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My experience signing up for ObamaCare (in California)

ACA ObamaCare 2013 California Exchange

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#1 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:27 PM

Okay California, here is my signing up for Obamacare story (and this is me eating my words about it being hard to sign up).

California's facilitators for this stuff are called "exchanges". California has a website called Covered California dedicated to facilitating getting covered under ACA. The url is: https://www.coveredca.com/

I found the website itself confusing BUT the phone numbers to call are there. The right one for individuals who want to join up is: 1-800-300-1506. HAVE YOUR ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME from the previous year's tax return on hand. You will need it. IF YOU HAVE THAT INFO then you can do this over the phone. They explained everything VERY clearly and I chose Blue Shield PPO. The premium is based on income and mine is going to be VERY REASONABLE. IN THE APPLICATION THERE ARE ZERO QUESTIONS ABOUT PRE EXISTING CONDITIONS. This process is EASY and painless. At the end they gave me a confirmation number and I will be receiving my information from Blue Shield or them within the next two weeks.

DO NOT BELIEVE THE NEWS REPORTS OF IT BEING HARD OR WHAT NOT. I WAS WRONG. IT WAS EASY EASY EASY EASY EASY AND I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.
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#2 Omega

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:12 PM

YAY! So glad things went well for you!

I've heard similar stories. The states that set up their own exchanges are having a much better time of things. healthcare.gov is a terrible, terrible site. I could code something better on my own, and I don't do that for a living. But the people that get through seem to be getting much better coverage at much better prices.

#3 Spectacles

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 05:55 AM

That's great news, Lil. I know that this has long been an issue for you, so I'm happy to hear that you have incoming insurance. :)

Omega, I've heard that, too. States that (a) opened their own exchanges and (b) expanded Medicaid are off to a better start than those who opted out and are stuck with the hugely flawed national exchange.

Kentucky, of all places, is turning into the crown jewel of ACA:

http://www.upi.com/b.../7591382039528/

Quote


The issue is quite personal for [Governor] Beshear. “[These] are not political decisions. They are moral decisions,” he said. “Taking these steps will mean that, for the first time, every single Kentuckian will have access to affordable health care. Over the next generation, this will change the course of Kentucky’s history.”


Read more: http://www.upi.com/b.../#ixzz2iLwGJPC1


"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#4 Omega

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 07:12 AM

Perhaps that means McConnell has a better chance of surviving his primary challenger.

#5 Cait

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 12:11 PM

I was listening to one of the Sunday shows this Sunday past and they were talking about ACA and the roll out.  I heard one man [I don't remember his name] say that although there were a lot of people signing up, only sick people were signing up and ACA needed well people to sign up to actually produce lower heath costs. I remember thinking as soon as I heard him, "So, thousands of sick people now have insurance and somehow that's a bad idea?"  I don't understand that kind of thinking at all.

Lil, I'm so glad it was an easy process for you.  I know a friend here in LA that chose Blue Shield as well and now he has insurance that he desperately needs.

The national roll out might have sucked, but fixing some glitches [major though they may be] on a website is nothing, by order of magnitude, to the denial of insurance to our fellow citizens.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#6 BklnScott

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 01:56 PM

Glad the CA site was a good experience for you, Lil.  I understand that the state-level sites are, on the whole, functioning pretty well.  

On the national site - I am aghast at reports that a Federal website with a complicated legal and regulatory workflow is super glitchy on launch!  Say it ain't so!

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#7 Bad Wolf

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:01 PM

This is why I'm recommending that, whatever state they're in, USE THE PHONE.

I'm starting to wonder if the Federal website isn't being managed by the same folk who manage the site for San Diego Comic Con registrations.  That's only kinda a joke.

It's too bad it's all glitchy.
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#8 Bad Wolf

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:04 PM

View PostCait, on 21 October 2013 - 12:11 PM, said:

I was listening to one of the Sunday shows this Sunday past and they were talking about ACA and the roll out.  I heard one man [I don't remember his name] say that although there were a lot of people signing up, only sick people were signing up and ACA needed well people to sign up to actually produce lower heath costs. I remember thinking as soon as I heard him, "So, thousands of sick people now have insurance and somehow that's a bad idea?"  I don't understand that kind of thinking at all.

Lil, I'm so glad it was an easy process for you.  I know a friend here in LA that chose Blue Shield as well and now he has insurance that he desperately needs.

The national roll out might have sucked, but fixing some glitches [major though they may be] on a website is nothing, by order of magnitude, to the denial of insurance to our fellow citizens.

Cait, substitute "sick" with "pre-existing conditions" and you'll get exactly where that idiot was coming from.  Well, DUH.  Why?  Because those who DON'T HAVE pre existing conditions HAVE access to affordable insurance.

The whole POINT is to give people like me EQUAL (not better, just equal) access to comparable coverage.  So, YEAH, we sickies are indeed the ones signing up.  Because we're the ones who don't have it.
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#9 Cait

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 08:56 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on 21 October 2013 - 08:04 PM, said:


The whole POINT is to give people like me EQUAL (not better, just equal) access to comparable coverage.  So, YEAH, we sickies are indeed the ones signing up.  Because we're the ones who don't have it.

I've seen a lot of satire floating around about the GOP actually wanting to keep people sick.  I dismissed it as sort of bad satire, because no one would really actively campaign to deny health coverage.  BUT, when I heard this guy, I knew that it actually was .  Since the GOP only obstructs and doesn't have any plan for people like you or me, they actually are campaigning for sick people to stay sick and die.  

And before a concerned citizen comes in to deny this, show me a GOP plan that gets the millions of people with pre-existing conditions affordable health care.  Show me any plan that addresses the health care concerns of so many.  This isn't just about poor people who don't have coverage.  It's about people who have been DENIED coverage and been abandoned by health care because they had the misfortune to get sick.

But, no one wants to look into what the law actually changes, those that oppose it only want to scream like  a banshee about "socialism".  It's not even government run health care, it's private insurance for crying out loud.  People scream about premiums that will skyrocket, but that can only be true for those who already have insurance [if it were even true at all].  For those with no insurance, it allows them to get covered.  

But, let's get all hysterical about the premiums of those who have it and work morning, noon, and night to make sure those who need it can't access the system at all because that's the American thing to do.  Let's not even bother trying to come up with an alternative plan.

Don't get me started.  That guy really pissed me off.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#10 Bad Wolf

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:35 PM

Actually, a certain GOP candidate for president last time, in a former life, actually DID have a health care proposal that addressed pre existing conditions.  Then he became, Romney, the GOP stooge.
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#11 Bad Wolf

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:38 PM

What people fail to realize is that without government prop ups this economy would NEVER HAVE recovered from the Great Depression.  Because the Great Depression was caused by a capitalism free fall of a house built on funny money.  It's not our political system (we are a republic) that is in trouble it is our insistence that capitalism is actually so wonderful that is a problem.

People who fail to understand this have their heads in the sand (or some place worse that is even more unsavory and smelly)
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#12 Spectacles

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 01:52 PM

Well, here ya go, Lil. Senator Jim Inhofe-R sees your Obamacare success story and raises it with his own thank-god-I-didn't-have-socialized-medicine-like-Obamacare story!

http://www.huffingto...tml?ir=Politics

Quote

The senator said he was able to be treated right away because of his health care plan, but under a program like the Affordable Care Act, Inhofe said "with my age, that would have been about a six-month wait" because he did not have a heart attack.

"It's amazing. The people in any of these countries that have socialized medicine like Obama's trying to impose on America — the single pay, and we know that's what he's trying to do — should listen carefully," Inhofe said. "Let's hold on to what we've got here. You're talking to someone right now who probably wouldn't be here if we had socialized medicine in America."

James Inhofe, making sh*t up and misinforming voters since 1995.

A recent sample of his thinking:

http://thinkprogress...ming-is-a-hoax/
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#13 Cait

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:41 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 22 October 2013 - 01:52 PM, said:

Well, here ya go, Lil. Senator Jim Inhofe-R sees your Obamacare success story and raises it with his own thank-god-I-didn't-have-socialized-medicine-like-Obamacare story!



Since this is a thread for anecdotal stories, I'll up the Inhofe story.

This past June, I was hospitalized for about 6 days. [maybe it was 7, I forget].  Anyway, the hospital nearest to me is also part of UCLA, which means it accepts Federal Funds for operating.  Hospitals that receive Federal funds had to begin to adapt to ACA last year [I think].  

I came in through Emergency because I thought I was having a heart attack.  I wasn't, but I was having all the symptoms and so I was hospitalized.  Well, 2 days later I was fine, and they still don't really know what it was.  perhaps it was a blood clot in my lungs, but my heart is fine, and beating as strong as a native drum [Cardiologist's words not mine.]  Ordinarily, I would have then been released, but I wasn't.

I asked why and was told that once there, they had to be thorough.  Make sure nothing else was going on.  That ACA is big on catching things early and not waiting until an emergency visit.  I wanted to go home, but said OK.

They found hypothyroidism that had probably been missed since I was a late teen, stage three kidney disease, and found that what was diagnosed as hypertension years ago, was really something else, so they changed my medication.  All of these conditions are easily handled with medication and/or diet BECAUSE they were caught early.

In all my life, I have never had such good medical care, and I have had some pretty good care for specific conditions.  No one, not even a GP ever was that thorough, and the hypothyroidism can be caught in a simple blood test.  Actually all of it was caught in simple blood tests.  Blood test that have to be specifically ordered, it's not a simple blood count and sugar test, but still, it can be caught with one of the most inexpensive test in medicine today-- A BLOOD TEST.

So, now, I take hormone replacement for the thyroid, and it is like having a new life energy wise.  My diet handles my kidney disease and I'm told it is stable and given a careful diet it can stay stable for the rest of my life, and the hypertension, that isn't a problem anymore, is fine.

No heart attack, and in years gone by, any one of us would have been sent home once they knew it wasn't a heart attack.  Sent home with diseases that have practically no symptoms to report until they are critical.

So, Inhofe can rant all he wants to, but ACA improves actual care, and getting people covered will reduce health care costs because people can get diagnosed EARLY when the cost of treatment is minimal.  It's isn't a liberal POV; it is a simple economic reality.  If you spend the money on preventive care, you save big $$ from catastrophic diseases.  And any argument to the contrary is an argument that sends uninsured people to live disabled lives and an early grave.

I'm really no fan of Obama at all, but ACA is not a bad law.  It has bad press.  It has bad optics and bad spin, and a bad message has taken over, BUT the law itself improves health care.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#14 Spectacles

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:44 PM

Posted Image
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#15 Spectacles

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 02:49 PM

Quote

Cait: I'm really no fan of Obama at all, but ACA is not a bad law.  It has bad press.  It has bad optics and bad spin, and a bad message has taken over, BUT the law itself improves health care.

Pretty much my take, all of it. :)

I was reminded how much I DON'T like Obama when a caught a bit of his speech yesterday--when the woman fainted and he "caught" her. (bleah. Somehow, it's always about him.) BUT my dislike of him has nothing to do with whether or not the ACA helps a lot of people and moves us in the right direction toward improving health care. It does.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#16 Godeskian

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:18 PM

And a bad website. Don't forget the bad website :p

Frankly, I could have created a better website with my laptop and fifty bucks, let alone three hundred million.

Defy Gravity!


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#17 Cait

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:24 PM

View PostSpectacles, on 22 October 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:



I was reminded how much I DON'T like Obama when a caught a bit of his speech yesterday--when the woman fainted and he "caught" her. (bleah. Somehow, it's always about him.) BUT my dislike of him has nothing to do with whether or not the ACA helps a lot of people and moves us in the right direction toward improving health care. It does.

LOL, you hit it on the head for me too.  It is always about him.  I could regale you with astrological stories about Leo men, but this isn't the place.  Suffice it to say, yes, it is and always will be all about him.  It is actually the same with Bill Clinton, except Bill Clinton is a better politician.  But then Clinton is also a Leo.  [Oh, the stories I could tell about Leos.  LOL]

I suppose being an astrologer makes me see things in a slightly different light.  Bush Jr. is a Cancer, and every time he said, "He had a gut feeling" I laughed.  He is such a Cancer.  But, much as I disliked Bush Jr, he was not as narcissistic as Obama and Clinton [both Leos].  

Unfortunately, I'm the only one who gets the joke most of the time.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#18 Cait

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

View PostGodeskian, on 22 October 2013 - 03:18 PM, said:

And a bad website. Don't forget the bad website :p

Frankly, I could have created a better website with my laptop and fifty bucks, let alone three hundred million.

I was listening to Rush this morning [yes, I know, don't ask..] and he made an interesting point.  He said [in his own paranoid way] that Obama had over complicated the website so as to in the end be able to say "the only really good fix is single payer".  Which, actually is a really good fix to the complicated website.

It is complicated because there are so many insurance companies, so many ways to put a deal together, and all of it has to be processed in a single session on the site.  People are really critical of the website, but upon investigation, it's really not a simple fix.  Hell, it wasn't a simple project to put together in the first place, and for the first time ever, Rush had a really good point, only I'm sure not the same point I saw.  It would be so much simpler with single payer.  

And,  this might in fact be the reason the Republicans abandoned the idea originally [Heritage] and have fought so hard to dismantle ACA before it is implemented.  It is overly complicated administratively, but it is an excellent reform of actual health care.  People will notice the improvement in health care, and cry about the overly complicated forms and administration.  It will eventually lead to single payer.  Maybe, the GOP saw that all along.

Rules for surviving an Autocracy:

Rule#1: Believe the Autocrat.
Rule#2: Do not be taken in by small signs of normality.
Rule#3: Institutions will not save you.
Rule#4: Be outraged.
Rule#5: Don't make compromises.
Rule#6: Remember the future.

Source:
http://www2.nybooks....r-survival.html


#19 Spectacles

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 03:51 PM

^Yep.

That's what ol' Inhofe is yapping about: the slippery slope to [thunder]socialized medicine[/thunder].

But it is true: the website requires umpteen bazillion lines of code because the bill itself is a frankenstein of compromises to this insurer and that pharmaceutical company. It's absurdly complex--which is precisely what the GOP has capitalized on politically.

Complex things are hard to explain. Before you can get far into an explanation of how the exchanges work, some Republican comes along and shrieks "socialized medicine!" and your audience is spooked and running for the exits. With pitchforks.

We human beings of the 21st century really don't have patience to understand non-simple, good vs bad things.
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#20 Omega

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 05:43 PM

View PostCait, on 22 October 2013 - 03:24 PM, said:

I suppose being an astrologer makes me see things in a slightly different light.  Bush Jr. is a Cancer

No, I think everyone sees that.

View PostCait, on 22 October 2013 - 02:41 PM, said:

They found hypothyroidism that had probably been missed since I was a late teen, stage three kidney disease, and found that what was diagnosed as hypertension years ago, was really something else, so they changed my medication.  All of these conditions are easily handled with medication and/or diet BECAUSE they were caught early.

In all my life, I have never had such good medical care, and I have had some pretty good care for specific conditions.  No one, not even a GP ever was that thorough, and the hypothyroidism can be caught in a simple blood test.  Actually all of it was caught in simple blood tests.  Blood test that have to be specifically ordered, it's not a simple blood count and sugar test, but still, it can be caught with one of the most inexpensive test in medicine today-- A BLOOD TEST.

So, now, I take hormone replacement for the thyroid, and it is like having a new life energy wise.  My diet handles my kidney disease and I'm told it is stable and given a careful diet it can stay stable for the rest of my life, and the hypertension, that isn't a problem anymore, is fine.

Hypothyroidism is my go-to example. On one hand, society can pay $4/mo for your medication, and you can be a productive tax-paying citizen. On the other hand, we can save that $4/mo, and you can become totally unable to work, go on welfare for years, end up in the ER in a coma (where we still pay your much more expensive bill), and die young.

Which is the better deal, again?



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