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So on day 3 we were finally able to get into the site (more on that below).

My wife and I own a small business and for years now have been paying astronomical rates but because of that horrible Obamacare our family will be financially destroyed, or not :-)

Our 2013 Health Ins Premium - $1,850/mo or $22,200 per year
(this is coverage for my wife and I only)

Our 2014 Health Ins Premium  under Obamacare - $921/mo or $11,052 per year

Annual Savings - $11,148
Now in full disclosure the plans (we selected a Platinum Plan) are a little different than ours now, better in some areas and not as good in others but with a maximum out of pocket cap of $3,000 total no matter what happens we are way ahead.

The only thing that would have made me happier would have been an expansion of Medicare for all, but maybe some day.

A word about the glitches. I am sorry there is no excuse for the website to not have worked (with a few minor glitches) from day one. This is Obama's largest and most important program and they have seen this October 1st deadline for over 2 years. I think that Obama should publicly fire Sebelius for this a error. Not because she personally messed up but because she was the captain of the ship and they ran aground. Obama needs to send a message to his folks that good intentions are not enough at their level they actually have to perform, well!

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Comment Preferences

  •  The GOP in the House repeatedly blocked (11+ / 0-)

    funding for this . .. .

    A word about the glitches. I am sorry there is no excuse for the website to not have worked (with a few minor glitches) from day one.
    (so maybe your ire is just a tad misplaced).
  •  Hey, just remember! (7+ / 0-)

    Each and every one of those dollars your greedy, money-grubbing peasant hands get to keep is one that the hard-working, righteous insurance company exec can't take!

    You should be ashamed of yourself - how will he be able to afford that second Cayman Island this year? It brings tears to my eyes contemplating the hardship and privation you're subjecting these titans of commerce to!


    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 09:22:17 AM PDT

  •  Glitches (12+ / 0-)

    I was able to create an account yesterday, but got stuck in the process where I couldn't read my eligibility report and further steps (such as reviewing and selecting plans) were "locked."

    So this morning I tried again & it was still no go. I decided to take the radical step of pressing the "Chat Now" button on the lower right of the screen. Surely the help desk personnel would be totally swamped and I'd never reach anyone. Well, the chat window opened up and cycled through a "please wait" message every 30 seconds for about 10 minutes when, lo and behold, "Richard" appeared to help.

    Richard apologized for the problems and said I should call a toll-free number to get it sorted out. After a couple voice recognition prompts I talked to a live person in just a minute or two. He was able to resolve the problem. Seems I had neglected to answer a question about whether I am a current or past smoker. Anyway, after he fixed that up I was able to log in and look at the plans.

    •  How did you like your plans, options and prices? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, Involuntary Exile

      I realize that we are probably saving more than the average person but I suspect most will save some, especially those who are self insured.

      •  I have employer coverage through UHC (4+ / 0-)

        ...which is currently in the open enrollment phase as well, & I thought Id compare what's available on the exchange. Like most people, I've seen my premiums go up with every annual enrollment, and it looks like this year I'll pay $490/month to UHC for an individual, zero deductible, $4,000 max out-of-pocket, no benefit limit plan that pays about 80% of costs. From what I see on the exchange, I think that comes in at about the high "gold" level.

        My AGI is just over 4x the federal poverty guideline, so that means no subsidy on the exchanges. Even so, reports that I have 26 plans available at the bronze, silver and gold levels (no platinum). The least expensive "gold" plan comes in at $595:

        This is in Ohio, age 58. So that's about $100 above what I'm paying now, so for now my employer insurance has the edge, which makes sense because they are kicking in some ($4,000/yr IIRC).

        Anyway, good to know there are reasonable options available if I ever need them, and preexisting conditions are not a bar.

        •  Contact your employer (0+ / 0-)

          They can tell you exactly what your plan is rated at with regards to  the tiers.

          When the affordability measurement is done they do the calculation that determines the % of costs covered which = the tiers.

          As a decision maker at a large employer I am amazed you have a zero deductible plan.  Your employer is clearly in the minority.  I'm kind of shocked they haven't put in some level of deductible to bring down the premium and shift the cost to more usage based.  $490 a month for an individual employee share is a really big number.  Our silver plan costs in total about $3500/year per employee of which I subsidize 80%.  Clearly as a total cost point a person would pay more with our plan if used but I'm of the belief that that is how insurance should be.  No point having ridiculous premiums for employees that are minimal users.

          •  FWIW, this is retiree coverage (0+ / 0-)

            Current employees are doing much better premium-wise.

            I would like to see a higher deductible offering that brings down the premium, since my annual medical bills are minimal. In fact, I was hoping that the "bronze" plans offered in the exchange would be in that territory. Unfortunately, the cheapest bronze plan listed for me is $502, and at that has a high deductible and max:

            So even that's slightly more than I'm paying now, for less coverage. Again, I'm not complaining & in fact am glad the options are out there. Also, it's not about me, and many people will get a subsidy.

            •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              That's the point exactly.

              For companies not like yours who are already offering good plans those employees are stuck into individually rated plans.  Even worse if they have a PEC they are screwed.

              Now that working person has competitive options.  And options that get even more attractive with the subsidy.

    •  I got stuck setting up the account at the step (0+ / 0-)

      where their server was supposed to send out a verification email with a confirmation link, but the email had no text body.   I was able to reach the help desk almost immediately by phone but so far the issue is unresolved.   I can't log in and I can't recreate the account.

  •  I was all set to recommend this, (15+ / 0-)

    until I got to the bit about Sebelius at the end. In my opinion, she's been absolutely amazing in her role at HHS. And sure, the exchange websites were having trouble early on (and may still be), but that's a reflection of higher than expected demand, and there's not a lot of urgency here anyway: people can enroll through 12/15 for coverage starting 1/1.

    This was a herculean effort against overwhelming headwinds. What she and her agency have achieved in this environment is remarkable.

    Oh, and getting the senate to replace Sebelius at HHS? That would make the fight over the Cordray confirmation seem like a walk in the park.

    PS. Congrats on your good news!

    PPS. For those who want to research rates without putting extra demand on the exchange websites, here's a great resource:

    •  Thanks - that's a very useful link. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Actually, I think on this first go round, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      people can enroll until sometime in March - a 6 month window this time, then that Dec. 15 deadline kicks in in 2014.  If this is incorrect, I apologize, I'm going by what I've read about the PPACA.

      The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent. -Gore Vidal, author (1925-2012)

      by Spirit of Life on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 01:13:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You could be right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Calamity Jean

        I know that enrollment is open through March in the first year. But I was under the impression that if you signed up, say, sometime in January, you'd be insured starting 2/1, in February on 3/1, etc. But I'm totally guessing here.

  •  50% less? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North, skrekk, Calamity Jean

    That's outrageous, you shouldn't pay it. ;)

  •  I created an account (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    True North

    I was able to create an account for NH about an hour ago. However, after I replied to the link to verify my e-mail address I was not able to log back on. I guess I will keep trying over the next few days!

    Anyway, I do get health insurance through my employer and was just curious what my premiums would be through the exchange. I hope these glitches are all fixed soon.

    •  Try this: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      i dunno, cheerio2

      In combination with a subsidy calculator like Kaiser's:

      Should give you a general idea. If you want to research plans more specifically, just identify the plan in the first link above, and then search on the website of that particular insurer for the specific plan and its features.

      •  Great link, thank you (0+ / 0-)

        This is the first source I've been able to find with actual numbers that apply to my family. is still telling me my 47KB upload exceeds the 10MB maximum.

        I've straightened out most of its other mess-ups, though it still swaps home and cell.  Who knows whether the error is on the input page or the display page, or what the internals really think each number is.  I had to switch to email notices because of that glitch.

        The improvement in premiums is surprisingly underwhelming, but then I don't have next year's rates yet for the grandfathered plan we expect to give up.  In fact the difference is close enough that (surprise, surprise) when we factor in the pre-tax HSA contributions we'd be spending against deductible in the grandfathered plan versus the post-tax money we'd spend against the deductible and OOP max in the ACA plan, the new ACA plan may not be as good.

        On the other hand, we will be free at last (after more than 10 years' insurance captivity) to move to another state without ending up uninsured.

        Ideology is when you have the answers before you know the questions.
        It is what grows into empty spaces where intelligence has died.

        by Alden on Fri Oct 04, 2013 at 02:03:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I do so wish all the curious people (0+ / 0-)

      that are so lucky to have employer insurance would just leave the site to those of us who need it the most and come back later to browse. Please ask any curious friends and coworkers to wait a month or two. Thanks!

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

      by CoyoteMarti on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 12:42:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You simply cannot build in enough server (6+ / 0-)

    capacity to handle the day 1 traffic.
    Do so makes things much more expensive and gives you far, far more capacity than you need for regular traffic.
    Look at any recent release of any game with an online component -- the first few days are a mess with huge server queues and other server issues. Then once traffic evens out, everything is fine.

  •  Please clarify, did you complete an enrollment... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...actually and get some kind of confirmation from the federal exchange? Thanks.

  •  I think people don't realize (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    itskevin, cheerio2, Calamity Jean

    How big this law should be for small businesses.

    Consider this.  You own a business and hire 10 employees.  The cost to provide a plan to such a small group makes it impossible to carry an affordable plan and to do so would cause such a level of company subsidization that it is too costly to the small business.  In a group this small one person with cancer will blow the plan claims experience apart.

    The by product is talent that may be interested in taking a job with you may work at another employer just to get insurance coverage.  So your draw for better talent drops.

    With ACA, if that talent can now work at your company, get a subsidized plan so their out of pocket is the same or less than the other employer you can now compete for talent that you otherwise had no shot with.

    And because you are a small employer what is your cost in taxes for not providing an affordable plan.....$0.

  •  Looks like you love Obamacare? (0+ / 0-)

    Please check out my latest blog post and contribute your opinions about Obamacare on our new platform!

  •  I had no difficulty this morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    This is on the RI website (and BTW, let's remember that the Federal site is only handling the states that REFUSED to set up their own exchange). I called and within 5 seconds was connected to a live person who was knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. She answered all my questions. Then I went onto the website, set up an account, saw my options, and filled out most of the form. I still have to think about my choices so saved without actually buying.

    What floored me: I am not that low-income, but less than 250% of poverty line. And I'm in the highest most expensive age bracket. My total cost, net of subsidies?

    For a bronze plan, $1.74 a month.
    I hope they do it by electronic debit, because having to pay for a stamp would raise the price 25%! The preventative services alone are worth a lot more than that. I may go with the silver (for a whopping $69.68 a month), or may just stick with the bronze -- depends on how much I want to gamble on my good health continuing.

    It's off the front pages of most newspapers and media now that the big first-day launch is over, but I think word will spread pretty fast that this is the Real Deal (or in Biden-speak, a BFD). The person I spoke with said that doctors and hospitals are telling their uninsured patients to call in, which is a logical form of outreach.

    •  One important correction. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      There are a number of states, like Illinois, who indeed set up their own exchanges and are very supportive of the ACA but in "cooperation" with the feds so they could use the federal website. IL has a big budget problem right now and they didn't want to risk a total failure in doing their own site.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

      by CoyoteMarti on Thu Oct 03, 2013 at 12:50:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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