After Sarah’s comment on my post about my doctor’s appointment when my friend negotiated the $2500 x-ray bill (for one x-ray) down to $370, I got to thinking. Something similar has happened to me twice in the last two years. I also took note when the doctor said their office wasn’t going to participate in the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).
So today, I called five dermatologist’s offices and asked “in light of the ACA, will your office be participating or will it still only accept “traditional” insurance not from the health exchanges?” Three offices replied they would not be accepting any of the plans from the Covered California exchange. One office said they hadn’t decided because of all the problems encountered across the board so far. The last was a real eye-opener on just how discombobulated the whole thing is. I was transferred to the billing manager for an answer to my question.
This is when I realized the whole plan is very disorganized and I’m not referring to just the website. She said she thought all doctors, labs and hospitals had to participate. (Hmm? What about the three I had just spoken with that were definitely not on-board?) She continued to say that she really wouldn’t know what her office would be doing until she attended a conference in March. That seems to be cutting it rather close since enrollment (as I understand it) ends March 31, 2014. Besides she said it had all been pushed back to 2015 for small companies like hers. Hmm? I thought that applied to employers not providers.
So in general, it’s not just the average Joe or Jane that’s confused, even the medical community is reasonably lost in an abundance of conflicting information. Somehow that’s not a comfort, especially when January 1, 2014 rolls around and the whole program gets the green light. Based on what I’ve found or rather not “found” thus far, I couldn’t resist adding this video from Saturday Night Live.
Just in case the above video isn’t there (it has been removed once already) just Google: “sebellius snl” and you’ll find several versions.
Despite the ACA website continuing to have “glitches” and being out of commission fairly often for repairs, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stated in written testimony for the House Energy and Commerce Committee that “The administration has promised the site will work smoothly by the end of November”. The video (it’s the first one you see on the above link) has some information that you might want to take a look at. The whole snafu is still kind of scary given the enrollment period.
Here’s an even scarier video (hey, Halloween was just here). Sadly it’s really pretty funny and has a lot of good points involving such things as the people who are supposed to help us enter information including Social Security numbers, date of birth and so on, haven’t gone through background checks, finger printing and so on. Just to mention one thing the orchestrators of this new bureaucracy missed…hello? Identity theft? Don’t miss it, there’s more info here than you’ll believe! Plus Judge Jeanine Pirro chose the wrong career, she should have gone into stand-up-comedy!
Oh and if you’ve ever wondered where the term “SNAFU” came from, check out Urban Dictionary. I particularly like #1 which lists the three stages of snafu-progression ending in “FUBAR” which seems destined to apply to the website, www.healthcare.gov.
Still on the humorous side of the ACA you might want to check out this video on the Jon Stewart show. Oh, just fair warning, this video has some “glitches” and takes a while to buffer at various points but it is funny. Heck, just Google “Obamacare SNL” and you’ll have plenty of laughs for the day. Your body and the endorphins it gets from all that laughter will thank you.
The other day I was at Rite Aid and picked up a flyer listing what one would qualify for if they had very little income. My premium on the Silver Plan would be $19 to $57/month. My costs for the following services would be:
– Priimary Care Visit Copay = $3
– Specialty Care Visit Copay = $5
– Urgent Care Visit Copay = $6
– Lab Testing Copay = $3
– X-ray Copay = $3
– Generic Medicine Copay = $3
– Emergency Room Copay = $25
– High cost and infrequent services like Hospital care and Outpatient Surgery = 10%
– Brand medications may be subject to Annual Drug Deductible
before you pay the Copay = No Deductible
– Preferred brand Copay after Drug Deductible = $5
– MAXIMUM OUT OF POCKET = $2250
Quite a difference from the current fortune I pay. To be honest, I should be from Missouri the “show me” state not Wisconsin 😉 because I simply can’t envision how this whole program is going to work.
What alarms me, as always, is who’s going to be paying for all this?
Let’s see…the only target I’ve seen is smack dab on the average taxpayer. But hey, thanks for stopping by! Love you!