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Old 10-01-2013, 02:07 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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going to try out the state insurance exchange

There are way too many opinion threads on this forum about the ACA without any actual data. Today is the day the exchanges open, since im a self employed single payer, I am seriously considering surfing the exchanges and comparing with my current insurance costs and seeing if I save money.

Meanwhile, my fiance (wife in a month) has no insurance, and must comply with getting insurance this month as required under the ACA.
The reasons for this are she has a preexisting medical condition, and could not afford to pay 390 bucks a month (quoted from BCBS) on top of rent, student loans, ect to insure herself.

some info about our insurance needs and the local situation-

the only company on the RI insurance exchange is "Blue Cross, Blue Shield of RI" This is the company I currently do business with already.

I am 32, good health, non smoker, no preexisting condition apart from sports injuries. The fiance is 30, good health, non smoker, and has an anemic condition. Nothing big.

I currently pay BCBS of RI $234.53 for a insurance plan with a 2500 dollar deductible, and an out of pocket maximum of 5 grand, and a dental plan. the division is 194.54 for insurance, 39.99 for dental. I make approximately 35k a year.

Surfing the exchanges, I find a close BCBS of RI plan with similar features listed at $253.58. This one has a 2600 dollar deductible, but a better out of pocket maximum of 4 grand. It is roughly equivalent to my current plan, and based on my income, I do not qualify for any tax credits.

Dental is next, my current 39.99 a month dental plan is listed as the "dental direct essential plan".
The exchange lists the exact same plan as $31.20.

If I were to switch to BCBS insurance through the state insurance exchange, I would go from paying $234.53 to paying $284.78 with a little better benefits as far as maximum out of pocket for a similar plan. It will not be cost effective for me to change from my current plan. If I were to double my deductible up to 5k, I could pay about $227.20.

The biggest difference for our family unit will be the fiances difference in insurance. I just plugged all the info in for her (she has about the same income, about 30k a year), and instead of the quoted 390 bucks a month from BCBS, she can buy insurance for as low as $188 dollars a month (with a 5k deductible).

Done as a family unit with a combined income of 65000, our total costs would come in around 400-500 bucks a month on the exchange with a 2500 dollar deductible. This is a doable situation.


I then started playing with the income levels, and if our income was 40k as a family unit, insurance for our family would be under 100 bucks based on tax credits.

Everyone should start playing with the exchange websites and see what things are locally in their states, I found this a very interesting exercise

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Old 10-01-2013, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by JB3 View Post
...Meanwhile, my fiance (wife in a month) has no insurance, and must comply with getting insurance this month as required under the ACA...
I don't think that is correct. I believe that the ACA requires her to have insurance by 1/1/14. IMHO, she should not be in a hurry to sign up. Give it a few weeks and see what happens.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:15 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Honus View Post
I don't think that is correct. I believe that the ACA requires her to have insurance by 1/1/14. IMHO, she should not be in a hurry to sign up. Give it a few weeks and see what happens.
Wasn't there a one month compliance thing, or maybe that was later when its in effect? I don't know for sure, with all the crap flying around about this law, how it actually impacts each of us is confusing. Ill have to research and make sure.
If the time limit is longer, we will continue as we are until next month and then buy a family plan, which will also allow more observation.

EDIT- yeah, you were right, next year is the cutoff.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:27 PM
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I tried to log in this morning and made the stupid mistake of forgetting my password. I was supposed to get an email with a new password, but that must be coming from another part of the gubmint that's shut down cause it's been half a day already.

I can wait, I guess. I pretty much know that based on my projected retirement income and 2 dependents, I am going to get a hefty subsidy. I don't know what the deductibles and fine print is yet. I can tell that there is a lot of competition in my area in Florida, with about 15-20 plans offered for each "metal" (the actual prices were published a few days ago, but without all the fine print). Playing with the subsidy calculator, I agree that there is quite a difference in subsidy at various income levels. In my case, it may be possible to manage my income (keep it lower) in the few years we need to buy insurance and live a bit large(r) when I get to Medicare age.

JB3- are you saying there is only BCBS in RI on both the state and fed exchanges?

I am reading the deadline for having insurance (through the exchanges) as 3/31/14

"After open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014, they won't be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period, unless they have a qualifying life event." from the website..but I could be wrong...
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Last edited by rs899; 10-01-2013 at 02:37 PM.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:44 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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Originally Posted by rs899 View Post
I tried to log in this morning and made the stupid mistake of forgetting my password. I was supposed to get an email with a new password, but that must be coming from another part of the gubmint that's shut down cause it's been half a day already.

I can wait, I guess. I pretty much know that based on my projected retirement income and 2 dependents, I am going to get a hefty subsidy. I don't know what the deductibles and fine print is yet. I can tell that there is a lot of competition in my area in Florida, with about 15-20 plans offered for each "metal" (the actual prices were published a few days ago, but without all the fine print). Playing with the subsidy calculator, I agree that there is quite a difference in subsidy at various income levels. In my case, it may be possible to manage my income (keep it lower) in the few years we need to buy insurance and live a bit large(r) when I get to Medicare age.

JB3- are you saying there is only BCBS in RI on both the state and fed exchanges?

I am reading the deadline for having insurance (through the exchanges) as 3/31/14

"After open enrollment ends on March 31, 2014, they won't be able to get health coverage through the Marketplace until the next annual enrollment period, unless they have a qualifying life event." from the website..but I could be wrong...
at least on the state website for individuals or families its only BCBS. This was the same previously though. They have the market cornered pretty well for health insurance in RI. I think there are some other providers, but I haven't seen any yet. Im pretty sure I had a tenant last year that had another insurance provider, but I can't remember what it was

this is what the state website looks like-
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HealthSource RI _ Plan Summary.pdf (23.2 KB, 126 views)
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Old 10-01-2013, 04:57 PM
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Our insurance broker said that there have been delays in implementation and the exchanges opening here in CT so the "must have by" dates could very well have been extended in other states (I missed part of the conversation due to a phone call and wasn't interested enough to follow up on it).

Please let us all know how things work out. We're seriously considering giving everyone a raise in the amount of what their insurance costs us every year in premiums and letting them fend for themselves on the health insurance front. We don't want to do it if it sucks, though.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SwampYankee View Post
Our insurance broker said that there have been delays in implementation and the exchanges opening here in CT so the "must have by" dates could very well have been extended in other states (I missed part of the conversation due to a phone call and wasn't interested enough to follow up on it).

Please let us all know how things work out. We're seriously considering giving everyone a raise in the amount of what their insurance costs us every year in premiums and letting them fend for themselves on the health insurance front. We don't want to do it if it sucks, though.
Swamp, as much as I have used the tool over the years (figure between AS, spinal fracture, 4 kids getting borned and breakin' stuff, etc.... the small army of insurance companies my employers have trotted out for me to deal with are out of pocket somewhere just north of a cool million) - it is my humble opinion that you're on the right track.

We need to break the link between employment and insurance.... it doesn't work now and I can't begin to imagine a universe in which it ever could work to the benefit of anybody (say, maybe, the folks seeking medical care) other than the shareholders of the insurance companies.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:08 PM
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I've been trying to get in without success. Seems their servers are overwhelmed. My goodness, as unpopular as this law supposedly is, you'd think people'd be staying away in droves.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by elchivito View Post
I've been trying to get in without success. Seems their servers are overwhelmed. My goodness, as unpopular as this law supposedly is, you'd think people'd be staying away in droves.
No kidding, especially this is AZ . . . the finger in your face, Mr. President, state/

BTW, somehow AZ rounded up over a hundred plans and has the second lowest prices in the country, being handled by the federal government's umbrella.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:24 PM
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. . . it's not a big truck you can just dump things on . .

The Senator Explains It All
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:29 PM
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. . . it's not a big truck you can just dump things on . .

The Senator Explains It All
"A series of tubes" That's a classic.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:30 PM
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Actually, I had never heard the nearly full clip, which is actually funnier than the "sound bite" that is often quoted.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:43 PM
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I'm glad my job does not include people following me around with microphones. I shudder to think they would capture and post on the internet for posterity.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:25 PM
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I checked the Colorado exchange. Works well, at least for seeing the available plans. Prices seem to be about the same as prices I looked at last May for non-exchange insurance. About $750 for a $5k deductible plan for a 60 and 56 yr old.
Subsidies seem odd. It was reported that subsidies would apply up to 400% of the federal poverty level but that's definitely not the case in all states. Using the kaiser foundation calculator, some subsidies were cutting out at about 250%.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:12 PM
JB3 JB3 is offline
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got an email from the state discussing that it will be a few weeks before bugs are worked out of the various exchanges, not helped by the shutdown nonsense going on. Concerning the rants that were posted and deleted, Id relax and try to be patient, let the bugs work out a bit before launching into a full on rant about usability.

Looking at the local exchange again, I hadn't realized I could just get dental on the exchange, and I wouldn't have to drop my current regular plan, just my 40 dollar dental rider that goes with it. Easy way for me to save 10 bucks a month.

Have to say the RI insurance exchange website is pretty good, im wondering if each state came up with their own? or are they sharing a standard format?

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