After more than 2 months of Obamacare implementation, Americans are still waiting to purchase health insurance and get subsidies off the new federal and private health exchanges. The implementation has gone wrong and several variables have come into play that the administration did not expect to appear till a later stage. Naturally, this has messed with Obama's plan to have a country wide success of Obamacare and provide affordable health insurance to everyone at subsidized prices.
With changing scenario, ill performing federal healthcare exchange, and reliance on different channels for purchasing healthcare, it has become all the more difficult for Americans to purchase health insurance. To purchase from private exchanges or to wait for federal exchange to get fixed, to buy a silver plan or go with a bronze plan, and, more importantly, to suffer the strenuous experience of healthcare.gov or go for the traditional route of enrollment - these are only some of the questions that are perplexing the mind of an average American. We bring you some common aspects you need to think and plan before shopping from federal and private healthcare exchanges.
- Source - The first aspect you need to think about is where to purchase health insurance from. The federal marketplace is in a very bad state even now, and after repeated promises, it has seen only marginal improvements. On the other hand, private benefits exchanges are seeing lots of improvement, but they are not a good place for getting subsidized plans because of the lack of direct enrollment feature with these private healthcare systems. In such a case, you must check what kind of subsidies you are eligible for and apply accordingly. If you are getting subsidies, a better way to do this would be through paper applications on the federal system. These paper applications would reduce the failed attempts and help you get insurance quicker, albeit in a little more hassle-prone method.
- Assistance from Brokers or Navigators - earlier, brokers were not being seen in a good light, but with the failure of Obamacare marketplaces, insurance brokers have become a new lifeline for consumers and the administration. These brokers are helping people go through their own private exchange platform, which closely mimics the federal marketplace but does not provide any subsidies. It is a better method, especially for people who are not eligible for subsidies but are unable to purchase a compliant plan from the federal marketplace due to a swarm of technical bugs. On the other hand, insurance navigators are volunteers making enrollment easy for lots of Americans. If you are thinking of applying for insurance, you can at least take the help of exchange navigators for maneuvering through the enrollment process.
We are just beginning to scratch the surface for the things you can do to make the most of the health insurance process post the Obamacare reform. Take a look at the next part of our series where we dwell more into making the best purchase decisions on federal and private health exchanges.