Sunday, January 19, 2014

Obamacare: Done

Earlier last week I tried calling Anthem/ Blue Cross yet again, hoping to find out what happened to the online payment I'd made for my Obamacare premium. My bank account still showed it as having not been paid. I got the same message as last time: They were unable to respond at that time and to call back later. 

At least they'd changed their menu message and included asking if I was calling in regards an online payment problem. It might have been the next day I saw an article in some newspaper saying all kinds of people were having problems with online payments with Anthem/ Blue Cross, but it didn't have any suggestions on what to do. At least I knew I wasn't alone.

Lo and behold, a couple days ago I get a letter from Anthem/ Blue Cross in the mail. It says something along the line of, You can now make payments online...They also included an envelope and payment stub should I decide to just mail them a check. I decided to try the online method again.

Got to their web site where it asked me my account identification number. I saw some ID number on the letter they sent me so used that. Nope, it said it was invalid. I went to my Savers mailbox and found the verification e-mail I received when I'd first made my online payment. It had an ID number so I used that. It seemed to work, but after I continued on with the process and thought I'd completed it I got a message, Online Payments Not Available

Oh, well. I just went ahead, wrote out a check and mailed it to them. The very next day, despite my check certainly not having arrived at its destination, I received a card from Anthem/ Blue Cross showing all my insurance info and saying it was effective January 1. 

I guess that's it, two days short of a month since I tried to make the first online payment. I'll still be checking to see how long it takes my check to clear.


At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok so now could you fill us in how much are you paying? what is your deductible,is it a plan just for you. Then could you fill us in how it goes the first time you use it. Thanks.

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I pay $77.01 a month. I believe the government subsidy is over $500.00 (paid to the insurance company).

This is just for me. I'm actually unsure of what is paid for or what the limits are as the Covered California web site was difficult to use, at least the comparison part was.

The card says "Deductible $500/$1000"
"OOP $2500/$4500"
"Co insurance 15%"
"Office Visit $15.00"

Not sure exactly what most of that means but I opened an online account with them yesterday and asked that a copy of the policy be mailed to me. I do know the Office Visit thing means I pay $15.00 for an visit to the doctors office as opposed to the $80.00 I pay now.

As an aside, last time I went to the doctor's office I paid $77.00. They told me they raised the fee when I went a few days ago. I didn't ask but I'm assuming that's because they're having to charge more to those that pay because Obamacare cut reimbursements to providers even more.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Ok. OOP is the Out Of Pocket maximum per year. I don't have enough money to pay that much but maybe I can save up some?

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm one of the people subsidizing your insurance. Now I have worst insurance, can't see the doctor I had, and pay a bigger premium. Your welcome Fred from the million or so in California that got screwed for people like you. I'm single, two years younger than you, and pay five times what you pay. I guess that is fair.

At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bummer 7:13. I was hoping you were paying 10x Fred's rate. Maybe next year?

At 1:07 PM, Anonymous liberal jon said...

anonymous 713 pm. That sounds pretty fishy and highly partisan. It would be awesome to see a bill and/or the info sheet from your insurer. We need to be comparing apples to apples here. Fred said his was for himself only, does yours include yours? etc. etc. etc. So many variables.

It's fairly easy to post documents onto sites like scribd and then link to them from these comments. You can black out all the private information if you have a scanner.

Remember, we are in effect paying for the most inefficient kind of health care - emergency room treatment of urgent matters instead of prevention. After a few years of people getting used to the new system and perhaps many new hospital visits from people who did not previously have health insurance, the over all cost of health care should begin to stabilize.

Also, libs like me will be pushing for single payer which will go even further to democratize health care. I know it's tough to understand, but you and yours actually will benefit from a community that has access to preventative health care - so, yes, it is fair.

At 7:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tell that to the million or so Califonians that have lost their health insurance so far. Later this year we will see hundreds of thousands if not millions in California losing their current insurance when the big and small business exceptions hit. People like you like to rob me of my hard earned money at the point of a socialist government. One day you will run out of other peoples money and it will be soon.

At 9:08 PM, Anonymous Liberal Jon said...

Any references to back that up or are you just venting?

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I could have reduced my premium with Obamacare to $47 a month from the $353 I'm paying now. Everything looked great and I was about to bail from my overpriced/high deductible plan until I researched doctors around town. I couldn't find a doctor that was accepting the Anthem plan! What good is insurance if you can't see a doctor? I'm sticking with my grandfathered plan - at least I can see any doctor I want. Also, did you know that with the Obamacare you can only see doctors in California? The only exception is if you are out of state and have a dire emergency.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I couldn't find a doctor that was accepting the Anthem plan!

Good point, and I didn't bother checking doctor availability on the Covered CA web site as I was having enough trouble just looking at the plans. I just checked the Anthem web site and it came up blank. I think it's not working, either.

I would think that my regular doctor would accept anything if only because they accept MediCal/CMSP, or at least they did. If they accept that, I can't believe they wouldn't accept Anthem/Blue Cross. I guess I should call and ask Redwood Family Practice.

At 10:36 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Just called Redwood Family Practice and she said, without hesitation, they accept Anthem Blue Cross.

At 7:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have to pay the oop before the rest kicks in?

At 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't have to pay the oop but the deductible is another matter

At 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then what exactly is the oop all about then?

At 8:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Authoritarian John Fred answers the question and provides the proof for you if he wasn't being subsidized by the government he would be paying almost $600 a month for his health insurance and only 70 percent of people qualify for subsidies according to the Obama care website that means about 30 percent of the people will be paying the tab for the rest because despite all the confusion the federal government has no money except for what they take from us and what they print each month for Wall Street but that doesn't trickle down to Main Street it just artificially drives stock prices higher to make it appear that were in recovery while well over a third of the population is either unemployed or on government assistance of some sort and I don't mean Social Security

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

John you do realize that socialism is not a democracy right?

At 8:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred I'm curious how much your insurance cost before Obama care compared to what you're paying now without deducting the government subsidies

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said... much your insurance cost before Obama care compared to what you're paying now without deducting the government subsidies.

I was on County Medical Services Program before and was told I'd be removed from that on December 31, so I'd need to apply for either Obamacare or MediCal.

I didn't pay anything for CMSP, at least anything like a monthly premium. I did pay share of cost, though, which was around $650 a month. That meant I pretty much paid for all medical expenses out of pocket (which I didn't mind).

I can't find the exact quote now, but I believe the subsidy for the Silver 87 plan I'm on is was around $500. It might have been $560. So, it would have been just under or over $600 if I paid for it myself.

As best I can tell so far, I save quite a bit on doctor visits under Anthem: $15 vs the $80 I paid the other day. The overall deductible for Anthem is less for the whole year, since my monthly share of cost with CMSP was $650 x 12. Much more than the $2500 deductible with Anthem.

I'm still not in a position to pay for anything but doctor visits, though, as we don't have enough money in the bank to pay for either CMSP share of cost or the deductible under the Anthem plan. I can only do that if I have no choice.

For instance, if the doctor suggests an xray be taken, as she did a year or so ago when I was on CMSP, I had to say I was on share of cost and couldn't afford to clean out my bank account of $650 to pay my share. I'm not sure how it works with Anthem, but I don't have the money to pay the deductible or OOP, either, unless it's an emergency.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Reason magazine reports that Target is now dropping health care for employees working under 30 hours a week. This, in large part because of Obamacare. The writer says this is just the beginning, with many more expected to be dumped by both employers and insurers starting around October:


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