Streams

What You Should Know about Obamacare

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A woman looks at the HealthCare.gov insurance exchange internet site October 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty)

Nancy Metcalf, Senior Health Editor for Consumer Reports explains some important facts about the new health care law that consumers should know. She also talks about the roll-out and how the program is serving consumers so far.

Guests:

Nancy Metcalf

Comments [19]

RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

@Independent_Noach

"The Affordable Care Act is a massive taxpayer-funded subsidy to the parasitic insurance companies that do nothing but siphon off money and resources while providing no care whatsoever. Doctors have to hire full-time staff just to deal with this convoluted, cursed labyrinth."

Hogwash. Your premium gets your health needs covered at co-pay/co-insurance amounts until a yearly max. Most folks won't hit the max in most years but that's the way insurance works. Don't like it, get the government to evolve Obamacare - which is after all just Romneycare and Heritage Institute plans repackaged to get votes from largely insincere Republican House members and senators - so that it actually covers people's needs at a lower cost.

Obamacare isn't a fraud, it just isn't a cure-all that folks would like to pretend.

Feb. 11 2014 02:01 PM
Stephen from Manhattan

I'm a member of Freelancers Union (FU) and had coverage through Freelancers Insurance Company (FIC) for the past couple years. I called in December to find out how to get a subsidy and was told FU/FIC is NOT part tof the New York State of Health exchange and therefore was not offering any subsidies. I found a comparable plan on the NYS exchange from Health Republic Insurance of New York and got a substantial subsidy. HRINY is a nonprofit co-op in the MagnaCare plan, NOT the Empire BCBS plan offered by Freelancers Union. So far so good with my Gold Plan coverage.

Feb. 11 2014 02:00 PM
Linda in CT from Fairfield, CT

My doctor is in the plan but the cancer center (his office) is not in the plan so either I will need a new oncologist or anything besides his fees, such as pathology and imaging will be out of my pocket...so check that the facilities, not only the doctor are in the network.

Feb. 11 2014 01:57 PM
Michele Cipriani from Weehawken

I signed up for a multi state plan, wouldn't that be a good option for the person that just moved to connecticut?

Feb. 11 2014 01:55 PM

@wendy from Manhattan:

Send a detailed letter or e-mail to BCBS with a copy to the NY state Insurance Dept. The Dept. has jurisdiction. You problem does not sound like it is ACA related, just BCBS 's typical indifferent customer service.

Feb. 11 2014 01:52 PM
Ed from Larchmont

Employer healthcare ends later this year, many plans will be called unacceptable.

Feb. 11 2014 01:51 PM
Amy from Manhattan

For the caller who was leaving her job, 1 of the reasons people are allowed to enroll outside the open enrollment period is a change in income. And you can get your subsidy applied directly to your monthly insurance premiums rather than wait to get them back in your tax refund.

Feb. 11 2014 01:50 PM
Middle class but broke from Conn.

What about people who are middle class but struggling with debt and living month-to-month (one of the couple just lost his job) and the wife's employer offers insurance but it's unaffordable @ $1400/month and we don't qualify for Obamacare?

Feb. 11 2014 01:49 PM

If you have questions or problems seek advice from a Navigator or a licensed health insurance agent as you would with any other insurance. Websites are not well suited for complex choices. Even calling the insurance company directly will work.

Feb. 11 2014 01:47 PM
Ed from Larchmont

And then the few doctors in the plan will have too many patients, won't have access.

Feb. 11 2014 01:45 PM
Jill from new jersey

I work as a per diem for a large healthcare org and received a letter that I will not be able to work more than 24hr per week because of the affordable care act, previously my hrs were unlimited. I have coverage thru my husband and do not need insurance thru this employer but now my hrs have been cut because according to ACA the employer has to offer me insurance if I work more than 30 hrs per week so they are avoiding this by cutting our hrs,

Feb. 11 2014 01:45 PM

The Affordable Care Act is a massive taxpayer-funded subsidy to the parasitic insurance companies that do nothing but siphon off money and resources while providing no care whatsoever. Doctors have to hire full-time staff just to deal with this convoluted, cursed labyrinth.

Single-payer advocate Marcia Angell, M.D.:
"Obamacare is simply incapable of doing what it is supposed to do -- provide nearly universal care at an affordable and sustainable cost."
- http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marcia-angell-md/roberts-romney-health-care_b_1637397.html

Feb. 11 2014 01:44 PM
wendy from Manhattan

I've spent many, many hours on hold with BC/BS (one call was 302 minutes!), received an occasional human who could not help, sent me to another wrong person, or disconnected me altogether. BC/BS automatically put me into a replacement policy on 1/1/14 although I had told them not to because I applied through the exchange, took money out of my checking account although I had rescinded my authorization for them to do so, and now have me signed up for several policies for which they are billing me (including the one they took money for already). I switched to another company but still can't reach them to tell them - and I am concerned that they will continue to bill me and put me into collection eventually. What can i do before that happens that might really work???

Feb. 11 2014 01:44 PM
diane from nyc

Forget the navigators if you're getting a technical (computer) error on the NY State of Health site. Call NYS Dept of Health, Rachel Cates, 518.473.9461. It took me months to sort this out yet they may have things working more efficiently now. Good luck!

Feb. 11 2014 01:42 PM
Nina Meledandri from Brooklyn

The problem I have found with the exchange plans is the extremely limited networks of doctors associated with these plans.

Feb. 11 2014 01:39 PM
Ken from UWS

Can your guest talk about Medicaid's recovery at death for benefits paid during a beneficiary's lifetime? This is an issue that has emerged and that some states are addressing through legislation.

Feb. 11 2014 01:37 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I *guess* having a conversation over the suitability of health insurance - collecting the money now that IN AGGREGATE is going to be spent any way - is a good thing.

Me? I'll take single payer for basic and necessary services - Yearly check-ups, vaccinations, well-baby, and other 'usual and prevailing' but procedures that are purely elective and ought not to be a part of the national health care basket that we are ALL REQUIRED to buy.

Medicare for All would work for me.

Feb. 11 2014 01:36 PM
Sara from Bushwick

Can you ask your guest if enrollment in HHC Options counts as covered?
Thanks!

Feb. 11 2014 01:35 PM
Ed from Larchmont

They weren't able to pass a law saying that abortion is a human right (the U.N. is still trying), so what they did - it's slick - was to say that every healthcare plan has to cover abortion. Very slick.
Also it puts indiscriminate power into the hands of the Head of Human Services (the wicked Sibelius, pro-abortion excommunicated Governor of Kansas), who can decide what is and what is not covered by all health plans.
Plus, going in the opposite direction of subsidiarity (that problems are fixed closest to where the problem is since those people know the most about the problem), it federalizes the healthcare industry.
So O-care stinks.
What else do you need to know?

Feb. 11 2014 01:21 PM

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