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Gender: Male
Hometown: Delaware
Member since: Fri Jan 20, 2006, 07:14 PM
Number of posts: 37,176

Journal Archives

Healthcare.gov website, another anecdote for the pile

My first account, which I started back in October, never managed to get out of "pending verification" limbo, so I started a second account last night. Took about 20 minutes, worked like a charm. I can definitely see why there are reports of "large numbers of accounts, much fewer enrollments" since, given the various options, we are definitely going to take some time to decide.

Overall, it looks like my spouse and I will be paying a little bit more than the estimate we got from the healthsherpa.com tool, which suggested we'd be paying less than we are now. We currently pay a combined total of around 1K a month for separate policies from different companies due to quirks in eligibility for various policies the last time we shopped for insurance (we are self-employed). So, I can see where the lack of finer age categories for healthsherpa.com can produce inaccurate results.

That said, both of our current policies are shot through with exclusions due to the fact that we both went for stints without any health insurance before buying what we could a couple of years ago. So, on balance, while we are going to go from around 1K a month to around 1.3K a month, what we will be getting for our money will be coverage that is a boatload better than what we already have. But to make a final decision, we have to do some thinking about what we want to trade off in terms of deductibles, co-pays, prescription benefits and so on. That's a much better situation than where we were before which was, "can we get anything at all".

But, as far as the website issues go, it worked like a charm. Coincidentally, though, today I got a call back from my support inquiry of a couple of weeks ago about the first account I had opened, and told them that it didn't matter anymore. So it also looks as if they are catching up on the backlog of support issues with older accounts.

The US Patent and Trademark Office Website Is Down Today!

Damn you Ben Franklin! I KNEW the patent system would never work!

Merkel and Obama

Here's what I don't get....

Chancellor Merkel called President Obama on the telephone to request that he not listen to her telephone calls.

Why didn't he say "Okay" and hang up the phone?

In point of fact, the US has not been tapping her phone.

They've been picking up her conversations by concealed transmitters that were cleverly and surreptitiously installed just below her ears:

Your Friday Afternoon Art Challenge - Jeopardy Style Edition

CTYankee is busy this week, so I've been put in charge of shaking up the Friday Art Quiz.

This time it's "Jeopardy Style"

I'll post the answers, and you have to post the pictures!


#1 - Oh, I've seen that before, but can't remember it

#2 - Definitely Not Caravaggio

#3 - It looks like something in the Sistine Chapel, but instead it's from somewhere you never heard of.

#4 - The Dutch Guy!

#5 - Wasn't that one stolen from somewhere in Norway?

#6 - I'm pretty sure its a Mucha, but it might not be.

House Stenographer Flips Out During Vote

As noted in earlier threads, there was a woman who took the podium during the vote, started yelling something, and was removed from the House chamber.

She was apparently an actual House stenographer, and not an infiltrator. Reports from Twitter suggest she started ranting on about Jesus, Masons, and the House doing the work of the devil.

Is anyone still stuck in the Obama Caves?

Everyone please check to see if your spelunking buddy is safely out, or we'll have to send in a search party.

GOP to replace mascot with slightly used Japanese import

The ACA deductibles cap the providers' losses

The fact of the matter is that one of the things driving up the cost of health care for everyone are the unreimbursed expenses run up by people who have no health insurance.

What a $5K deductible means - on the other side of the equation - is that when a patient comes through the door, the hospital is looking at a maximum $5K loss.

Back when I was much younger, and my income was $12K a year, I had an event which incurred a $7500 hospital bill.

They chased me for a while over it, but the fact of the matter was that I was a grad student with no money, and I spent some time after that making $45 a day as a substitute teacher for a while after that. I don't know if things have changed, but there was no finance charge on that debt, and by the time I had real employment, the time had expired for it to be collectible anyway. After seven years, it dropped off my credit report.

Yeah, with high deductibles, some people are going to get bills they can't pay. You know what they are going to do? Not pay them. The upside - for everyone else - is that everything ABOVE that deductible WILL be paid.

The other consequence of that dynamic is that it will be a lot easier to negotiate away those bills. Let's say you run the hospital finance department. Someone racked up $50K for something, and they had a $5K deductible. You get $45K from the insurance company, and bill the guy $5K. You find out the guy has no money and can't pay the $5K. What are you going to do:

(A) Spend your staff time bugging a guy with no money for $5K

(B) Spend $1K on a law firm to get a default judgment the guy can't pay

(C) Sell it to a collection agency for $1K and they can try to collect until the statutory limit expires

(D) write it off as a 5K loss and take the tax benefit

If you answered (D), then congratulations, you just improved the bottom line.

At the end of the day, the hospital got $45K on a $50K bill, which is a lot better for the hospital - and everybody else - than getting 0 on a $50K bill.

Many of our new friends qualified for the "tinfoil" ACA plan

It's pretty good. You get a free implanted radio receiver, a change of batteries once a year, and someone from the government to watch you all of the time.

They haven't met their own daughter until now?

Has anyone checked her birth certificate?
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