Health Insurance Exchange Update

Thursday, October 10, 2013 Website

Three residents who shared their thoughts on healthcare decisions last week update us on their experiences trying to sign up for health insurance through the new insurance exchanges.

  • Pilar, contract associate producer at CBS Religion (and former BL Show intern);
  • Karen, mother, wife, student from Westfield, NJ; and
  • Bob, consultant, husband, and father from Montclair, NJ.

Plus WNYC Healthcare and Medicine Reporter, Fred Mogul, discusses how the exchanges are going and why some area hospitals are opting out.


Fred Mogul

Comments [24]

Amy from Manhattan

On the variable freelance income question, I called the toll-free no. (800 318 2596) the Friday before 10/1 & got through to someone, who said someone at the Advanced Resolution Center would call me back. I got that call on Monday, explained my questions, & was told the person would need to research the answers. She called again the next day & said subsidies for freelancers (& others w/fluctuating incomes) weren't fixed for the entire year & could be changed to compensate for increases or decreases in their incomes. Freelancers also don't need to wait until tax filing time to receive the subsidies--they can be applied to reduce premiums over the course of the year.

Oct. 11 2013 01:09 AM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!

To the fellow who had an ID Verification Problem.

The fact that the system pulled up use of your Social Security Number involved with Veterinary Insurance when you don't have a pet is a Warning Sign.

You were most likely a victim of low level ID Theft. Someone has used your Social Security Number to get some Insurance for their pet and maybe more. You DO need to start looking at your Personal Report from Experian or the other two to see what OTHER activity may be under your Social Security Number.

Not all ID Theft results in a Strange Bill that comes in the Mail out of nowhere. Sometimes the thief uses the Identity and maintains a separate name and address. And further, older Americans are more vulnerable to this kind of crime because they tend to have more assets and higher credit ratings. So Older Social Security Numbers are very valuable on the Black Market.

How do I know this? Because it happened to me!

Get your ID Report from Experian and Examine it!

Oct. 10 2013 11:55 AM

"When will we take to the streets en masse as other do around the world."

Because Americans don't want to give up our SUVs, $6 cups of coffee, Vuitton bags and gym memberships. People around the world are willing to sacrifice themselves for the better good. That's just not happening here.

Oct. 10 2013 11:50 AM
Lonnie from Brooklyn!!!

For that fellow whose "ID was Not Verified". The fact that the 'System' found an instance of him using Vet Insurance for a Pet...and he doesn't Have a Pet and they sent him towards Experian...

That rings an alarm bell! Especially because he's OLDER, I'm betting that he has been a victim of ID Theft...just that he didn't get a Bill. But Someone USED HIS SOCIAL SECURITY # to obtain some Pet Insurance. Most OLDER Americans are at higher risk for low level ID Theft: Because the Older you are, the Higher the presumed Credit Rating. Those Social Security Numbers are circulated on the Black Market.

And he shouldn't obsess over HOW his SS# was compromised. It ALREADY happened. It could have been any of a number of banks or credit card companies that may have had their Databases hacked--BUT THEY NEVER ANNOUNCED IT to the public.

I speak from Experience. ID theft and Social Security # theft is more rampant than the Banks and the Gov't want to tell us.

Oct. 10 2013 11:45 AM
The Truth from Becky

HENRY, thank you, that is exactly my point. Unbelievable.

Oct. 10 2013 11:44 AM
Joyce from NYC

Arthur aptowitz from Forest Hills, NY is confused:

Andrew Cumo is not a republican, he is a DEMOCRAT.

Oct. 10 2013 11:37 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Amen, Robert - Obamacare is a no-conservative, ad hoc cop out to insurance companies. The only reason the GOP hates it is because it's from Obama.

There were already federal templates in medicare and medicaid for a single-payer system, Obama was simply too afraid to follow through.

That being said, private insurance has always been a nightmare with co-pays, deductibles, out of network doctors etc. Ask anyone who have switched jobs.

Oct. 10 2013 11:37 AM
Joyce from NYC

Could the show interview a LIVE PERSON WHO HAS ACTUALLY SUCCESSFULLY SIGNED UP. If there are 40,000 of them, it should be possible to find one.

Oct. 10 2013 11:35 AM
Heleen Adam from Brooklyn

The NY State of Health site asks for both an alien registration number and an I-94 receipt. Of course it's one or the other; one is for immigrants and the other for non-immigrants. After some back and forth with them on Facebook I was asked to provide a screenshot of the issue for their tech department by Facebook message; however, there is no message button on their Facebook page. Kafkaesque, I think it's called.

Oct. 10 2013 11:34 AM
Arthur aptowitz from Forest Hills, NY

Its the "Law of Intended Consequences." The Republicans wanted this to fail, refused to coooperate on the state level, forcing a huge site with overloaded hits, making the thing unworkable for now.

Oct. 10 2013 11:34 AM
Mary from mount kisco

Re the person who "failed" the personal questions, that happened to me when I tried to get information from FedEx! and also in the past with banks when I had a question about a CD. Often incorrect info.

Oct. 10 2013 11:34 AM
henry from Sunnyside

@Becky good point re: calling it Affordable Care vs Obamacare. Here's a piece that was on Jimmy Kimmel [video]

Oct. 10 2013 11:30 AM
Robert from NYC

All reasons why there should have been a single payer plan. This is set up for the insurance companies to make money. Obama fails again. He continues to prove that I was correct in not voting for him the second time 'round... (let's clarify, I most assuredly didn't vote for Romney either). Everything we do in this country is geared to enriching the already enriched be that a corporation or the individual. When will we take to the streets en masse as other do around the world.

Oct. 10 2013 11:29 AM

I'm in NJ and haven't been able to access the exchange yet, but on the Health Republic website I priced the plans using my NJ zip code and a Manhattan zip code. In NY, the plans seem to cost about $300 less. Why? Also, why does NJ only have 3 companies offering plans?

Oct. 10 2013 11:25 AM
henry from Sunnyside

In Maryland they have had "174,000 unique visitors to its exchange website through Sunday..." but only enrolled 326 people.


Oct. 10 2013 11:23 AM
Susan from manhattan

To the woman who just called and had been trying to get on for 10 days.

The frenzy to get on when the system is so new reminds me of all the people who bought Facebook IPO and then realized there was a glitch.

Why not just hold on for a little while and try when the system has been fixed?

Just be patient, they will work out the kinks, and you can save yourself some hassle.

Oct. 10 2013 11:22 AM
Anonymous from Park Slope

There is live chat available on the site, some of these callers are lying or embellishing at best. The site is secured as well for any personal information that is entered.

Oct. 10 2013 11:22 AM
pliny from soho

basic Medicare costs about $112 a month

Oct. 10 2013 11:21 AM
James from Brooklyn

Please ask: if you work freelance, like myself, your income can vary wildly year to year. How will my subsidy be calculated? If last year I made $90K and this year it's closer to $40K will I be able to afford the premium if it's based upon last years income??

Oct. 10 2013 11:21 AM

Freelancers "Union"® is a FOR PROFIT insurance company™!!

Don't BUY the touchy-feelie BS!!!


Oct. 10 2013 11:20 AM
Demetri from NYC

Unfortunately, last time i checked, Freelancer's Union does not cover my trade. They limit membership to particular trades.

Oct. 10 2013 11:19 AM

Free-lancer's Union insurance only available in New York.

Oct. 10 2013 11:19 AM
The Truth from Becky

Brian Lehrer,

Do you see the name Obamacare anywhere on the site, why do you insist on using that name instead of AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE? I would really like to hear your response.

Oct. 10 2013 11:14 AM
Stephen from East Village

I had been planning to find a plan that works for me even before the system problems at the start. I was planning to wait well into November anyway as I thought the plans would change their offerings and rates dynamically over the first 30 - 60 days.
Is this true or not despite the system problems?

Oct. 10 2013 08:46 AM

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