From her HHS Post today: http://www.hhs.gov/digitalstrategy/blog/2013/10/how-were-improving-healthcare-gov.html
Obamacare 800# Rep:
“It’s an application for the marketplace, not for a health insurance company. Its for the marketplace itself to see what programs you qualify for.”
So am I applying for insurance?
“You are applying to see what your option would be for you….”
“This is a place where people can meet and we help you get insurance and we can help you pay for the insurance….”
“We don’t have any contracts with any insurance companies”
All I wanted was a quote, now Obama Admin is saying that I applied for coverage.
Today, the AP is reporting that the Obama Admin claims that “476,000 Health Insurance Applications have been filed through federal and State Exchanges.” AP Article Here
Could I have been counted in this number? When I went back to look at the screen shots that I took after I finally was able to enter my family information on Friday October 18th, I discovered that my Ohio Application for Individual and Family Coverage is now “In Progess”. See screen shot below.
To say that my family has applied for coverage is an absolute misrepresentation.
I have not seen the prices. I have not seen the coverage options. I have not seen the panel of providers. I have not offered my credit card number.
I currently have a policy for my family and have NO INTENTION of buying a policy even once I find out.
I am an insurance professional who is using my own family as a test case….to do a dry run of the process.
My guess is that a very large percentage of “Applicants” are simply window shoppers, trying to take a peak to see what it is all about.
Related Note: In spite of the screen that said that my application was “In Progress”, the site kicked me out, and I have not gotten back in. I have still not seen any quotes for my family.
This is from one of my colleagues who had already established an ACA Account, but was attempting to have his identity verified.
When he got repeatedly kicked out, he attempted to use Live Chat:
|1:17:37 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.|
|[1:17:40 pm]: Please be patient while we’re helping other people.|
|[1:17:49 pm]: Welcome! You’re now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.Thanks for contacting us. My name is Amanda. To protect your privacy, please don’t provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.|
|[1:19:15 pm]: Ty|
|I’m trying to verify my ID. A box comes up and says “Unexpected Error…contact Experian”. No other information or numbers are give. I call Experian and their automated site says I need to suppley a Reference number from the website in order to verify my ID. None was given. What do I do?|
|[1:21:02 pm]: Amanda|
|Thank you for your question today. It will take me just a moment to review and respond to your question.|
|[1:24:52 pm]: Amanda|
|okay your reference number was at that the end of the application if you did not get the number.. You can mail a paper copy of any one of the following documents:
•School ID card
•Voter Registration Card
•U.S. Military Card
•U.S. Military Draft Record
•ID card issued by the federal, state, or local government
•Military Dependent ID Card
•Authentic Document from a Tribe
•U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Card
|[1:25:51 pm]: Amanda|
|Make sure that you get the application number it is locate on the application on the left hand side of the page|
|[1:26:48 pm]: Ty|
|I have not filled out an application, that is what I’m trying to do! Is it under My Profile?|
|[1:28:26 pm]: Ty|
|I’m in My Profile and it is asking me to Verify My Identify before I can proceed. No Reference Number has been given.|
|[1:28:28 pm]: Amanda|
|okay where you trying to create a acct when it said you could not be verifty|
|[1:29:28 pm]: Ty|
|I did create an account. Now it is asking for me to Verify that it was me who created the account. The website is taking me in circles…|
|[1:31:32 pm]: Amanda|
|okay all you need to do is answer the questions that you created, do you remember picking the questions and answered them?|
|[1:32:27 pm]: Ty|
|It will not go beyond the page asking me for my name, SS#, Date of Birth, email, etc!|
|[1:33:19 pm]: Ty|
|If I hit Continue, it gives me the same orange box at the top telling me to call Experian! Experian asks for a Reference Number which I don’t have because it was never given!|
|[1:38:01 pm]: Amanda|
|okay at this point you need to call 1-866-578-5409 and they will be able to assist you I am sorry you are having trouble|
|[1:38:59 pm]: Ty|
|THEY WILL NOT ASSIST ME BECAUSE I DONT HAVE A REFERENCE NUMBER! It won’t even go beyond their automated system without a Reference Number!|
|[1:40:17 pm]: Ty|
|Please send me an email with the body of this Chat.|
|[1:42:29 pm]: Amanda|
|okay you can call 1-800-318-2596 and someone will transfer to experian .. they will be happy to help you|
This is from the man who was President Obama’s Press Secretary, and chief defender at the time that Obamacare was passed into law.
So I am not the only one…
So on 10/11/13, at about 10:45 AM I continued my conversation with the very friendly and professional Obamacare Supervisor. That is not sarcasm, she really was great.
As I pushed for a way to get a quote, even with the system down, she said the only real way to do so would be to do it by mail. Very interesting.
Audio below. Minute summary below that.
00- 1:36 Supervisor discusses estimation tool, but explains that the rates would not be actual quotes but would be estimates.
1:36 Supervisor: says I cannot get a quote unless I complete application online, but since Online is Broken, they can mail one to me, but that would be a slow process
2:35: Discussion on what happens if I they send me a paper application and I send it back.
2:40: Me: “If I mail back a written application, would you send me back a quote?”
2:45: Supervisor: “No, you would actually get verification or your eligibility and what discounts and tax credits that you may qualify for and once that is ready you can enroll in whatever plan you select.”
3:00 Me: “I did not understand that….You mail me an application then what?”
3:07 Supervisor: “you fill out an application, send it back then once it is approved, we would notify you of your eligibility and what discounts or tax credits that you may qualify for…..to get the plan you select”
3:30: Me “so I still would not know what Blue Cross is charging and what my options are?”
3:40: Supervisor: “you will find out when your application is processed, and your eligibility is approved.
3:52: Me: “And that would come to me in the mail? or by email or what?”
3:56: Supervisor: You can select how you want to recieve it
4:09: Me: “and after that, when would I give you a credit card to tell you that I want to buy this?”
4:15: Supervisor: “that would go through the company that you selected….they would send you information on the plan and information on payment”
5:15: Me: I ask about subsidy based upon income.
6:10: Me: After I find out about my eligibility and my potential subsidy, “I take that information and do what with it?”
6:15: Supervisor: “hopefully within the next few days the website will be back online, but you just get online and enter the health plan information that you select then you will be covered….”
7:09 Me: “so I would give my credit card to the Marketplace, or to the Insurance Company?”
7:12 Supervisor: “you would give it to the insurance company, we do not accept credit cards”
7:50 Me: “So after that I can cancel my employer health plan?”
8:00 Supervisor: That depends on the application…and affordable determination
8:25: Me: “Mine would totally not be considered affordable because I need to pay like 50 bucks for the whole family, and that’s alot of money.”
8:35: Supervisor: “Right”
9:05 Me: “How do they determine if its affordable or not?”
9:10 Supervisor: “They look at how much your income is, and how much the company is charging you and if its more than 9% of your Gross Annual Income, Its NOT considered affordable.”
9:25: Me: “9%, of mine, or of mine and my wife too, or just mine?
9:35: Supervisor: “Its yours”
(Note: This is incorrect information. The Supervisor should have told me that this is based upon Household Income.).
9:37: Me: “just mine, I thought it was household income?”
9:39: Supervisor: “well that’s for qualifying for discounts but if you have other health insurance it is based upon if its affordable to who carries the insurance if it is you then they look at your income”
9:59: Discussion about what is affordable
11:15: Me: What if I don’t want to enter my information, can I get a quote?