Wednesday, October 16, 2013

HealthCare.gov: More Frustration

I was curious to know what health insurance costs will be when I retire, hopefully at the end of 2014.  But at least through the Idaho exchange, there is no way to get an estimate, short of actually applying for insurance.  (The federal exchange at least has something to help you estimate this.)  The problem is that when you apply for insurance, you are signing "under penalty of perjury" that the information that you have supplied is correct.

Currently I have health insurance, so I would not be eligible.  If I plug in the information for what I will have if I retire, then the information that I am supplying is false, and I would be perjuring myself.  As a result, I cannot do on the state exchange what I can do on just about any other e-commerce site: find out what something is going to cost before I buy it.  And no other e-commerce site requires me to submit information on penalty of perjury.

UPDATE: I went to eHealth, and there I was able to get a quote for Obamacare complaint health care for my wife and I.  The bronze level plan from Blue Cross ($6350 individual annual deductible, $12,700 family) is $619.62 per month.  By comparison, the lowest cost 2013 plan ($5000 individual annual deductible, $10,000 family, but primarily a hospitalization plan) was $374.41 per month.  Thanks, President Obama!

UPDATE 2: idahomarketplace.org is another web site that gives price quotes without requiring you to provide gobs of detail under penalty of perjury to get a quote.

11 comments:

Unknown said...

I think your best bet for future planning purposes is the Kaiser estimator -- it is based upon their understanding of the law and the market and not actually prices from real insurance plans.

That doesn't get around the problem of intentional price opacity. Price opacity has led me to reject vendors in the past or decide that I didn't really need what was on offer.

Unknown said...

Did I include the link?:

http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/


JohnG said...

Why look on Obamacare for coverage above 65. Medicare still exists and supplemental plans are still sold by private insurers who will give you a quote.

w said...

You can count on it being a lot higher than it would be if you retired today.....

Bottom line is probably they don't want you to know how bad it will be hence these disclosure requirements before seeing quotes. I know...not too helpful.

I will need to work well past Medicare age and honestly don't expect to retire but either die first or no one will hire me because of age or health in which case I hope I die shortly thereafter that point.

I am on a cheap plan--lousy coverage, but all I can afford these days. I understand that goes away after 1/1 so I will likely become a criminal.

There is NO WAY we can provide 100% health coverage for all. Either prices go way up or services are cut or likely we will see both happen. To think otherwise is to live in a Utopian fantasy land.

Clayton Cramer said...

JohnG: I am not even close to 65. I am 56. I do not have to wait until Medicare age to retire.

JohnG said...

Congrats Clayton. Hope you enjoy retirement. You're certainly young enough to do so.

One thing that makes me tremble a bit about the Obamacare process is, as you note, the requirement that you must divulge a lot of information to the government during the lookup/signup process. Having done that, if you choose not to sign up for coverage the government has all that info to track you down and seek enforcement of the insurance requirement...plus whatever other aims a nefarious bureaucrat might want.

Hell Lois Lerner...

Clayton Cramer said...

w: You are somewhat correct. There are steps that could have been taken to fix some of the problems. For example, Bush after the 2004 election tried to get Congress to pursue a change to federal law to allow associations of businesses to create interstate insurance pools. This would have helped, especially for the vast number of small businesses out there which have 10-20 employees.

There are other areas for improvement, such as allowing individuals who are not self-employed to deduct health insurance premiums on Schedule A. But that would take away some of the advantage that large corporations and unions enjoy.

There is no question that steps could be taken to reduce medical costs by increasing the supply of doctors, which would drive down wages.

None of these are perfect, and people at the bottom will almost certainly need governmental assistance (but we already do that through emergency rooms).

Clayton Cramer said...

w: When I said, "somewhat correct" I meant that much of what you are saying is correct (100% health care coverage is not cheap, and will require subsidies), but that there are some areas where we can substantially improve the current system without subsidies.

JohnG said...

My 2nd comment should have ended with "Hello Lois Lerner..." as in "Paging Lois..."

I regret the typo.

Also, check out this report from FoxNews about security flaws in Obamacare potentially leaving it open to hackers and thieves: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/10/16/obamacare-website-poses-privacy-threat/

Christopher B said...

I've read a bunch of commentary regarding the need to actually apply before getting quotes. It's the proverbal "not a bug but a feature" ... it serves to hide the cost of the high cost of the insurnace plans from the merely curious.

Slim said...

I think if you go to idahomarketplace.org, you can see the rates. I cannot vouch for this, but they says the rates are the same as the public marketplace.