Healthcare.gov website getting better all the time, but HHS still cautious.

So says the New York Times.

I stopped visiting healthcare.gov once I got confirmation from Highmark Blueshield that Highmark received what it needed from HHS. It’s doing my part. One less person hitting http://www.healthcare.gov hopefully opens up capacity for someone who needs insurance to get in there and poke around. Of course, they can also use the Health Sherpa site I’ve mentioned here before.

As the weeks in Open Enrollment roll on, it’s pretty clear that there is a great demand for Affordable Care Act policies. The administration is getting better, too, at getting local people to tell their positive stories within local communities. Here in Lancaster County, I haven’t seen our two major newspapers do this yet, but I feel it’s only a matter of time. We have our share of the uninsured, and the average wage income is lower than in the five county Philadelphia metro area. So more people could benefit from the ACA credit.

Lancaster has at least one official Navigator, Daniel Sosa (personal blog). I have been telling my boss in our local tax practice that tax preparers are going to be, in effect, surrogate navigators — because the ACA credit runs through the tax code, and has to be reconciled on 2014 returns (in tax season of 2015).

The effort to “shame badge” ACA is going strong here in a Blue State’s Red County. An old-timer at the municipal building window was trying to convince me that I should be upset that the ACA covers “anyone’s mammograms” free. I mentioned about Jesus and the loaves of fish. He seemed to miss the point or the message.

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3 comments

  1. sylvia · November 27, 2013

    I have completed my application and verbally been told I will receive a 279.00 per month subsidy. However, I am at a standstill because I cannot view the plans to choose. I do not know how to proceed and the reps at the Marketplace just tell me I am “in” and near the finish line,no other help it seems. Time for the December deadline is very soon and I would like to complete this process as I am so close. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can proceed. I really want this opportunity because I am currently paying for Cobra based plan and have a preexisting condition. Thank you for all the updates as the aca has progressed.

    • hoofin · November 27, 2013

      Sylvia, you know to go to Health Sherpa and look at the plans available in your zip code?

      That’s not the same as choosing a plan in the website, but at least you will know what you should see when they let you make a choice on the Marketplace site.

    • hoofin · November 27, 2013

      PS – I call the premium assistance what it is: a credit. No one who takes the mortgage interest deduction says they live in “subsidized housing”.

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