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Exchange enrollment – the big picture

Looks like the glitches, gremlins, and guffaws are just about over; CMS reported today that enrollment via the exchanges is up to 4 million, an increase of some 700,000 over the last few weeks. That despite the ongoing efforts in some states to hinder enrollment, efforts which include outlawing “Navigators”, refusing to expand Medicaid, and prohibiting or barring various forms of consumer education.

Of course, there have been many, many stories of citizens disappointed/angered/furious with their new health plans.

There’s the one about the Michigan woman with cancer who has to pay more.  Oh, wait, she actually doesn’t; her new plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield cut her monthly premiums almost in half, from $1,100 to $571; that plus the annual-max-out-of-pocket pretty much assures her she’s fine after all.


Well, then there’s the woman who claimed “Obamacare raped her future”!  Wow, such inflammatory language!  Especially for one so…uninformed.  Ashley Dionne said her costs would go up by a factor of four, but she didn’t realize she’d likely qualify for Medicaid, which would have cut her monthly premium to, well, nothing.

And who could forget Bette from Spokane! She was socked with a $700-a-month increase!  Uh, well, not…exactly.

Oops.  Turns out Bette never checked the exchange, could have got a much lower price, and the price she was quoted was for a waaaay better plan than the cheap one she had – and that’s why it was more costly.

Huh.  Well, what about those folks in Texas?  You know the one Maggie Mahar wrote about, the poor woman (why are they always women?  why don’t we men get to be victims?) with MS who had her policy canceled and the new one cost – gasp – $1000 a month! The couple with a $20,000 deductible! OUTRAGEOUS!!!

Well, that was not true.  First, no policy for a 27 year old will cost that much.  Next, there are NO $20,000 deductibles.  Finally, the paper that printed this crap never fact-checked the piece, and didn’t print a correction, and the reporter assigned the story was told to “To find people who [had insurance policies that] were cancelled – and having some difficulty.”

There are more horror stories.  But please, before you read and repeat, think.  Does it make sense?  Is it objective?  Who printed/produced it?

What does this mean for you?

Yes, there will be horror stories.

But none as horrible as 50 million of our fellow Americans not covered by insurance.

None as horrible as a loved one with breast cancer who can’t get care.

Now that’s horrible.


3 thoughts on “Exchange enrollment – the big picture”

  1. Joe–

    Yes, the true horror stories are tales of the uninsured.

    Sadly, even under Obamcare, many low-income people will be left without insurance in the states that refused to expand Medicaid.

    They are the “victims”–not of Obamacare, but of states that don’t care about their poor.

    I also worry about immigrants who don’t qualify for Obamacare–and their children.

    Recently, I wrote about heatlhcare in France. There,
    Illegal jl Immigrants are covered, as long as they have simply applied for residency.

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Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates



A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.



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