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Brief background: A healthcare.gov account created in the first half of October had $0 subsidy amounts as opposed to the expected $550/month. The call center rep suggested I "appeal" the finding.
On the advice of the good members of this community, I created another account with a new email address.
The site worked great. Fast response times. No error messages (well, except maybe one, more about that at the end). I got a bunch of questions about income sources which I am positive the system didn't ask me the first time around (which may explain the actual problem). Kinda feels like I had created my account on what was effectively a system still under active development; well, this weekend I got to see it live! And it was great.
Turns out I underestimated my mom's (that is who the insurance is for) income and overestimated what the subsidy should be. She missed the cost sharing reduction cutoff but that's ok. She is now enrolled as of 1/1/2014. Thanks you every voter who voted for a Democratic national candidate in the last few years.
Just one thing though. I wasn't able to pay the bill. I expected to be able to but the button for paying didn't work. It gave me a message instead telling me to expect a call from Horizon. Is that normal?
ETA: I forgot to summarize the impact of this on my mom. She saves about $150/month on insurance premiums with this ACA plan and she finally has insurance that doesn't limit her to 10 days per year of hospitalization. I could have pushed the premium down even lower (the lowest cost plan was $300 less than what she pays today) but I'm not a fan of how narrow the networks are in those plans. To me, if I had to complain about something that would be it. The networks are very very narrow in the cheapest (by premium) plans. That is going to bite a lot of people in the ass in the years ahead.
Tue Nov 19, 2013 at 10:42 AM PT: UPDATE: It's Tuesday and my mom hasn't heard from Horizon yet so I decided to call them myself. After spending a few minutes on hold, I got someone live who told me I needed to be redirected to the correct extension, which she did and.... it wasn't the correct extension. I hung up. Some other time.... as if healthcare.gov's initial difficulties weren't bad enough, now I have to deal with the usual insurer bullshit.