November 30th has passed and we have been assured that healthcare.gov is working the way it should have on October 1st. Although individuals may be able to access the site and input information through December 23 for 2014, will they really be covered by January 1, 2014? Is it REALLY that easy to select a provider, obtain subsidies and purchase the appropriate coverage?
Hardly. And prompt enrollment is critical for many people. Some individuals have no coverage, either because it has been unaffordable or because they have had preexisting conditions that resulted in their being rejected by health insurance carriers. There are also people for whom existing coverage will expire by year end. Should an individual be hospitalized on in the midst of treatment for cancer, the loss of the coverage could be devastating from a financial and medical standpoint.
Once an individual selects a provider, how does the insurance company “upload” the information from healthcare.gov? Generally, it takes 2-3 weeks for a provider to process a new application, notify the applicant and, subsequently accept claims. Many people had attempted to look at plans, but technology glitches prevent them from seeing the information. Others did plan comparisons and were unable to get back into healthcare.gov to make a final selection. It remains to be seen if a completed application submitted in December will result to coverage by January 1st.
The calculation of subsidies has been a challenge for healthcare.gov and, at the same time, individuals don’t always realize that their subsidy has been miscalculated. It is not until they review their coverage that the correct amount is displayed. Difficult to say whether that can be resolved on a timely basis.
The good news is that the Obamacare deadline for enrolling in a health insurance program for 2014 is March 31, 2014. Plenty of time if an individual doesn’t mind going without coverage for a few weeks.
For additional information, contact EAB HealthWorks.