Letter writer: ‘Obamacare’s’ benefits are real, but bureaucratic missteps lead to frustration

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was relieved when the Supreme Court upheld the state exchanges for the Affordable Care Act (i.e., “Obamacare”). I have much to be thankful for because of Obamacare: Our premiums are greatly reduced; our daughter was covered through us while in graduate school; no exclusion rider for my wife’s Lyme disease diagnosed 18 years ago; and annual physical exam, blood work and other preventive tests are paid in full.

That being said, my overwhelming feeling is one of utter frustration whenever I think about the insurance. Last June, we moved from West Virginia to North Carolina and re-enrolled in North Carolina. I could not directly cancel my coverage; only the “health insurance marketplace” could notify the insurance company to cancel my plan. Despite monthly calls to the insurance company and the marketplace, my insurance was never canceled.

Eventually, my insurance was canceled due to nonpayment, and by law, I was kept on for 30 days after I stopped paying my premium. My form 1095-A incorrectly showed two plans of coverage for July. I could never get that changed despite my persistence. My tax credit form I submitted to the IRS did not match what they received from the marketplace. The IRS this month gave me 30 days to get the marketplace to send me a corrected form.

Not even a call from “the advanced resolution center” could give me closure. I was told the marketplace can’t change my form until they get clearance from CMS (Medicaid services) and apparently lots of people are waiting for revisions.

The concept of an “advance tax credit” to be reconciled after the fact is good for accountants, but crazy-making for the rest of us. When college financial aid is calculated, it is determined by the previous year’s income. How sensible. Why not have Obamacare on a fiscal year rather than a calendar year and base the subsidy on audited returns from the previous year? Then I might smile when benefiting from Obamacare.

— Ian Rudick

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One thought on “Letter writer: ‘Obamacare’s’ benefits are real, but bureaucratic missteps lead to frustration

  1. The Real World

    Buckle your seat belt, Ian.
    Regarding the ACA, there will be many more changes, premium increases, confusion, plans dropped, ETC ETC! If you asked my guess, I’d say there’s a good chance all of this ineptitude is intentional so that the Feds can “provide” a single payer system as a “solution”.

    I might actually be okay with that as a basic system. But, ONLY if I can buy an additional policy myself so that I have choices when I need medical help. I’ve traveled to both communist and socialist countries and had conversations with the locals about their medical systems. Most all of them declared that anyone who is able buys additional coverage b/c the basic is sub-par and often you’d have to wait months for non-emergency tests or treatments.

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