It is time that whoever signed up before the Obamacare deadlines some time at the end of December was supposed to be covered on January 1st. But that’s only true if a very specific circumstances were meet.
The first is that you actually got to the sign-up page on the website. The second is that you actually got to pick a plan. The third and most important of these criteria is whether the insurance provider got your information and processed it correctly.
It is in this third criteria where most people will wind up with quite the unpleasant surprise. Even though the sign-up process is now supposedly working “just fine,” there are still many issues with insurance companies processing the paperwork. The part of the system that relays this information to the insurance companies is encountering some very characteristic website problems. Among these problems is missing or incorrect information. This means that it’s very likely that the insurance companies haven’t processed the people into their system quite yet.
What this translates to is that there is going to be a huge surprise when they show up for a doctor and find that they are the ones footing the bill. The way to avoid this surprise is to contact the insurance company yourself. Then you want to take that extra step to contact the doctor’s office to ensure that they are in fact taking your insurance and haven’t suddenly moved to an out-of-network doctor.
People filling prescriptions are also finding some very unpleasant surprises in the cost. They are suddenly discovering that the plans they signed up for on the exchanges are not as well covered as they expected. This is pretty easy information to verify if you are already on regular prescriptions for your health. But if you have something new prescribed, pull out your covered drug list every time you get a new drug and make sure it is on that list. Otherwise, you may find yourself short of funds for something that you really need. One of the unpleasant surprises is that there are a lot of drugs not covered. About the only thing that may be guaranteed is birth control. But if the courts rule against Obamacare on that one, you may have to cover some of that cost yourself.
Another very unpleasant surprise coming down the pipeline is the increase in taxes. These taxes start this year. Some are on the medical drug companies. Some are on certain health care plans. Some are based on income levels. Some are going to hit small businesses. Some are going to hit the self-employed. It is also impossible to predict which ones you are going to be affected by. Don’t be surprised if your 2014 taxes contain the unpleasant surprise of a balance owing instead of a refund.
Premium rates are going to be rising because of these taxes as well. There is no way the insurance company is going to let the costs slide. They will pass them on. So while it seems your rates are great now, just wait a year and full panic mode will be setting in at the new higher costs. Potentially, the premiums could continue to rise at a breathtaking rate because there are no real measures to push them back down again. With such limited competition, constantly demanding doctors and hospitals and the addition of new taxes, the premium prices are in an upward spiral with no end in sight.
There are more unpleasant surprises coming down the pipeline. Don’t forget the huge business mandate is supposed to kick in this year. The unintended consequences of that are not that far away. So if you do have health insurance for this year, plan on paying more for the next. That is if you aren’t too taken down by the financial and unpleasant surprises that await in the very near future.