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Why are we so paranoid about having choices?
Old 11-11-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Why are we so paranoid about having choices?

The more choices IMHO, the more opportunities for getting duped by the insurance companies. I have over 80 plan choices. WHY? All I need is one good option. I really am having a difficult time in choosing. I am concerned that if I choose one, and omit to read every word of the plans small and large print I will be short something.

Insurance companies spend their lives trying to confuse people as to what coverage they get at what cost. We do not have a healthcare problem we have an insurance problem. Let us fix the insurance problem and the healthcare will take care of itself.

PS. Healthcare.gove has been working fine for me in FLA. Why are we still complaining about it?
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Old 11-11-2013, 07:53 AM   #2
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We are not paranoid. On the other hand, you may be.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:04 AM   #3
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I do not think I am. I do NOT want so many choices. Just give me reasonable health care at a reasonable price.

It is just I hear all the time that the ACA is limiting a persons choices, I do not see it that way at all.

The Nice thing about an Employer's plan is you get what you get or there are only 3 choices. I checked ACA today and there are 25 Bronze choices and umpteen Silver (I got fed up looking after that).
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:13 AM   #4
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Well, in my view the 36 choices BCBS of Florida gives me are really 4. One is catastrophic. The other 3 are Blue HMO, Blue Options, and Blue Select. They each have different networks but are otherwise the same policy with 30 or so different combinations of cost share - deductible, co-pay, total out of pocket, out of network, HSA. In our case it is pretty easy choose the network we want and then filter and reduce the list to just a couple, especially using Animorph's spreadsheet (here).
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:17 AM   #5
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I am with MichaelB on this.... you have to look at the actual insurance to determine how many plans are being offered... the rest are just options...

As an example... would you say that there are so many choices when you went to buy a car because there are many different colors.... some have leather and some not.. a basic vs a fully loaded To me, if it is a Camry, that is one choice... the Accord a second etc. etc....
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:19 AM   #6
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Cost sharing of healthcare costs does nothing to bring the cost of said healthcare down... I doubt it will 'take care of itself'....
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
I really am having a difficult time in choosing. I am concerned that if I choose one, and omit to read every word of the plans small and large print I will be short something.
One of the better aspects of the ACA is that certain insurance practices are banned and certain coverages are required. Overall, I think that there is a lot less risk now than before.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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I just do not think healthcare should be compared with buying a car, TV, or other item, or even other insurance policies for that matter.

We ALL need and MUST HAVE it (No Option) at some point. I believe we just make it more complicated than it needs to be. 1 (One, OK 2 for those who MUST choose) Options for all would work just fine. I do not consider myself stupid (Although I was stupid enough to attend Uni for 6 years to get a masters degree that I rarely actually used in the real world), but I digress.

The high majority of folk are not that smart (Despite what we keep telling ourselves), I cannot imagine the problems (Web site Aside) they are having choosing a plan. I would not mind betting that most give up and solicit help of some sort to make the decision. I see more of a requirement for ACA store outlets to help the masses especially those over 55 (Again at a cost). Money that could be better spend on actual healthcare.
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Old 11-11-2013, 08:51 AM   #9
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The more choices IMHO, the more opportunities for getting duped by the insurance companies. I have over 80 plan choices. WHY? All I need is one good option....
It is to prepare younger folks for the mindnumbing number of choices they will face with Medicare.
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Old 11-11-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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Reading a good book now, The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. He discusses the problems with the range of choice we have today, no matter what it is. Sorry, not quite on topic but might be helpful in understanding why people look at choice differently.
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Old 11-11-2013, 10:30 AM   #11
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It is to prepare younger folks for the mindnumbing number of choices they will face with Medicare.
How true ...

The medicare exchange we're required to use starting this year (from my former employer) has 9 Medigap, 14 Perscription, and 26 Advantage (includes Medigap/Drug - AKA "Part C") options based upon our zip code.

Before we were notified of the change (September), I mentioned to my wife that I was sure glad we didn't have to go through this silly ACA "cra*" since we're both on Medicare ...

Life has a way of smacking that smile off your face ...
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Old 11-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #12
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I do think there is a legitimate point here. To be clear, I would not want there to be only one choice. Some people like HMOs, some people like PPOs and so on. That said, having an overwhelming number of choices can be paralyzing, particularly with the differences between the choices is unclear. I remember when I was helping my mom pick a prescription drug plan when those came out. It was a difficult undertaking and she was just paralyzed by the whole thing.

I do think that the thing of in-network and out of network does complicate things. One reason I would prefer to see a Medicare style plan (traditional not Advantage) is to get out of networks. I also like the way Medicare supplement policies are all the same for a particular "letter" and then just compete on price. Makes it easier (I do think even those choices could be simplified down to only a few supplement policies).
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
.......................................

PS. Healthcare.gove has been working fine for me in FLA. Why are we still complaining about it?
I agree, I only have 16, but I got overwhelmed.

Have you been on healthcare.gov since Friday. Apparently they have a bunch of fixes going in. I can no longer create a new account, nor can I find the application I had almost completed. I agree I was getting pretty used to it. Now it's going to get fixed, and broken. Nine woman can't have a baby in a month, no matter what commitments people make.

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Old 11-11-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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I have many choices as well, but it really boils down to 4 bronze plans and 2 catastrophic plans real quick.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:22 PM   #15
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We're equally baffled. We've been able to compare the options since July here in CA. Back then I quickly narrowed down the choices to 2 or 3, but we haven't been able to make any progress since then. We just keep going back and forth. I wish that we had been given the option of buying into Medicare. That would have been good for us and for Medicare.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:25 PM   #16
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This reminds me of something funny from a previous employer. We were given three choices for health care plans, but when I dug into two of them, it was clear that one of them was always superior to the other. So there were really only to choices that made rational sense.

However, about a third of the people chose the option that was always worse than one of the other two options. I was talking to my manager about it, and he was just flabergasted, as we were a company made up of networking consultants. Most people just don't take the time to look closely at these things.

The next year the company just removed the bad option and we were left with two choices

On the positive side, even if people choose badly, there are enough guide rails built into the system now that it won't be the end of the world.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:28 PM   #17
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Have you been on healthcare.gov since Friday. Apparently they have a bunch of fixes going in. I can no longer create a new account, nor can I find the application I had almost completed. I agree I was getting pretty used to it. Now it's going to get fixed, and broken.
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Old 11-11-2013, 12:56 PM   #18
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We have 17 choices in my county (all BCBS TX). I don't see a need for 17 plans, especially from the same insurer with the same provider network, though I certainly see room for a couple at each metallic level. (That 17 includes only bronze, silver and gold plans here.)
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:06 PM   #19
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Mine has something like 18 plans listed, but in reality just variations of the same thing. Basically 2 at each metal level that differ by deductible amount. Then each of those optioned with dental and/or vision. All from the same and only provider.

I don't recall having any choices when working. You got what they gave you.
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Old 11-11-2013, 01:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
The more choices IMHO, the more opportunities for getting duped by the insurance companies. I have over 80 plan choices. WHY?
One reason choices are good is that one person's obvious choice is not another person's obvious choice.

For example, I have a catastrophic policy that I like (liked, past tense, alas). My sister has something similar and hates it (why she didn't change is a long story...).

I'm the kind of person who orders a car with specific options from a huge number of choices and wait for the factory to build it for me, while she's the kind of person who buys a standard car off the lot.

vive la différence!
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