With the deadline to sign up for a new health care plan through Healthcare.gov approaching a couple weeks ago, I decided to give the web site one more try. After signing in I saw that there was an option to discard my previous application. Since that application never let me finish I scrapped it and started a new application. I was pleasantly surprised that the new application worked and I was able to sign up for a new health insurance plan. This is how the site should have worked when it first went live.
The only glitch was that when I finished the application there was a link to pay for my health insurance. That link didn’t work. I was able to contact the health insurance provider on my own and pay for the insurance. The health insurance company also left me a voice message and mailed me a bill although I’d already paid my premium by the time those arrived.
After deducting my subsidy amount I will be paying $56 a month for health insurance. That is $9 cheaper than I am currently paying, but the new plan would be $215 without the subsidy. If I make more money than I predicted I’ll have to pay back some or all of the subsidy. If I end up going full-time at my employer and receiving health insurance from them I’ll also have to pay back the subsidy. On the other hand, if I end up making less than I predicted I could receive an additional subsidy amount when I pay my taxes.
The new plan does have a much smaller maximum out of pocket cap of $6000 compared to the $13,000 of my current plan. That doesn’t seem like much of an improvement for a plan that costs $150 more a month. It doesn’t matter much if my maximum out of pocket is $6,000 or $13,000. Either way I have to pay out of pocket for doctor’s visits which means I won’t be going to the doctor and I won’t actually be receiving any health care for my money. Either plan only helps me if I become seriously ill or injured. I’m hoping someday the government can come up with a better solution to health care, but I’m doubtful that will happen.