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ObamaCare Clusterfuck: If Obama slips his deadlines on the exchanges, do I get to slip my deadlines on signing up?

"Obamacare exchange in Maine among those that could miss deadline". The legislature just turned down Medicaid expansion after LePage vetoed it, and we'll use the Federal exchange.

So, assume ObamaCare misses a deadline.

Can I miss the April 15 deadline for my 1040? No? How about the deadline to sign up for putative coverage without a penalty? Why not?

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Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

that this is a case of "deliberate sabotage?"

This bill is much a fiasco, I find it hard to believe that they would actually WANT this piece of crap to come into fruition, only 10 months before a major election.

If you're going to be in the Federal Health Exchange, Lambert, at least you won't have the headache of "deciding which plan you want."

Small Firms’ Offer of Plan Choices Under Health Law Delayed

The law calls for a new insurance marketplace specifically for small businesses, starting next year. But in most states, employers will not be able to get what Congress intended: the option to provide workers with a choice of health plans. They will instead be limited to a single plan.

The choice option, already available to many big businesses, was supposed to become available to small employers in January. But administration officials said they would delay it until 2015 in the 33 states where the federal government will be running insurance markets known as exchanges. And they will delay the requirement for other states as well.

The promise of affordable health insurance for small businesses was portrayed as a major advantage of the new health care law, mentioned often by White House officials and Democratic leaders in Congress as they fought opponents of the legislation.

Supporters of the law said they were disappointed by the turn of events.

The delay will “prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana and the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

In the weeks leading up to the passage of the health care legislation in 2010, Ms. Landrieu provided crucial support for the measure, after securing changes to help small businesses.

The administration cited “operational challenges” as a reason for the delay. As a result, it said, most small employers buying insurance through an exchange will offer a single health plan to their workers next year.

What a crock!

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

that this is a case of "deliberate sabotage?"

This bill is much a fiasco, I find it hard to believe that they would actually WANT this piece of crap to come into fruition, only 10 months before a major election.

If you're going to be in the Federal Health Exchange, Lambert, at least you won't have the headache of "deciding which plan you want."

Small Firms’ Offer of Plan Choices Under Health Law Delayed

The law calls for a new insurance marketplace specifically for small businesses, starting next year. But in most states, employers will not be able to get what Congress intended: the option to provide workers with a choice of health plans. They will instead be limited to a single plan.

The choice option, already available to many big businesses, was supposed to become available to small employers in January. But administration officials said they would delay it until 2015 in the 33 states where the federal government will be running insurance markets known as exchanges. And they will delay the requirement for other states as well.

The promise of affordable health insurance for small businesses was portrayed as a major advantage of the new health care law, mentioned often by White House officials and Democratic leaders in Congress as they fought opponents of the legislation.

Supporters of the law said they were disappointed by the turn of events.

The delay will “prolong and exacerbate health care costs that are crippling 29 million small businesses,” said Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana and the chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

In the weeks leading up to the passage of the health care legislation in 2010, Ms. Landrieu provided crucial support for the measure, after securing changes to help small businesses.

The administration cited “operational challenges” as a reason for the delay. As a result, it said, most small employers buying insurance through an exchange will offer a single health plan to their workers next year.

What a crock!

Submitted by hipparchia on

the individual market and the small business market are two different problems being solved (or not) in two different ways on the exchanges. the "metal" plans we've been discussing so far are for individuals (and yes, for this kind of insurance a family is an "individual").

Submitted by lambert on

... of complexity.

Adding, yes, I remember the "operational challenges" of the small business exchange, and I put it on my list of things that are too fucked up even to worry about. Maybe I was wrong...

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

And not one of them fits any bloody customer.

How very clever, Mr. President Obama. How fiendishly clever.

For some reason all I can think of now regarding ObamaCare is the old Wall Street "bucket shops" -- selling crap to rubes. They were banned once upon a time. Obama has revived them -- Health Care Buckets for Everyone. Plus they are mandatory, which takes care of the few souls who might smell a rat and not buy in.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

was also told that the Federal Health Exchange was only expected to have one plan offering by January 2014. They were very explicit that they were referring strictly to the "federal" exchange.

All this was stated "in context" of how a corporation with tens of thousands of employees would be affected by the ACA. (Not how "small business" would be affected.)

I only posted the NYT article because it is what a "Bing" search produced.

At any rate, we've been promised much more "detail" in the coming months.

I basically expect their "spin" to be as heavy as the Administration's, though, because there was every indication that they are enthused about the ACA (now that they know that they don't have to comply with many of the regulations that will pertain to small businesses). We'll see . . .

Submitted by hipparchia on

the nyt article article you linked, as well as anything else i could find on the web, says there will be only one group plan FOR SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS on the federal exchange in 2014. states that have their own exchanges will be allowed to have more than one group plan for small business owners in 2014, but they won't be required to have more than one group plan for small business owners until 2015.

LARGE businesses are not going to be allowed to buy any group plans on any exchanges until 2016 or 2017.

group plans for businesses to buy for their employees are a different animal from the individual plans that some people are going to be buying on their own for themselves or their families. the individual insurance plans to be sold on the exchanges, starting in 2014, are the ones that everybody is talking about.

All this was stated "in context" of how a corporation with tens of thousands of employees would be affected by the ACA.

starting in 2014, large businesses are basically going to have to pay a fine for each of their uninsured employees. if they want to avoid the fines, they're going to have to buy insurance for ALL of their full-time employees, and they're going to have to buy that insurance the same way that they're buying insurance now - in the regular insurance market. if mr alexa works for a large corporation and that corporation decides it will be cheaper and easier to pay the fine instead of buying insurance for mr alexa, then in 2014 you and mr alexa will be stuck looking for individual (or family) insurance on the exchanges (or stuck in medicaid, or....).

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

They are the ones who have told everyone to "check out" the health exchange calculators, but refuse to say "why"--even when I questioned the HR person--why should we, if they say they are offering health insurance in 2014 (their announcement is that it will be a year-by-year assessment, from now on).

I acknowledged above that the NYT article references "small business," but they obviously are addressing their company employees needs when they have conference call--not the small business owner who owns a bookstore, etc.

They make it plain that we need to be familiar with the ACA. And they say that they will be furnishing us more info over the next weeks and months (at the same time that they are saying that they will offer--BTW, the don't delineate who is will cover--a health plan in 2014).

At any rate, I'm not trying to say that you're wrong about small business coverage in the exchanges.

I'm simply reiterating exactly what is being said to employees of a huge corporation. They are self-funded, of course.

Hopefully, "why" they are saying on the one hand that they will offer a plan in 2014, and then saying "check out" all the health exchange calculators, will become clearer as ACA enrollment nears.

I asked a HR clerk "point blank" why we should be "checking out" calculators, and she appeared to be dumbfounded that I would ask such a question, LOL!

One possibility that I've considered: They could be planning to offer plans that they WILL EXCEED the "affordability criteria."

In hopes, of course, that their employees and families will shop in the exchange. Again, that is purely speculation on my part.

They [HR] are clearly reading from a "script" (so-to-speak). And we're clearly not going to get any more information from them, than they want us to have, at this time.

It makes no sense to me, either. We'll be getting written material in the next weeks (and maybe a DVD).

Stay tuned . . . ;-)

P.S. Sorry--got a bit redundant!

Submitted by hipparchia on

Hopefully, "why" they are saying on the one hand that they will offer a plan in 2014, and then saying "check out" all the health exchange calculators, will become clearer as ACA enrollment nears.

roger that!

I'm simply reiterating exactly what is being said to employees of a huge corporation.

sure! and that's fine. but "reiterating exactly what is being said..." is not the same thing as "this is the impression i got..." and an article about small businesses may or may not be helpful to employees of large corporations.

large employers all over the country are contemplating their options, and some of them are being even more vague and secretive than the one in your example.

one of the many things that large employers sometimes do to cut their labor costs is to lay off employees and then "rehire" them as self-employed contractors. if mr alexa's employer is considering turning him into a self-employed contractor, you might have the choice of buying individual insurance as a family or small business group insurance as a small business owner, but this will vary depending on your state's insurance regulations for small businesses.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

my health insurance blogging to the "non-working spouse" issue.

He's got a good point. It would be too complicated to try and sort out the "nuance" of what will likely be scores of communications (BTW, his company has many "divisions," but supposedly all conference calls are targeted--therefore he shouldn't be given information that pertains to their "contract" divisions, etc.). Unless they do have a stealth plan to "contract out" everyone, LOL! Hey, I give up!

Seriously, since they have already dropped working spouses, and I've read that many companies are considering dropping "all spousal coverage," it would not surprise us if his company does this in 2014 (just conjecture). And actually, THAT is our major concern.

Mr. A's opinion is that we should pretty much disregard most of what they say, until we receive written material. And even then, we'll be a bit circumspect of what they present.

(But at least we've got several former/retired brokers in the family, so that negotiating the "insurance" complexities won't be a problem, IF we can obtain the correct information, in the first place. That's the thing that drives us "nuts.")

Especially after reading the article about hiring "non-vetted" (background checks, fingerprinting, etc.) enrollers, who get paid to work on a "piece work" basis. Jeeeezzzz!

Submitted by lambert on

... for how ObamaCare atomizes individuals and renders them unable to help each other.

* * *

Not being critical, since if your narrow your topic you will be able to help others in your bucket, but buckets, buckets, buckets.... Insanity!!!!!!!!

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

ObamaCare, of all the anti-citizen initiatives undertaken or continued by Obama, slices and dices the population with a sharp sushi-knife into endless buckets with the obvious goal of shredding any communal ties Americans might have regarding such a politically "hot" issue.

Did you know that this has been a pricing strategy in big business for quite a while? The telecoms, I believe, were pioneers -- offer a ton of different plans with little differences -- no two consumers will ever be able to "compare" two plans, including when it comes to claiming baits and switches. Eliminates price discovery, but also or greatly minimizes danger of millions all screaming that they've been screwed the same way, and thus banishes things like class actions or regulatory interest (to the extent it ever existed) or newsworthiness.

The pharmas picked up the strategy to "design" the pricing of their drugs -- this combo for this PBM, another combo for the other PBM, another "formula" for this health plan, another for Medicare, yet another for Medicaid, etc. Destroys price discovery and, of course, a common charge of gouging by millions against the pharma co.

It's worked, too.

Submitted by hipparchia on

Unless they do have a stealth plan to "contract out" everyone, LOL! Hey, I give up!

heh. don't give up, change focus! i spend as much of my time irl as possible converting people to single payer. i figure the collapse of obamacare is ineveitable and when it happens, i want people to already want, and be citizen experts on, medicare for all.

http://correntewire.com/swift_current_how_canada_got_their_medicare

Rainbow Girl's picture
Submitted by Rainbow Girl on

I think.
I'm pretty sure that ERISA has always required/mandated that if employers of a certain size offer health insurance they have to offer them to all full time employees. So I don't think this is something new about ObamaCare. Same thing applies to all the benefits that get delivered by private employers through "cafeteria plans," which could include transit benefits, 401(k)s, or flex spending plans. (It's a "nondiscrimination" requirement of ERISA.)

Submitted by hipparchia on

"only one insurance plan" could actually turn out to be a good thing, especially in this particular pea soup of "a lotta bad things."

having everybody in one plan cuts down on the administrative complexity both for the insurance company and for the doctors and hospitals that are getting paid by that plan. insurance companies are still going to look for ways to keep your money, so it might not help cost-wise, but doctors and hospitals can generally spend more time treating patients and less time figuring out how to get paid.

additionally, a larger group of patients, if they're all in one plan with one company, may have a little bit of advantage, numbers-wise, if they decide to unite to fight back against any abuses imposed by that insurance plan.

neither of these is necessarily a win for people who need actual medical care, but they are possible leverage points....

of course, medicare for all would be the ultimate "one plan" and a HUGE win for people. :)

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

I would be concerned that if only one plan is offered (and many won't receive subsidies), it would be a 70/30 or 60/40 plan in order to make it "affordable to all."

And, yes---I do wish our lawmakers would pass a MFA bill.

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Did you read this portion of the NYT article that I linked to?

The administration cited “operational challenges” as a reason for the delay. As a result, it said, most small employers buying insurance through an exchange will offer a single health plan to their workers next year.

“It will limit the attractiveness of exchanges to small business,” he said. “We would like to see different insurance carriers available to each of our 12 employees, who range in age from 21 to 62. You would have more competition, more downward pressure on rates, and employees would be more likely to get exactly what they wanted.” . . .

Exchanges are scheduled to start enrolling people on Oct. 1, for coverage that begins in January. However, the administration said that the government and insurers needed “additional time to prepare for an employee choice model” of the type envisioned in the law signed three years ago by President Obama.

Maybe the reference to "one plan" means only one insurance carrier, and one basic plan, but with four-tiers [platinum, gold, silver and bronze] of that plan.

Dunno.

Your guess is as good as mine.

But the NYT article substantiates what HR said to me yesterday (the term "one plan" that is).

My questions (including why if they are offering insurance, did they want us to "check out" the Health Exchange calculators, were met with we'd be getting more info over the next several months.

Sorry that I can't be more detailed.

That's why I "Binged," and the above article came up. I'd like to think that there's no connection, but the "language" is identical.

Turlock