Friday, August 15, 2014

Healthcare Shopping Lunacy

After my disastrous bait-and-switch experience at, I finally (after more than four months and several hours of on-the-phone troubleshooting) get confirmation the plan that didn't include my kids' pediatrician (despite the pre-enrollment search that listed all the docs I cared about) was cancelled.  Then L's coverage terminates, and we are in the market again.  My existing insurer can't add L to my plan because its employees can't figure out who to transfer me to in order to get a quote, until they finally transfer me to someone whose incompetence (I shudder to think his abuse is intentional, but it certainly could be) prevents him from obtaining from me the information needed to provide me a quote.  He interrupts me over and over; I hang up and try back for someone else in his department, but he answers again and is no more helpful the next time, either.  So, bye-bye Aetna.  This is how you lose healthy insureds.  That's why I'm on a private exchange looking for health coverage.  The private exchange is pleasant in that I could get a human to walk me though it and answer questions and email me documents about the various coverages available.  It looks pretty good.

I enter detailed information about everyone I want covered in order to get plan cost information, and when I click to "apply" for the plan … I'm required to enter it all over again. 

I do. 

Then, I get a page that informs me I haven't applied until I've made a medical application. 

Guess what?  I get to re-enter all the information, yet again.

I click to add a spouse, and the webform demands I answer whether this spouse is married.  I mean, really.

Then I get this:

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires us to be reasonably assured that you and each member on this policy have coverage for pediatric dental services that are essential health benefits. The Affordable Care Act requires these benefits even if there is no one on the policy who is eligible for these services.
The government's own web site makes crystal clear that this is a lie: there's no obligation to purchase dental coverage, only an obligation to make it available – and no tax imposed on persons without dental coverage.  After doing some math based on expected dental costs, I conclude I'm better off putting premium dollars in a health savings account.  But the "medical application" requires one to claim to have dental coverage, or purchase it for over $40/month/person.  Just crazy.  The law doesn't require the coverage, but the idiots who coded the site do.

This just goes on and on.

Beam me up, Scotty.  There's little sign of intelligent life in the insurance industry.

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