Tuesday, October 22, 2013

HealthCare.gov Review and Errors

Like many Americans who are uninsured or looking for new health care coverage, I have been trying to go through the new health care market place system at HealthCare.gov.  This launched October 1st and is supposed to be the way to go to get the best and most affordable health care coverage.  According to news and reports many users are having trouble getting the website to work correctly.

I was able to sign up for an account and get all the way to the part where you apply for eligibility to get financial assistance.  It said my results were ready to view but every time I click the button to view them, it just brings up a blank page.  I tried all the solutions such as restarting, disabling pop up blockers and using different browsers.  Nothing worked and I am still getting the blank page.  I can't really move on in the process because you need to know your eligibility status before actually applying.

I contacted the support twice by chat and once by phone.  Neither method was able to provide a solution to fix the problem.  I even asked them on phone if they could tell me what my status was, but they were unable to do this. So now I think it is just a matter of waiting until they fix the bugs on the website.  News and reviews say they are working to make it better, so it may just be that we have to wait and try it again later.

UPDATE 12-13-13
They added the option to delete an application in progress and start over so I tried that and was able to get the results without an error this time.  Once you get the results it will tell you how much of a credit if any you can apply to your plan when you choose one.

It gives you several different companies to choose from as well as different level plans such as Bronze, Silver, and Gold.  I compared these plans to identical plans from the same companies directly from their website and they were the same cost. They give descriptions of the features of each but I still find it confusing and not clear exactly what the plans cover and what you will have to pay for your self.

I will probably sign up for one of the basic plans soon.  They say if you do not have health coverage in 2014 there is a fee of $95 per person that you have to pay.  That is not much compared to how much you will pay for the health insurance, but it is still better to have the insurance just in case. 

UPDATE 1-1-14
So I have been reviewing the plans available and none of them look very good.  For example, I'm looking for one that has a low premium and a higher deductible which is best for people who are healthy and don't expect many medical bills.  The cheapest plan is about $100 per month and that is after a discount.  This plan also has a $6000 deductible.  So that means with this plan, you have to pay about $7200 before it begins to even cover anything including a basic doctor visit.  That is just not worth it.  You would be better off just paying out of pocket.  As for now I am going to hold off on signing up until there are better options or lower costs.  

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