First Person: One Month into Obamacare
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner
My husband and I have been enrolled in a health insurance policy on the federal exchange for a month now. Factoring in our tax credit, we are saving almost $600 a month on premiums. No real problems so far, just a few annoyances:
We gave up trying to call customer service.
My husband needed to cancel his old policy with the same insurer. Every time he called, he was put on hold for so long that he eventually just hung up. The insurer posted a notice on its website in mid-January acknowledging the long delays and apologizing. It listed some FAQs and luckily the company addressed what to do about old policies (just don’t pay them – they will eventually be closed). But we would have appreciated it if the company would have mailed or emailed us this notice.
The company refers you to its website if you don’t want to wait for a representative.
The company website is still a mess.
We were told about the amazing features of the website. We’re still waiting for them.
- The website only lists my husband as a covered person on the policy (although I have had no problems filing a claim).
- No claim information for 2014 is up yet.
- We haven’t been able to email the company.
The website suggests you call customer service if you have any problems or questions.
The payment deadline for January and February was extended.
We were given until the end of the month to pay both our January and February bills. That was kind of them. However,
Paying is not so easy anymore.
Since we never switched insurance companies, we figured we would be able to pay our bill the same we had always done – on our credit card. Now the insurer charges a fee for credit card payments. We wanted to pay our bill with a one-time electronic transfer from our bank, but the website is only set up for monthly automatic payments. Don’t want to do that – if something goes wrong it takes forever to straighten it out. So we ended up just mailing in our premium payment.
It’s hard to get too mad at the insurance company. It is going to take some time to get all the kinks worked out. So far we are happy with our insurance plan. I’ll let you know how we feel at the end of the year.