When Will Work?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Saturday is the administration's self-imposed deadline to have the insurance exchanges back up and running. Where do they stand? Amy Goldstein, Washington Post political reporter explains the progress so far and what is still left to do.  



Amy Goldstein

Comments [32]

Gerald from New Jersey

I get health insurance through my company. Perhaps someone could put me at ease and tell me that the 75% increase in my premium and the 50% increase in my wifes premium is NOT a result of ACA.

I've seen increases in the past...but generally of the 3%-5% range. This has to be the effect, caused by

Nov. 26 2013 09:03 PM
Eugene from Brooklyn

For Nancy, the caller from NJ, who sees lower prices on the exchange vs. what the insurance company is telling her on the phone: take a screenshot from the exchange site and save it, just in case those are legally binding, or even if they are not but if you want to haggle with them and threaten a complaint or whatever. Also, sign up as soon as you can, as long as you see those attractive prices, if you can get through. And of course a non-negligible probability exists that the insurance rep simply did not know what they were talking about, or if phone reps do not have access to sell the exchange plans. Good luck!

Nov. 26 2013 02:19 PM
NK from Chelsea

Another satisfied -- so far -- customer of the NY state exchange.
I'm a freelancer, so for the last dozen years I've bought health insurance from Freelancers Union and have been grateful to them for having that.

But my income has declined a lot since the downturn, so I was happy to find that I could get a better (platinum) plan on the exchange and spend two-thirds less per month on premiums -- with the help of the tax credit. If my business picks up I'll probably have to pay more but for now it's a relief to feel I'll have health insurance costs more commensurate with my reduced earnings.

Nov. 26 2013 01:46 PM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Your guest is either an apologist for Obamacare or simply doesn't know much about it."

LOL, aren't you talking about our President??!!

Nov. 26 2013 01:45 PM
Joan from Westchester from Westchester

The NY Exchange FINALLY worked for us !! THIS WEEK! AT LAST! (After trying ever since Oct 1 to create an application to find a better plan for a relative with pre-existing conditions who has had to pay $1,300 a month -- !! -- on the individual market ) . I won't bore you with all the many, many ways the NY Exchange didn't work for the past EIGHT WEEKS (and they should apologize for launching the site way before it was ready), but week by week it inched along, working a little better each week -- until FINALLY -- on Monday it listed PLANS, it listed DOCTORS on the plans -- and WOW -- we found a plan with the relative's doctor on it that costs $800 a month LESS than the outrageous plan he was forced to have up until now because of pre-existing conditions . The new Exchange plan provides better coverage (in terms of lower copay, total out of pocket, etc.) SO HAVE PATIENCE / KEEP TRYING THE WEBSITE, you're likely to find good plans. The same will probably be true of the federal site too. Too bad they made this all so complicated, but at least now it's looking up.....

Nov. 26 2013 12:30 PM
brandy from Brooklyn

Your guest is either an apologist for Obamacare or simply doesn't know much about it. This program isn't doing much more than plunge everyone into a new bureaucratic nightmare, and if it looks to some folks on the surface like they got a better deal than they used to-- wait till they get sick...

There's nothing affordable about this act, it will not protect you from arbitrarily rising premiums or from bankruptcies. Just like before, this new system is intended to cover the least possible anything. It limits healthcare through ridiculously high deductibles and copays, if you go over the 400% poverty rate next year, your subsidies will be taken back retroactively through your tax return. Plus your networks are severely limited -- determined by your zip code as if you will always know in advance when, where and how you'll need medical care. If you live in NY but something happens to you in NJ, good luck getting your insurance to pay a cent for your care there. Essentially they're going to continue confusing people, nickel-and-diming them to death (pun intended), and so on...

I called one of the insurers directly and asked all my questions, and by the end of answering all my questions, the person admitted that it might make more sense to take the tax penalty and not sign up. It is one thing to pay premiums of several thousand dollars a year and be covered. Quite another if your coverage is some kind of circus act that just adds up premiums to what you're paying out of pocket already without much of a guarantee that it will be there in unforeseen circumstances.

I was a beneficiary of the Canadian system for many years, and I cannot find one iota of logic in this entire scenario that the insurance carriers have concocted with the help of the government. It's the worst form of rip off through the use of extortion I can think of.

Nov. 26 2013 11:24 AM

For-Profit HealthKare™.


Nov. 26 2013 10:56 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Oops, I neglected to include this link about Vermont in my comment below:

Is single payer the wave of the future?

Nov. 26 2013 10:54 AM

Only AmeriKa® commodifies your health.

Nov. 26 2013 10:49 AM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretenious Hudson Heights

If Google and Amazon and Microsoft and Apple can design websites that can handle heavy traffic, why couldn't do as well?

Nov. 26 2013 10:49 AM
Tony from Canarsie

Perhaps it's beyond the purview of the subject, but I was hoping you'd at least mention that Vermont has decided to set up a single payer system. The slogan of the program: "Everybody in, nobody out."

Nov. 26 2013 10:48 AM

Amen, Robert!!

Nov. 26 2013 10:46 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Let's not forget that the young-old, healthy-less healthy "balance" within the pool is to ensure that the insurance companies make a profit. If it were a genuine pool to insure everyone, the entire US population would be automatically enrolled and it would be a zero-sum payment system--only what's needed to pay total health care costs and basic administrative functions.

Nov. 26 2013 10:45 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

When you dance with the devil, aka the insurance companies, you gotta wait for the song to stop.

Obama didn't have the spine for a public option or god forbid - single payer.

The ACA's launch was doomed to be a disaster.

Nov. 26 2013 10:45 AM
Robert from NYC

So in the end the whole thing is really a failure. As long as one person has one of the kinds of problems we've just heard about, the whole thing is a failure. The single payer option was the way to go but Oh Bummer makes deals with big business health care insurers and Max Baucus, blue dog (insult to dogs) dem leads the way with these insurers and we have this garbage mish mash mush of nothing. Medicare works, it should just have been extended paid thru taxes that in the end come nowhere near the price of what people pay individually to private insurers who are not interested in your health, rather interested in their bottom line. As I watch the decline and fall of the American "empire" it becomes more and more gut wrenching. Yuk!

Nov. 26 2013 10:43 AM
Mike from Tribeca

Irony Alert: This page is loading very slowly.

Nov. 26 2013 10:43 AM
Debra from Red Bank, New Jersey

Your response to the caller from New Jersey who called her healthcare provider to discover the costs of the actual policy are more than listed online didn't take into account that the representative to whom she spoke may not be giving her accurate information. I've certainly received inaccurate information from insurance companies over the years. Did she try speaking with a second representative, or a manager, to confirm this information is correct? Isn't it possible the insurance company customer service reps may not have up-to-date, info?

Nov. 26 2013 10:41 AM
Amy from Manhattan

People keep comparing to Amazon. Has anyone looked at how well Amazon's system worked when it 1st went online?

Nov. 26 2013 10:41 AM

Has the administration done a good enough job conveying to the American people that they can get the same policies from providers OUTSIDE of the exchange. Going through the exchange is only necessary if you qualify for the subsidy, and you don't need to go through the site to figure out if you are 400% above the poverty line (threshold to qualify for subsidy).

Nov. 26 2013 10:41 AM
Jennifer from Westchester

I love Obama, but if you think there are great deals on the exchanges-that is insane! Outside of the exchange is worse. Bottom line, the mandatory insurance is simply a sweetheart deal for the insurance companies and insurance should be abolished period. We should treat insurance like the public school system-we all pay tax for it, and we all have a right. You can always go private if you want. Think of all the money that would be freed up w/out the extra level of bureaucracy and corporate salaries insurance is sucking out of our economy!

Nov. 26 2013 10:40 AM
Helene from Queens

In October, I was only able to get as far creating an ID. This past weekend, I tried again. I was able to put in my family's information, but when I got to the part asking whether we currently have insurance - which we don't, having all been kicked off of my husband's plan in September without warning - the website freezes, and I could not get any further. That happened 8 times Saturday, and twice yesterday. So no success so far here.

Nov. 26 2013 10:40 AM

We need health CARE, NOT health "INSURANCE"!!

Nov. 26 2013 10:39 AM
DS from Montclair.

Single payer. Brian, you need to grow up and stop 'crowd sourcing' and using acronyms and stop doing these lopsided shows about broken obamacare.

Nov. 26 2013 10:38 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Couldn't Nancy (the caller whose insurance co. said the prices on were wrong & the real ones were much higher) still look for more affordable plans from other insurance providers (& then check w/them to make sure the rates are accurate)? Did she look into subsidies?

Nov. 26 2013 10:37 AM

This convoluted nonsense will work when the "insurance" industry is eliminated from the equation.

Nov. 26 2013 10:35 AM
ml from inwood

The NY State exchange has been a big headache for my 20 something son. He is currently on my plan and can stay on it until he's 29, but we're hoping to find a better and/or cheaper plan. In early October they didn't recognize that he existed, so he waited. In late October he was able to get an account set up, however when we tried to put in the plan that he is currently on we never did find it. The list of policies that we could choose from is not in alphabetical, nor is it in state order, and it includes hundreds of choices. We could choose from hundreds of plans including The Providence Association of Ukranian Catholics in Pennsylvania, the Slovak Gymnastic Union Sokol USA in New Jersey, the Labor Zionist Alliance in NY, the National Catholic Society of Foresters in Illinois, but there was no Oxford Liberty plan in NY or no United Healthcare in NY. At some point, we will try to find a health care "navigator" and forget the website.

Nov. 26 2013 10:34 AM
Johnathon from New York

Originally signed up on Day One in New York. Couldn't get on. Tried last night, 7 pm, and flew through the process. They're getting much better.

Nov. 26 2013 10:32 AM
Chriss from Montcair, NJ

According to the Washington Post, President Obama said that the “Web site is already better than it was at the beginning of October, and by the end of this month, we anticipate that it is going to be working the way it is supposed to, all right?”

But your guest has suggested the White House "clarified" what will be working by 11/30: "for the VAST amount of people..."

This sounds just like the "clarification" of the oft-stated, "If you like your plan, you can keep it. Period."

I'm not alone in my expectation that "fixed" means it will work for all who try.

Like Amazon.

Nov. 26 2013 10:32 AM
Joanne from Princeton

I apparently was able to create an account in Oct. when the site was launched. I just went back to the site last week to do my application and I could not log in to my account. I called reps 3x and had my a/c reset 3x to no avail. The reps apologize profusely but say they are still having problems. I have looked at the calculators to get an idea of costs and find them not to be that cheap. I will keep trying.

Nov. 26 2013 10:31 AM
Joseph Bell from Downtown

As an industry insider, I am not aware of any other substantial insurance product ( i.e. not travel insurance etc.) that depends on the internet as its Primary sales channel. I think the decision to rely and promote the Internet as the main delivery channel is somewhat novel and little remarked upon.

Nov. 26 2013 10:30 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

With hosts & producers from all the NPR, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, shows in the country, etc. logging on constantly to (not to mention reporters from almost every newspaper in the country), aren't you guys creating an inadvertent denial of service attack on the site?

Nov. 26 2013 10:29 AM
Sara from Bushwick

They should promote the new improved site with a Cyber Monday sale.

Nov. 26 2013 10:22 AM

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