Finally! I’ve Purchased Health Insurance Through Obamacare

Updated Dec. 23, 2013, at 2:03 ET.

It took a lot of persistence on my part, but I finally was able to buy insurance through the Obamacare online marketplace. After a disastrous rollout, it’s working much better these days.

And even better, the new health plan I picked from the many options available is much more affordable than my current policy.

I made the Dec. 23 deadline for purchasing coverage that will begin on Jan. 1. Note: If you begin the process on HealthCare.gov on Dec. 23 but can’t successfully complete it, you’ll get another day to finish the application and still have coverage on Jan. 1. (Open enrollment in the state online marketplaces ends March 31.)

Let’s compare: My current policy, which expires on Dec. 31, has a $5,000 deductible and a $5,000 out-of-pocket maximum. For out of network, it’s a $7,500 deductible and $10,000 out-of-pocket maximum. It costs about $830 a month.

My new plan, the lowest priced bronze plan available in Montana for someone my age who smokes, costs $464 a month for a $3,950 deductible and a $6,350 out-of-pocket maximum. The limits are higher for out-of-network care.

Under both plans, preventive care like mammograms and colonoscopies are fully covered by the insurance company, as required by Obamacare. And because of Obamacare, neither plan can deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, which used to be the norm for people who buy individual insurance.

Website glitches

Like many Americans, I had a really difficult time getting access to the online marketplace at HealthCare.gov after it opened Oct. 1. (My state Legislature made the unfortunate decision not to set up our state’s own marketplace. The process worked much better in the 14 states that have their own.)

I started an application, but it wouldn’t save properly. And I was informed that my ID could only be verified by emailing a copy of my driver’s license or other ID. I did that several times, but nothing happened after that.

Once it was announced that most of the bugs had been fixed, I killed my old application and started anew. It still wouldn’t save properly, and a customer service rep completed the application for me over the phone.

I finally had access to the insurance plans offered in my state and I made a selection. Word to the wise: They’re complicated, but if you need help, you can call the companies with questions. I did.

Rule changes

Since HealthCare.gov opened for business, some changes have been made to the deadlines and rules. One was designed to accommodate those whose individual plans are being canceled because those plans don’t meet the Affordable Care Act’s requirements for basic health services. Those people will be exempt from the mandate to have insurance in 2014. Says Bloomberg:

People whose plans are canceled must apply to the government for a hardship exemption from the requirement to carry insurance and submit the letter they received from their current insurer. Once the government approves the exemption, they are eligible to purchase catastrophic plans, which usually have the lowest premium of any coverage sold on exchanges. The plans aren’t eligible for federal subsidies, meaning there’s no discount for the premium.

I have to wonder: Why would people not want a better health care plan than the one they have now – rather than a bare-bones catastrophic plan — particularly when buying a better plan on the marketplace could make them eligible for a subsidy, depending on their income.

You’re eligible if you earn between 138 percent and 400 percent of the poverty level. That’s $15,850 to $46,000 for an individual, and $32,500 to $94,200 for a family of four.

You’d get better insurance and you’d get help in the form of a tax credit to reduce the premiums – basically better insurance at a lower cost.

Few Americans affected

Of course, much of this is of no importance to most Americans. The majority get health insurance through their workplace or through a government program like Medicare, so they wouldn’t be using the marketplaces to buy individual insurance. Says the U.S. Census Bureau:

More than half of the U.S. population (55.1 percent) had employment-based health insurance coverage in 2011, and among the employed population aged 18 to 64, over two-thirds (68.2 percent) had health insur­ance through their own employer or another person’s employer.1 In addition, over one-third (34.7 percent) of individuals who did not work received coverage through employment-based health insurance, usually from a former employer or another person’s employer.

If you’re uninsured or you don’t get what’s considered affordable insurance through work, go to HealthCare.gov or your state’s own marketplace, if it has one. According to Reuters, more than 500,000 people have signed up to buy insurance through Obamacare since Oct. 1.

Have you tried to purchase health insurance on the marketplaces? Share your experience in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • obamathemarxist

    Enjoy your fascist healthcare system, the costs are going to accerlerate the country’s financial collapse. Why should my taxes help fund someone else’s health care. Especially idiots who don’t eat right, don’t exercise and smoke and drink.

  • Y2KJillian

    For several years, my husband’s workplace has offered only health insurance that had an $18,000.00 total expense per year. The year he had kidney cancer followed the year his rheumatoid arthritis caused a toe bone to literally dissolve. So one year, major foot surgery and the next, kidney surgery. He’s OK at the moment, but both years we emptied our savings and had to rebuild. It was painful emotionally, financially, physically…needless to say, even a $5,000 cost plus plan looks good to us.
    Puggle

  • Y2KJillian

    P.S. That $18,000 did NOT include the monthly premiums, or co-pays or deductible pay.
    Puggle

  • obamathemarxist

    NC rejected the expansion of Medicaid not Medicare, one thing that has to be pointed out is Obama took 730 billion dollars from Medicare, this is going to reduce health care services to Seniors.

  • cjones2754

    you had crappy insurance to begin with….

  • tomroberts

    I know that the Dumbofuc Party members that have been hiring illegal Mexicans to lower wages (for generations) will soon be cancelling their employee insurance benefits too. It is not needed any longer, since workers can now get OvomitCare. It is idiotic to think that greedy Dumbofuc Party members will pay the increased costs on the behalf of workers! Why should they offer it any longer? Just open the border and let in more Mexicans, who will work without insurance!
    And I know that the $464 that this Dumbofuc Party fanatic media lunatic quotes, has got to be the subsidized cost, after the tax credit – since everyone knows the cost skyrockets under the insane plan of those POS!

  • BC

    Have you paid your first premium, if not then your not yet covered..

  • Janice Judd

    I believe that George Soros must control Money talks, google and yahoo. Obamacrap was never designed to work it was designed to CONTROL and HARM the American people and COLLASPE the U. S. $$$$$$ and while Americans are HURTING and DISTRACTED by obamacrap, Obama will be continuing to bring more harm and destruction to America.

    Obama is a traitor and a threat to America and our national security and has put in place through his traitor czars and nominees people that ARE and WILL bring HARM to us. Go to THE OBAMA FILE / CZARS and also INVESTIGATING OBAMA.

    Obama is a George Soros puppet along with most of his czars and nominees. George Soros is a COMMUNIST ATHEIST who is destroying America through Obama and his traitor democrats and probably some traitor republicans. Go to CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS / THE SOROS FILES. All of these people share the same values and agenda as SOROS, and some of them have worked for Soros before.

    Jeh Johnson in homeland ( and one of Obama’s ) is smuggling illegal children into the US and uniting them with their illegal parents. Instead of securing our borders he is HELPING THEM look at Obama’s immigration bill. And Cass Sunstein who is Obama’s #23 czar is a Jewish Atheist that in a 2007 speech at Harvard CALLED FOR BANNING HUNTING IN THE U.S. Look at Obama’s gun control. Obama has said “Cass is not only a valued advisor, he is a dear friend”. These are just a few of the things that Obama , his czars and nominees have in store for America.

    As long as Obama remains in office the more harm and destruction that he will continue to bring to America . Can America survive until 2016 with this traitor and all of his traitor czars and nominees in office ? Wake up Washington and get Obama out NOW !!!! obamacrap was just the beginning of the destruction to come. As Americans are distracted by Obamacrap, Obama will be bringing more HARM to America