Dec 2, 2013

Why Obamacare is Worse Than the Cable Company

I went onto this morning and clicked on live chat.  The text below is the exchange I had with the customer service rep. 

You can't make this stuff up.


08:10:17 am]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[08:10:20 am]: Please be patient while we're helping other people.
[08:10:30 am]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Jason. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.
[08:11:28 am]: Jason
Are you looking for information about health insurance in the state you live in, or a different state?
[08:11:50 am]: CALLER
I am shocked at the proposed rate increases for my small (28 employee) business for a plan. Are most businesses looking at 50% increases in premiums?
[08:12:38 am]: Jason
are you looking for information for the state that you live in?
[08:13:38 am]: CALLER
Yes-I received quotes from our agent, then looked at the plans on this site. Are other businesses seeing similar rate hikes or am I the schmuck in this deal?
[08:14:09 am]: Jason
what state is that?
[08:14:14 am]: CALLER
[08:14:34 am]: CALLER
we also have a business in CA
[08:14:47 am]: CALLER
but we are discussing the MI business right now
[08:15:18 am]: Jason
I can answer your questions about the Marketplace and how you can enroll. You can also use to find this information and what programs you may qualify for, as well as find and apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll in a health insurance plan. You can apply now through the end of open enrollment. Open enrollment for health coverage in 2014 closes on March 31, 2014.
[08:15:27 am]: Jason
Thank you for your question today. It will take me just a moment to review and respond to your question.
[08:15:41 am]: CALLER
what? is that a canned response?
[08:16:43 am]: CALLER
Jason, seriously, this is a simple question. Are most small businesses experiencing a similar increase to what I am being quoted-50%+?
[08:17:04 am]: Jason
Thank you for your question today. It will take me just a moment to review and respond to your question.
[08:17:21 am]: CALLER
Jason-stop sending me auto-responses
[08:17:46 am]: Jason
The health care law allows eligible small businesses to offer health insurance to full-time employees through the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace, also known as the SHOP Marketplace. Small businesses include for-profit, nonprofit, and religious organizations.

You can choose from a number of plans from multiple health insurance companies in SHOP. You can cover yourself in the SHOP plan you offer your employees. When you fill out your application, you'll learn if you can offer multiple plans in your state in 2014. Starting in 2015, employers will be able to offer multiple plans from all state SHOPs.
[08:18:07 am]: Jason
In 2014, if you have 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, you may offer a plan via SHOP. In 2016, all SHOP Marketplaces will be open to employers with up to 100 full-time equivalent employees. Your small business size is based on your number of full-time equivalent employees. A full-time employee generally works at least 30 hours per week on average, and a part-time employee works a fraction of this amount. While part-time employees are considered when determining your eligibility for SHOP, it's still up to you to decide if you want to offer coverage to part-time employees. In 2014 and 2015, insurance companies in states that run their own Marketplace can continue to use the state's method of counting full-time employees to determine who's eligible for SHOP. If you have business locations in more than one state, you have the option to apply in the state of your primary work location and elect to offer multi-state coverage, or you may apply for a SHOP in each state where you have an office location.
[08:18:30 am]: Jason
To be eligible, you must meet your state's small business definition for the SHOP Marketplace and offer health coverage to all of your full-time employees. In many states, at least 70% of your employees offered coverage must enroll in order for your small business to qualify for SHOP. Employees with coverage through another employer plan, Medicare, Medicaid, the military, or veterans' programs are not included in the calculation.
[08:18:48 am]: Jason
Starting in the 2013 open enrollment period, if enough of your employees don't enroll through SHOP, you'll have a special enrollment period from November 15, 2013, through December 15, 2013, where a group will not have to meet SHOP's applicable minimum participation rate.
[08:18:57 am]: CALLER
stop cutting and pasting information that I am already aware of and please just answer my question.
[08:20:30 am]: CALLER
are you still there or have you given up helping me?
[08:20:46 am]: Jason
Thank you for your patience. I am still researching that information.
[08:21:52 am]: CALLER
Please make sure your research is relevant to my question and I would appreciate if you didn't cut and paste a bunch of information that is not only irrelevant, but that is already well known. It's a bit insulting.
[08:25:31 am]: Jason
For many small businesses, the Small Business Health Options Program, also known as SHOP, will reduce the burden and costs of enrolling employees by offering the cost savings and flexibility enjoyed by large businesses today.

In the SHOP Marketplace, you can: Access a single place to learn about health insurance and get accurate information on different plans. Make apples-to-apples comparisons of the prices, coverage, quality, and benefits of Marketplace plans for your employees. Pay the same premium with or without the help of agents or brokers, or look for plans without agents or brokers. Agents and brokers are usually paid by the insurance companies whose policies they sell. Find out if your current health insurance company will offer a Marketplace plan through SHOP. If not, check with your agent or broker, or go to SHOP and see how your health insurance company's plans compare to those available through SHOP. You can choose a plan that works for your budget, your business, and your employees. Simplify your billing process.
[08:27:09 am]: CALLER
Jason-are you serious? I have asked you a very simple question which you seem unable or unwilling to answer. I asked you to please stop cutting and pasting verbiage that wasn't relevant to my question and just answer it. Will you be answering my question at any point during this chat session or should I assume you are unable to do so?
[08:29:57 am]: Jason
I do apologize. when you fill out an application you will see everything that you are eligible for each person may be eligible for different things based off the information that they provide.
[08:31:17 am]: Jason
All plans in the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace, or SHOP, offer similar benefits but differ based on how enrollees and the plan share the costs of care
[08:31:31 am]: CALLER
Yes, I realize that. My question has been, and remains to be are other businesses seeing similar 50% + increases in premiums this year as a result of this new law? If so, my result will be to fire one of my employees or stop offering health benefits-I may let them choose. Your answer could be helpful in keeping benefits or a job for one of my employees.
[08:33:17 am]: Jason
English- and Spanish-speaking customer service representatives at 1-800-318-2596 can answer your Marketplace questions. We work for General Dynamics Information Technology, a company contracted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also known as CMS, the federal agency that oversees the Health Insurance Marketplace. We are here to help you. We want to provide you with the best possible service. We can give you information about Marketplace coverage, health coverage options, and your rights and protections under the health care law.

For example, we can:
•Answer general Marketplace questions
•Answer questions about health insurance basics
•Help you determine if you qualify for lower costs on coverage
•Answer questions about the Small Business Health Options Program Marketplace, or SHOP
•Give you information about how to enroll in the Marketplace
Even though we can provide you with information about the Marketplace, we cannot give our opinions or advice about your health care options. We can provide you with the facts and help you understand your choices. If you need additional support, you can reach out to the consumer assistance programs within your state.
[08:33:58 am]: CALLER
[08:34:08 am]: Jason
Do you have any other questions that I can help you with?
[08:35:57 am]: Jason
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[08:37:42 am]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day.
[08:37:42 am]: 12/2/2013

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