Obamacare: Seven things you need to know before signing up

Freelance writer/editor

On Day Five of the Affordable Care Act rollout the glitches continue. The headaches mount. And in Kansas, Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger is asking Sunflower state residents to take a chill pill before going all wobbledywonk over the launch of the federal government’s health exchange program.

Relax, she says, let the first adopters fight in line to get through to a health-care broker. You still have until Dec. 15 to sign up at www.healthcare.org and be insured come New Year’s Eve.

In the meantime, know that if you’ve been unable to get insurance either because of a pre-existing illness or high costs, the Affordable Care Act opens up new options.

According to Phil Galewitz, a staff writer at Kaiser Health News, here are seven things you need to know: Continue reading

Count to three before buying a health care plan

Sign up by Dec. 15 to be covered on New Year’s Eve

Freelance writer/editor

Patience is a virtue, mom always said. Take a deep breath, consider all your options and then make an educated decision on what health care plan is right for you.

It just makes sense. You have until Dec. 15 to enroll under the federal government’s launch of the Affordable Care Act, nicknamed ObamaCare.

Consumers shopping for coverage in new online markets for health insurance will be able to see what plans are offered in their area, how much they will cost per month, what their annual deductibles are and whether their families might qualify for federal subsidies or Medicaid. Continue reading

Government shutdown a backdoor plan aimed at Obamacare?

One health insurance insider says yes

Despite reports that the government shutdown is not and will not stop The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to take effect, is it possible that Republican leaders and conservative political backers saw the shutdown as their Plan B if they could not get the president and Senate Democrats to delay its implementation as part of a budget agreement?

A person, who asked not to be identified, but has high-level connections with a local health insurance company that has been interfacing with Washington to determine how to code software to administer the health care exchanges, says yes.

While the president maintains the ACA cannot be touched or affected by the government shutdown and has said the long delays and online problems in the first two days of the law taking effect is due to the overwhelming number of people trying to use it. Continue reading

Shutdown doesn’t deter Affordable Care Act

It’s a crazy time as Americans shop for health care insurance


Scanning the Infosphere after a crazy day on Capitol Hill to seek some health care clarity, I came away with a few thoughts on the first day of shopping for federally subsidized health care plans.

1. It’s smart to start shopping now, but wait awhile to push the “buy” button. There are still details to be worked out and information to be gathered.

2. Residents of states that opted out of the federal health exchange will have a more difficult time gathering information, but if they are persistent they can find it.

3. The devil is in the details. What results in lower health care costs for  one family on the neighborhood cul de sac may result in higher costs for another.

Let’s scan the Internet for perspective, guidance and maybe even a few gold nuggets of information to make our shopping less painful. Continue reading

Government shutdown hogwash

In the words of philosopher Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on both houses of Congress as well as the president.

All our elected officials in Washington are to blame for this government shutdown fiasco, sending folks home on unpaid furloughs while they continue to receive their $200,000 salaries, enjoy their Cadillac health insurance coverage, for doing nothing more than reading Green Eggs and Ham on the Senate floor while claiming they are listening to the American people.

What a waste of hogwash! Continue reading


Next time, let a ninth-grader write the Health Care Act

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

According to polls, Americans find the ObamaCare health insurance law “confusing” or “very confusing.” The survey results have a margin of error of plus/minus 100% because the questionnaire failed to include an option for “I’d rather have my teeth drilled.”

The public confusion is disappointing to President Obama, who takes pride in his communication skills, and to members of Congress, most of whom do not.  The White House and Capitol Hill summoned the best statutory draftsmen and government attorneys in the land to make sure every working American could read and understand the new law and its impact on their health care.  Rumor has it that the drafters spent an entire Sunday evening rewriting the statutory provisions, stopping only to send sext messages and receive briefings about the crisis on “Breaking Bad.” Continue reading


The Kardashians, one Sonic and Obamacare

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

Americans are sick and tired of hearing about “ObamaCare” and mandatory health insurance. We hate hearing or even thinking about health insurance. We hate it almost as much as we hate reading about Hollywood’s Kardashian family.

No one hates hearing about health insurance more than those Americans — an estimated 60 million — who have little or no access to hospitals, doctors or prescription drugs.  I found the statistics on CNN.com while trying not to read about Kim Kardashian’s placenta. You can look it up.

Health insurance is of little comfort to those whose communities have few doctors and no hospitals. These include the rural poor, the homebound elderly, and low-income males who don’t qualify for Medicaid unless they are pregnant.  What good is insurance for psychiatric care if your community has one Sonic Drive-in, 13 dry cleaners, and 895 churches but no inpatient or outpatient mental health facilities. Continue reading

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