looks more likely now, though I have invested quite a few hours surfing, looking for info.

And about the requirement for proof of income, the case of early retirees who can "define" their own level of income is not understood at all by the bureaucracy, judging from a post on another thread. That poster said that if they are not happy with your "proof of income", they will yank your policy by Jan 4, 2014. That's not an acceptable risk to me, fighting with some fed paper pushers while having no insurance. I am getting discouraged. See: Anyone get a firm quote on the exchange yet?
"Five monkeys jumping on the turtle back
One fell off and bumped his head
Mama calls the doctor and the doctor said
No more monkey allowed on the ACA plan"
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #27
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I called the insurer. It took multiple calls (6), and they weren't very helpful in the beginning, but they finally got around to giving me specifics. Another forum member was quite helpful, details in this thread Yet another health insurance shopper
From the title in your link one of the insurers is BCBS. In other states they are providing quotes and plan details directly, so you might want to try calling them.
Tried calling BCBS, which is my current carrier. Usu pretty decent cust svc, but they had "no info on the provider network for the Exchange Plans yet". Seemed totally unaware of their corporate statements given to local press (see my earlier link).

So- back to HC.gov.
Good news- Was able to complete entire application process, got my eligibility conformation e-mail, and started shopping Exchange Plans.
Bad News- NONE of the Plans' "Provider Directory" links were functioning. Clicks led to "Sorry, we can't find that page" or "Access denied". One BCBS link led to their general corporate intro web page (not relevant to Exchange customer support). Thus- hours spent getting thru the HC.gov process to shop HI has led to NO useful info on networks.....except that any out-of-network coverage is rare as hen's teeth
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Old 10-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #28
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Tried calling BCBS, which is my current carrier. Usu pretty decent cust svc, but they had "no info on the provider network for the Exchange Plans yet". Seemed totally unaware of their corporate statements given to local press (see my earlier link).
Keep calling. I found useful info on the fact card for the specific plan, which is readily available on the website. Using the network name in the "look for a Dr" search function brings up all the specialists or hospitals that are considered "in network" for that plan.
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Old 10-14-2013, 06:56 PM   #29
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Keep calling. I found useful info on the fact card for the specific plan, which is readily available on the website. Using the network name in the "look for a Dr" search function brings up all the specialists or hospitals that are considered "in network" for that plan.
Appreciate the advice. I am familiar with their website provider/facility searches & tried that already. On this carrier's website, search function for specific docs/hosp's uses a drop-down menu of their various existing (2013) plans but NO Exchange Plans are included in the menu (yet).

I suppose another option would be to call the specific docs/hosp's I'm interested in to see which (if any) Exchange Plans they will be in-network for.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:01 AM   #30
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Another week, not much progress. If I could enroll today on the gov. website I'm still not ready. Or, more accurately, not all the insurers are ready, or helpful. Of the ones with national networks (BCBS, Cigna, Humana, Aetna), I can eliminate Cigna due to gaps in it's coverage. From there, only BCBS is making available details on all it's policy offerings at it's website. The others have some policy details at ehealthinsurance, but Humana has none (revisions in progress, please check back in a few days) and Aetna is limited. I don't think heathcare.gov is the only one not yet ready for prime time.

Pricing is interesting. The essential health benefits and metal levels make comparing policies much easier. I expected to see less price difference for the same insurer /coverage / network between different locations (up to 40% more expensive in one location (Illinois) vs another (South Fl)), also less difference between insurers for what looks to be comparable coverage / network (1/3 less Humana vs BCBS). .

All the insurers have made it difficult to assess the breadth of their networks. I do not expect this to change, it will be a critical factor for their pricing and profitability, and opacity is an advantage. Healthcare insurance is our single biggest expense (by a large margin) and we need to learn how to evaluate a provider network in order to maximize our value.
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Old 10-20-2013, 09:58 AM   #31
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In my state anyways, blaming the government website is not an accurate portrayal of the current problem. It's the insurance companies fault. Anthem refers to their network as "Pathway X". Of course it does not list any hospitals in that pathway. So the newspaper called Anthem's "Suits" asking for information. "They refused repeatedly to discuss or explain the details of their policies" is the quote from the paper.
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Old 10-20-2013, 10:02 AM   #32
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BCBS of Florida has a link to a national provider directory that seems to work. National Doctor and Hospital Finder. When I called them, they said if I was in a PPO, any providers shown in the directory would be considered in network. All bets were off for their HMO plans. If you are in an HMO and get service elsewhere, you are self pay.
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Old 10-20-2013, 12:40 PM   #33
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It's the insurance companies fault. Anthem refers to their network as "Pathway X". Of course it does not list any hospitals in that pathway. So the newspaper called Anthem's "Suits" asking for information. "They refused repeatedly to discuss or explain the details of their policies" is the quote from the paper.
DW and I used to refer to this as our annual Easter Egg hunt, as in "Which doctors and labs are in-plan this year?", back when we were in a PPO plan from a major insurer. One year, the plan dropped both our doctor and all lab providers within an hour or so drive from us. (The same year the CEO departed with 1.6 billion in stock options...). Oh, we got to keep our insurance, but not the doctors, labs, or some hospital facilites. ("The ER is in-plan, but not the labs? The surgeon is in, but the anesthesiologist is out?")

This did assist in our move to the Kaiser HMO plan.
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:02 PM   #34
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All the insurers have made it difficult to assess the breadth of their networks. I do not expect this to change, it will be a critical factor for their pricing and profitability, and opacity is an advantage. Healthcare insurance is our single biggest expense (by a large margin) and we need to learn how to evaluate a provider network in order to maximize our value.
Agree 100%, but hope you are not correct in opacity becoming/remaining the norm. This will truly doom many Exchange HI buyers to second (or third) class healthcare, particularly in some low-competition markets. Imagine the poor fellow with chronic heart disease who learns he needs bypass surgery then finds his Exchange Plan's network only includes very marginal heart surgeons/hospital(s).
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Old 10-20-2013, 07:06 PM   #35
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BCBS of Florida has a link to a national provider directory that seems to work. National Doctor and Hospital Finder. When I called them, they said if I was in a PPO, any providers shown in the directory would be considered in network. All bets were off for their HMO plans. If you are in an HMO and get service elsewhere, you are self pay.
This is great for Florida, but most BCBS affiliates have different provider networks for their different HI plans. And from most reports, Exhcange Plans in most states will have much smaller provider networks than employer-based plans from the same carrier.
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Old 10-23-2013, 10:59 AM   #36
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Here's a video talking about why using the healthcare.gov site https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/ to get estimates in your area is so misleading. The "age 49 and under" selection gives you costs for a 27 year old and the "age 50 and older" selection shows costs for a 50 year old.

HealthCare.gov pricing feature can be off the mark - CBS News

That's about what I had assumed, looking at how our prices for us at 58 were so much higher than shown in the estimate.

How hard would it have been to be able to put in actual ages and get realistic results? Jeesh, this really makes the whole website look even worse than before, if that's possible.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:22 AM   #37
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I can see how agonizing this is for you folks patiently waiting for government website to be fixed.

If they do not fix it by end of year, and you finally sign up in March of 2014, how do you seek care in the month of January or February?
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:23 AM   #38
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Here's a video talking about why using the healthcare.gov site https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/ to get estimates in your area is so misleading. The "age 49 and under" selection gives you costs for a 27 year old and the "age 50 and older" selection shows costs for a 50 year old.
Yeah, I noticed that. I'm 48, and the unsubsidized "49 and under" estimate is way too low. You'd have to add about 50% to it to come close to what I am seeing.
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:11 PM   #39
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Yeah, I noticed that. I'm 48, and the unsubsidized "49 and under" estimate is way too low. You'd have to add about 50% to it to come close to what I am seeing.
Real world numbers ....

Estimator for the specific plan I'm enrolling in is $742. (Blue Cross Florida 1491)
Actual cost from the Exchange once enrolled is $1503. (Blue Cross Florida 1491)

That's at age 59.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:18 PM   #40
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update -
Still trying to get ID verified.

I scanned driver's licence Oct 6. No response in a week , chat online revealed I needed to ad ID # to the scan .
Scanned it again on the 13th with ID # , waited until 18th to call.
Told I needed to talk to a specialist and that the call back would take up two three business days .

Just received call back (the 23rd ).
Specialist informed me that it is taking 2-3 weeks for scanned documents to be verified.
He said to be patient and reassured me that my health insurance would be ready for me .

It took a "Specialist" for that?

I just want to keep the policy we have. (but it is going away )http://www.early-retirement.org/sk/f...milies/mad.gif
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