The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is to begin “assisting” us in obtaining new insurance carriers and/or policies beginning this October 1st. Regardless of Congressional stance I want to be as prepared and informed as possible. So, as I sat at my computer leisurely perusing the Healthcare.gov website, I slowly became upset and frustrated. But, I’m ahead of myself.
Opening the website, I clicked the tab on the top bar, “Individuals & Families,” then I clicked on the “See Your Options” button where I was told to “Answer a few quick questions and you’ll get:” I thought, “jzeesh — I just want to know some simple things. What the heck is this?!” Still, I obediently answered the questions and hit the “Enter” key.
The site then took me to a page that displayed two inset boxes. On the last line of text in the first box, “The Health Insurance Marketplace,” was an individualized advice/response that read “You may be eligible to get quality health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. But based on the information you provided, you probably won’t qualify to save money on your monthly premiums or out-of-pocket costs. You’ll find out for sure when you apply for coverage starting October 1, 2013.”
What?!? I could not believe what I was reading! I was floored. My body shivered and the hair on the back of my neck stood out. It was reminiscent of Senator Pelosi’s ill-advised justification that “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Not at all a reassuring statement and frankly, it conveys indifference if not incompetence. Heavens-to-Betsy, healthcare in the United States seems to be in a wait-then-you-better-hurry-up state of disarray: At least the way the federal-government-website-managed-by-the-U.S.-Centers-for-Medicare-&-Medicaid-Services presents it! Even worse, it told me I probably would not qualify, but did not tell me the reason or reasons why and only alluded to my income being too high.
Undeterred, I stubbornly gathered my composure, opened a new browser window, and went to the Connect for Health Colorado website hoping to read something more informative. To my pleasant surprise, I found a MUCH different approach. Yes! The same bottom line since it too, did not provide the information as I was hoping, but the approach gave me the feeling I was getting the best and most current information they had. Plus, it contained some information I did not know about and was glad to read. I even believed them when I read it was being continuously updated.
I clicked on “What to Expect.” A page opened with eleven bullet points followed by a FAQ link. This info WAS actually helpful! I didn’t feel brushed aside as I did with the dot gov site. Did this website tell me exactly what is happening? No, but it did say “Here’s what you can expect when we open in October” and provided useful information.
My unsolicited advice is to check out Connect for Health Colorado now then “keep your eye on” this Colorado healthcare website. All indications are that it WILL be valuable and will not stress you out, but let us know what you think!
According to a reliable source, the Navigators in Colorado have passed background investigations “and many to most have had previous jobs (i.e. working in county departments of social services or health departments, the VA ) that required background checks and the rigors of security in seeking personal information to process benefits.” Good news for Coloradans.