We are four days from the “real” ObamaCare D-Day. Come the dawn of the new year when all those newly covered folks start showing up in emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and doctor’s offices expecting to be able to take advantage of their new affordable health care we will enter Phase 2 of Disaster Recovery.
Phase 1 has been the on-going attempt to make the website functional enough so that the administration can sell their PR program to their accomplices in the major media. Since we’ve been buried in stories about all the people who’ve been hitting the site and the administration’s spokes-flacks have been crowing about all the people who’ve “enrolled”, that job is done.
Phase 2 starts when people start showing up expecting actual medical care. The likelihood is that January will make October look like a stroll in the park for the most transparent administration ever.
So far they’ve gone out of their way to talk about “enrollments” in general terms and they’ve gotten away with it because they won’t take questions from The Curmudgeon. An “enrollment” to most of us would mean that you have a policy and you have an insurance card because you’ve made a payment on the insurance.
Go to an auto insurance website, fill out the application, get a price quote, enter your credit/debit card information, the insurer verifies your card and gets paid and THEN you get your policy information. If you don’t make the payment and have an accident the insurer isn’t going to say, “You didn’t make your payment, but that’s OK, we know this insurance stuff is hard. We’re going to pay to fix your car and you can send us a payment when you get around to it.”
Believe it or not, we’re being sold a bill of goods by the administration and the media that the people who are buying health insurance (not health care) through the exchanges aren’t bright enough to understand that paragraph. Unfortunately, they may be right.
If you buy one of the less expensive insurance plans sold through the health law’s marketplaces, you may be in for a surprise. Some plans will not pay for a doctor visit before you meet your annual deductible, which could be thousands of dollars.
“This could be the next shoe to drop, as people don’t realize that if they’re buying a bronze plan, they may have to pay $5,000 out of pocket before it contributes a penny,” said Carl McDonald, senior analyst with Citi Investment Research, speaking at a Washington, D.C., conference last month.
Oops. So much for the “affordable” part. And, it gets worse.
So January has finally arrived, maybe New Year’s Eve didn’t end so well for you, and you’ve decided to take your brand-new Obamacare coverage out for a test drive.
Except — oops — maybe your new health insurer doesn’t have any record of you.<<
Yep, oops. In Phase 1 the administration simply changed the sign up dates and crammed the changes down the throats of the insurers. It should be obvious to anyone who’s ever run so much as a lemonade stand – which excludes everyone in the Obama administration – that there are huge problems ahead.
It’s one thing to mandate that insurers accept applications for policies up to some artificial date, it’s going to be interesting to see how they manage the mess that is created when the health care providers discover they’ve got patients who think they have insurance – or who just say they do – but they can’t verify coverage.
The administration doesn’t have a Plan B for that.
The problem, though, is that all of the last-minute rule changes could create confusion and add to the mounting stress on insurers to process late enrollments quickly — so some could still fall through the cracks.
“The concern about the constantly changing deadlines is that it’s going to make it more difficult to make sure people get enrolled in their coverage and that the coverage starts on Jan. 1…
Next on the list will be, “What do you mean my doctor doesn’t take my plan?”, followed by, “I have to go WHERE to go to the hospital?”
Then there’s the people who’ve signed up and ended up with a Medicaid plan. They don’t have to pay anything, their state covers all of their costs. Assuming they can even find a doctor. In California it’s looking like up 70% of doctors aren’t going to take the state Medicaid plan because California reimburses for services below the actual cost of the services.
It’s gonna be an interesting month. We suspect that The Imperial President will wish he’d stayed in Hawaii in a couple of more weeks.