One of the editors at The Guardian asked me to write about my experience in trying to investigate the possibility of getting health insurance through the new Obamacare exchanges for their panel, “Real people’s stories from day one of the US health insurance exchanges.” Here is my contribution –
I am a 42-year-old, single, self-employed man who lives on a modest income in a large city. I currently pay for an individual policy through a major HMO. My premium has already gone up 25% this year, and I’ve read news reports that individual coverage for single men could more than double under Obamacare. Needless to say, the cost of health insurance is a major concern for me every month as I work to make ends meet.
Today I decided to go online to get a quote to see if the District of Columbia’s exchange, DC Health Link, would be able to provide coverage for less than I am paying now. You have to create an online account in order to get any information about plans and costs, so I went through the process of creating a username and password, and gave my date of birth and zip code. Then I clicked “Browse Plans” and that’s when the process stopped. When I tried to click to take the next step, I just got a nearly blank screen and then nothing, not even an error message. I wasn’t even able to see what is in the health exchange plans or what they cost to know if I would be able to get more affordable coverage than I currently have.
I should say that I opposed Obamacare when it passed, and I have supported recent efforts to delay the individual mandate’s implementation. It only seems fair that individuals, like me, should get the same benefit that the president gave to big corporations – at least a one-year delay. I favor free-market based reforms in healthcare, and I hope that this disastrous rollout of President Obama’s government-run system will show policymakers that it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
You can read the entire story here.