Sunday, January 05, 2014

That kind of luxe just aint for us

Affordable Health Care Act continued

I kind of commend Oregon for getting people to call me incessantly to "help" me enroll in mandatory health coverage.  On the other hand, the rest of the system gets a big FAIL, so I can't really commend them after all.

First of all, I was unable to find the state website and, this is so sad, the source that ended up helping me find it was a special article run in Sunset Magazine.  Talking about the AHCA is not normal content for Sunset Magazine.  I'm truly surprised they included that article. But I'm really grateful.  I should tell them.

So then I will spare you the details, but the site is only semi-functional.  So I snail-mailed our application to Salem (state capital).  Although coverage is mandatory, you still have to apply and be approved before you can enroll.  In the meantime the site was helpful enough to show me that the absolute cheapest crappiest plan cost over $500/month, so I am all set to make my choice when I get approved.

About 2 weeks goes by and then I get a voicemail with an automated message, and so I call back, and the conversation goes something like this:
Me: I'm returning a call.
Salem: Do you need help enrolling?
Me: Ummm, no...
Salem: (silence)
Me: ...Was I supposed to get something in the mail?
Salem: yes.
Me: Do you need help with the mail?

So another week goes by with no enrollment package, and then they call me again and ask me why I haven't enrolled yet.  When I repeat the problem, they give me some code numbers to punch in so I can enroll online. 

I go and do it right away and the website returns an error message.

So I call back and inquire politely if perhaps I wrote the code numbers down wrong? The operator confirms them and then tries to enroll me herself and gets the same error message and then I get transferred to a supervisor who also can't figure it out and evidently has to enroll me by pencil and paper and I'm sure you can guess how confident I am that it worked.

And while he's doing it, I get this zinger:
Salem: Why didn't you check the box for the tax credit...oh, never mind.
Salem: You make too much money...(with a tone in his voice that implies, "weird, that's never happened before.)

Which is when the puzzle pieces really start to fall into place for me. 

Oh, and before I continue, people, I work part time and Mike is unemployed again.  You do the math.

So I tell Mike that evidently no one else who works part time has to apply for state coverage, since my situation seemed so weird to the supervisor.  And Mike tells me that next time I see our acquaintance, let's call her Anna, that I should tell her "you're welcome".  For now I comprehend that when Anna logs on to the secret website, that she's probably offered a better plan at lower cost, and that's how the system is working properly.

I'm not really considering that fact a grievance, because honestly, that was the situation for both Anna and myself even before the AHCA.  The AHCA just gives people opportunity to call me and then rub it in.

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