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In the discussion thread: Any advice on health insurers? [View all]

Response to dflprincess (Reply #9)

Sun Mar 23, 2014, 01:26 AM

10. Thanks!

Thanks for the comprehensive and very helpful to me response! There's a Park Nicollet clinic about 2 miles from me, so that would be great too. And Methodist Hospital is a very reasonable distance, as is Park Nicolett Medical Center on Excelsior Blvd in St Louis Park.

I'm not thrilled with my experience with a North Memorial clinic, so choosing a plan where they are not in the network is not a problem, maybe even a bonus (as an incentive to try something different).

I had started out looking at Blue Cross -- there is a plan on MNSure that I can't find on the BCBS website (blueCrossMN.com), oh well, will try harder, haven't called them about it yet, just getting started drilling down on some plans to look at details, to get the "lay of the land". For that particular plan, MNSure has a link to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage, which is quite comprehensive, although it doesn't say anything about who and what are in the network.

I will follow your suggestion to concentrate on HealthEast after looking at a BCBS plan or two (since I've already invested time figuring out their website to some extent).

[font color = blue] >> My past experience with Medica and Blue Cross have been okay though I am still suspicious of the relationship Media has had with United Health Group - though they supposedly cleaned that up. << [/font]

Yeah, the name Medica has stuck in my mind in a negative way from something I read, but don't remember anything and can't find anything in my "news notes" -- which isn't unusual for me.

[font color = blue] >> All these plans are non-profit so at least they won't be worrying about shareholders. << [/font]

That's good to know. Particularly when coupled with the ACA requirement that at least 85% of all spending is on actual health services, leaving only at most 15% for administration, marketing, and profits (for for-profits).

[font color = blue] >> If you're not eligible for a subsidy you can also go directly to the insurers' websites (or call them) and see what kind of coverage you can get that way. It would probably be easier to get the payment in on time that way. << [/font]

No doubt that would be smoother and easier. Unfortunately, I do anticipate a subsidy of about $91/mo subsidy so I don't want to leave that on the table. Thus I'll have to enroll through MNSure to get the subsidy. However, I'm encouraged to read the following:

U.S. to allow some people to enroll in Obamacare after deadline, Reuters, 3/21/14

The Obama administration will soon issue new Obamacare guidelines allowing people to enroll in health coverage after a March 31 deadline, but only under certain circumstances, according to sources close to the administration.

The sources said the new federal guidelines for consumers in the 36 states served by the federal health insurance marketplace and its website, HealthCare.gov, would allow people to enroll after March 31 if they had tried earlier and were prevented by system problems including technical glitches.

On Friday, the administration published in the Federal Register new regulations that would allow state-run marketplaces new flexibility in setting insurance coverage effective dates for people who sign up during special enrollment periods.

"Open enrollment ends March 31. We are preparing for a surge in enrollment, and if consumers are in line on the 31st and can't finish, we won't shut the door on them. To be clear, if you don't have health insurance and do not start to sign up by the deadline, you can't get coverage again until next year," HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters said in a statement.

So if the only problem is not getting "the invoice" in time (see #5), I'll probably be OK as far as being excused from the penalty. Unless its 2-3 weeks late, it won't affect my anticipated coverage start date of May 1.

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