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    Posted November 11, 2013 by
    k3vsDad
    Location
    Farmersburg, Indiana
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Obamacare: Your story

    More from k3vsDad

    Success at Last! - The Final Chapter?

     

    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     k3vsDad has been chronicling attempts to sign up his partner for Obamacare online for several weeks: 'After battling with the Marketplace Exchange for the past 6 weeks and wondering if Iohn’s efforts would end up in the garbled, circular file, it was somewhat of a relief to learn that he has actually completed the enrollment process. Iohn does have a family medical history which is troublesome which he must consider when deciding to remit the premium or choose to pay the tax penalty instead. With both of his parents dying while he was young (his father when he was 10 and his mother when he was 17), Iohn must take his family history into consideration. His older siblings are already showing symptoms of various illnesses which may cut their lives short. While relieved the process has worked for Iohn, at the same time, the experience has proven one which most healthy, young people who are used to “instant gratification", are not going to have the patience to deal with the still trouble-prone web site. This is not the most competitive market out there with only two companies participating in Indiana. Plus with the federal lawsuits pending, relief may once more turn to frustration.' Please note that CNN cannot independently verify this personal account, but there have been various technical problems that are widely known. Read more about these issues on CNN.com, or learn more about the marketplace options in your state.
    - hhanks, CNN iReport producer

    Since October 2, I have been chronicling my life partner Iohn's experience in trying to navigate the federal Marketplace Exchange.

    Dealing  with the worrisome and still trouble-prone web site, set up under the  Affordable Care Act, has been a strain and at times worthy of throwing  up one's hands and giving up. The Exchange's purpose is to provide  health insurance options for Americans without insurance to select and  choose in compliance with the individual mandate.

    This  week we have been told that Health and Human Services, the  Cabinet-level Department in charge of the Exchange program, will provide  numbers as to how many have successfully enrolled in health insurance  through the Exchange as well as the state exchanges. The prognosis is  not good. HHS is downplaying the numbers even before release.

    Iohn is apparently one of the few who have successfully completed enrollment, except for payment of the first premium.

    The  goal, actually more of a red line, is to enroll 2.7 million healthy  young Americans by March 31. That target number is necessary for the  progam to be affordable and offset the number of older and sicker  individuals with health insurance.

    To-date  news accounts indicate that more than half of those applying through  the Exchange are being re-directed to Medicaid instead.

    Reports  also indicate that exceedingly young people have given up on the web  site and will opt to pay the $95 or 1% of income tax instead of the  hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy health insurance.

    That goal appears to be beyond the realm of possibility at this point in time.

    Imagine  my surprise last Wednesday, while Mark's Den was dark, to return from  the grocery store to find Iohn on his cell phone with a representative  from MDWise, the health insurer whose plan Iohn had enrolled.

    The  rep was confirming that Iohn's information had been transmitted from  the Exchange to the insurer. The rep confirmed it was a Silver plan with  a zero deductible and $500 out-of-pocket maximum per year. The rep also  confirmed the premium amount would be $51.14 per month with the income  tax subsidy.

    When  Iohn completed the enrollment on the Exchange site, there was a  notification that he would be receiving confirmation from the insurer  via the US Postal Service within a "few days" along with payment  options. Faithfully for over a month Iohn and I checked our post office  box to no avail. The phone call was quite a surprise.

    Now  the question for Iohn is whether to remit the premium by December 31  for an effective date of coverage on January 1 or to opt for an act of  civil disobedience and not follow-through and pay the tax in 2015 for  2014 instead.

     

    From the Cornfield, it took well over a month, but Iohn did finally successfully navigate the Marketplace Exchange.

    He  has safely docked his ship of life in the port awaiting to determine  whether to rig the ship with health insurance and premiums or keep a  more streamlined sloop and pay the tax penalty.

    Of course depending on the outcome of several federal lawsuits, Iohn and others living in the 34 states using the federal Exchange may find themselves ineligible for the tax credit subsidy.

    In that case, the premium would soar to $292 per month for Iohn and be far outside the range of affordability.

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