I had previously written a five part series on the Affordable Care Act. I also followed that up with my opinions about the new Health Care Law. I went through the entire text of the new health care law and broke it down. I informed our readers of the good and the bad. The helpful and the downright silliness. In this article I would like to give you my personal experience with the new health care website. I want to break down the time frame it took. My opinion of the website. And the costs associated with the new insurance that I purchased for me and my family.
I admit that I was one of the earlier people trying to get onto the health care exchange. I actually tried the night of the first day. And of course I got error after error with no success. I tried a few more times in the month of October with no success. My wife tried the health care site in early November and was able to create a profile. I tried repeatedly to submit my application with frustrating errors and duplication of information. The navigation of the website was very confusing. So, I did what most everyone else was forced to do. I waited and listened to the news media destroy Obamacare. I finally waited till Saturday, December 7th at eight o’clock in the evening, Mountain Standard Time.
So this last Saturday, I tried to log in to my previous health care profile with no luck. So I decided to create a new profile and start a new application. This time there was no duplication of information and with the exception of a few confusing navigation issues. I successfully submitted an application for health care. This process only took me about 15 minutes and I needed birthdays and social security numbers. You will also need to understand what type of income you make approximately. No where in the application process did I need to put in my actual income. This would be easy enough by multiplying your monthly income by twelve. Or multiplying your weekly income by 52 subtracting maybe a week or two for vacations. I wasn’t eligible for the lower income premium assistance. However, I was eligible for the tax credit. The nice thing about the tax credit is that you can choose to apply it directly to the cost of your premium.
This brings me to the sign up process for my individual health care plan. In Idaho it appears that we have three different providers. I am currently with Blue Cross of Idaho and have no issues or complaints. The other two are Select Health and Pacific Source. The menu for the health care selection page gives you the option to compare three different plans and also to sort the plans out by different search criteria. One thing that surprised me was the lack of HSA qualified plans. In my past experiences with health care coverage. The HSA qualified plan was a great way to save money for health care related expenses while receiving a tax incentive to do so. There were a few HSA plans available. However, with the quality of health care plans that were not HSA qualified. I see no reason to utilize my HSA account any further. If you have an HSA with a large balance then I would take that into consideration as a reason to keep an HSA plan.
I was able to select a Gold Tier plan with a $2000 family deductible that has an out of pocket yearly maximum of $12,700. This plan will cost me about $365 a month, that is compared to my $460 a month for my $10,000 HSA qualified plan currently. This gives me a savings of approximately $100 a month for a much better health care plan. We also used to have dental insurance. But we decided to cancel it towards the end of the year due to the waiting periods involved. This dental insurance is the same amount through the exchange at $132 a month. And after January 1, 2014 there is no waiting period for dental care for kids 19 and younger. However, there is a 24-month waiting period for orthodontics. Total with a family of four we will pay $495 a month for health insurance and dental insurance. Being a self-employed truck driver, I feel that this is actually a pretty good deal.
I called Blue Cross of Idaho the two days later on Monday to verify the application. They were able to pull up the application and insurance coverage to start January 1, 2014. I took some time to ask some specific questions regarding my policy and was very please. The representative at Blue Cross of Idaho was very accommodating and helpful. She also was able to cancel my old policy during the call for the end of the year while she explained the new policy. Overall I am pleased with the company that I chose and the health care policy I selected. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about my health care experience, feel free to use this contact us link and let us know. Or you can fill out the comments section at the bottom of this blog. Thanks for taking the time to read this article and good luck with your new health insurance!