Reminder to all the procrastinators out there

Healthcare.gov is still scheduled to stop accepting open enrollment tomorrow at midnight.

There has been no early word yet about waiting in line extensions. There is no word on identification problems caused by credit report freeze extensions yet.

We need to assume that Healthcare.gov will stop accepting completed applications in thirty four hours.

So for all of my fellow procrastinators out there, time is up. Go and get yourself covered.

Open thread.

19 replies
  1. 1
    Mike J says:

    If you live in Washington, open enrollment to be covered Jan 1 ends tomorrow. Open enrollment to be covered from Feb 1 ends Jan 15. But why wait?

  2. 2
    donnah says:

    My husband started the renewal process starting Monday night and has been on hold to complete it every night since. Last night he was on hold for forty-five minutes and still didn’t get through. Hoping tonight’s the night.

  3. 3
    Miss Bianca says:

    David, I should know the answer to this question, but I keep forgetting. If you are currently covered thru’ a company plan, and you decide to leave that job in 2018, can you still sign up for an exchange plan? Will there still *be* exchange plans still in 2018? (asking for a friend in CO).

  4. 4
    TenguPhule says:

    All plans not guaranteed to still be there in the event the GOP manage to kill the enrollment mandate effective next year.

  5. 5

    @Miss Bianca: If you have a qualifying life event like losing a job, you can still buy a plan mid-year.

    And yes, I would assume that the Exchanges will still be in place in mid-2018.

  6. 6
    Miss Bianca says:

    @David Anderson: thank you!

  7. 7
    TriassicSands says:

    I just finished helping a friend sign up for coverage on a state exchange. It was a terrible experience. I can imagine countless people being unable to complete an application and simply giving up. The people available to “help” were generally incompetent and when they weren’t giving out incorrect information they were offering nothing at all.

    My friend, the applicant, tried to designate me as her official representative, but in one of the great Catch-22s, they wouldn’t accept me until after she had submitted a completed application. WTF?

    I hope things aren’t that bad on the federal exchange.

    Oh, and the policy she finally signed up for was, what I would consider, lousy insurance. It is a silver plan, but there are far too many exclusons and it is very restrictive. In the end, she only had 8 policies to choose among and 7 of them were either worthless or much too expensive.

  8. 8
    Miss Bianca says:

    @TriassicSands: this is when independent insurance brokers are your friends! I had help going thru’ the process when I first signed up, and I am far from being computer illiterate.

  9. 9
    marcopolo says:

    My experience, as someone who has participated in the Marketplace from day one, took all of 15-20 minutes. Don’t hate me. Basically, if they have your information from previous enrollment, all you have to do is go through 7-8 screens of clicking buttons and verifying information. The only thing I needed to change was upping my annual income just a smidge.

    The difference this year, and I live in St. Louis, was the number of plans/providers available. Last year there must have been 20-25 from I think 3-4 companies. This year there were 8 plans total (2 bronze, 4 silver, 2 gold) from 2 companies. And the monthly premium was just about double but since I get the premium help due to my income that didn’t actually change the out-of-pocket costs for me all that much. Also, my insurance provider for 2017 did not return for 2018 so I needed to change over to a new plan–I did not go with the one that was suggested.

    I have really loved having health insurance the past few years (thanks Obama!), though I haven’t actually had to use it (knock on wood). Wish I’d had it when I had to have my appendix removed in 2005 and the hospital billed me $32K :).

    Anyways, I wish everyone could have as smooth an experience as I did. And if you haven’t already signed up and need to do it now like Dave says.

  10. 10
    mai naem mobile says:

    I did mine last night and was on hold for about 70 minutes and the renewal took about 20 mins. Helped a friend in yesterday morning and it was a ten minute wait but the renewal took 40 minutes. I forgot the first year I did it, I helped a Spanish speaking friend who got through quickly on the Spanish speaking line meanwhile my wait times were crazy long on the regular english speaking line. It might be unethical but try the Spanish speaking line .

  11. 11
    efgoldman says:

    Thanks for the kick in the ass, David. I just re-enrolled mrs efg Another year and a half and she’s on Medicare, if it’s still there.
    As before, the RI site is less than helpful. Even though I re-enrolled, and even though we already got a January bill, it actually made me enroll her as if she were a new customer.

  12. 12
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    So now I fell in bathroom last Friday. Have nasty bruises on big toes, tops of both feet below small toes, and painful stiff right knee. Also what I’m told is black eye below left eye. Have rheumatoid arthritis, so had to call for help to get up. Totally lucked out that I didn’t break anything.

    About 6 months ago started a home health service thru primary care physician. RN came to ck on me. Pd by medicare – freaked by GOP hatred and plots?? YOU BET!!

  13. 13
    TriassicSands says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    You have a point for filling out the application, but, sadly, no broker would be able to offer better insurance plans. One of the problems we face where I live is that this is a rural area, so it’s no surprise that the pickings are meager.

    I’m on Medicare and I have to admit that dealing with Medicare has been even worse than dealing with the ACA application process. My friend was not born in the US (she’s a legal resident, not a citizen) and she is appalled by our so-called health care system. It has to be the worst system among all the highly developed countries of the world. An idiot couldn’t design this system, but someone totally insane might. That said, a committee of insane idiots would be perfect for the job. And that’s what we have.

    It’s gotten so bad, that now I’m hearing doctors in this area, many of whom already refuse to accept Medicaid patients (of which there are many), saying they may stop seeing Medicare patients. I guess the ideal future is for a system in which only young healthy Americans are covered by concierge doctors. Everyone else can go to the ER, until the GOP gets rid of EMTALA.

  14. 14
    satby says:

    @Miss Bianca: Etsy partnered with a national (?) broker named Stride which basically just went through the exchange for me, after verifying my info. I was doing it just as a cross-check to see if moving my official residence to Indiana made things worse, but they found a silver HMO plan that will cost less than I paid last year after the subsidy. Enough less that I added dental insurance too.

  15. 15
    Aleta says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: ouch. Hope the bruises feel better soon.

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    @satby: That’s great. Dental insurance is good.

  17. 17
    Katep says:

    @marcopolo: I am helping my son and family again this year. They are also in St Louis area. Shocking how few choices there are. It is Cigna or some company I have never heard of. $600 for a Bronze plan and over $1000 for Silver. The deducible is $7000 for Bronze and $3700 for Silver but max out of pocket is exactly the same. I’m pretty sure the Bronze is the way to go, I can’t see a downside. Am I missing something here?

  18. 18
    Scamp Dog says:

    I just got done signing up. I have a health plan through work, but I have to take care of dental myself. The process wasn’t that bad, even considering that I had forgotten my password and had to set up a new one. Thanks for all you do, Dave!

  19. 19
    marcopolo says:

    @Katep: Sorry, I don’t check old threads all too often and you’ve probably finished up everything by now but to answer your questions: Ambetter Home State Health is actually Centene. So you are choosing either Cigna or Centene. As for which plan is best–it doesn’t sound like your son is getting premium support? David is obviously the expert in these matters (and a family with kids is not like just getting insurance for myself) but if you can game out how you expect your son & his family to use/need healthcare over the next year, I would look less at max out of pocket (unless you assume they are gonna max it) and more at the costs for various aspects of the plan. For example, the plan I chose has no cost for emergency room or hospital use after I pay the deductible–the other plans had co-pays of some sort for those services even after initial deductible. I haven’t actually been to an emergency room or been hospitalized in about a decade but those costs can run up fast. Anyways, if you didn’t think your son & his family were going automatically going to max out expenses you could try calculate the costs they were going to incur through usage (dr visits, prescriptions, etc…) and pick the plan that would be cheaper that way.

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