Sunday, September 22, 2013

Health Exchange Fun - Part 2

This is the second part of the series I started a couple of days back. If you missed it (How could you?) it is here. If you are really coming in late to this series and by some miracle I write another post about the healthcare exchanges before I wonder off, distracted by a shiny object, you can see them all by going to the Health Exchange Fun label summary.

In my previous post, there was one observation in the comments about how it seemed unfair that I didn't include a link to government healthcare marketplace that I was reviewing. For those that are having trouble, here's how you find the site:

  1. Go the the main google search page (
  2. type (exactly) "Healthcare Marketplace" and hit enter
  3. Select the very first entry that comes up in the results
You see, the government has given Google bazillions of dollars to ensure that result is what you get, so as a taxpayer, why not get your money's worth? I'd encourage everyone use this method. Following a link from me is just lazy - and Americans are anything but lazy. Why do you want to be so un-American? (my apologies if you are a foreigner reading this from someplace like Austria or Australia) Oh - and since the exchanges open up on October 1st, why not go there on that day to see what's up? It's every American's duty to check it out. Let's all check out that link at like 1:18:09pm to celebrate the day Obama was first sworn in. I'll see you there!

To continue my examination of the healthcare marketplace, as noted before I had clicked on my state and got the information prompt telling me that this web site is where I can signup. The information section provided links for applying for coverage, comparing plans, and enrolling. That seems odd - isn't 'applying for coverage' the same as 'enrolling'? Man - this healthcare stuff is going to be hard. It's not just about catching the flu and going to the doctor's office for antibiotics anymore.

I selected 'Apply for Coverage' as that was the first thing listed and seemed like the logical choice. Uh-oh, no more smiling people, just a long page of words and stuff. This just got real! Since I have an admittedly short attention span I went to the most colorful part of the page - the box at the bottom with the big friendly green button offering to 'FIND HELP'. That's exactly what I needed! I put in my city state and hit enter.

Well, how nice. Another screen asking me once again to put in my address,

even offering an example:
Example: "Austin, TX" or "33109"
Out of curiosity, I checked to see where that zip code was located using the fore mentioned Google search. here's what I got:

Cool! An island! I wonder if they have pirate treasure there? The only problem is how do I get there from Austin TX? Something is just not right here...

Moving on, I entered my city and state. No Help. I thought, well what about someplace close to DC, like Arlington VA. That's like less than a couple miles from the White House. Surely they would have someone to help me navigate the ACA maze. Here's the results:

Well, they aren't in Arlington. But I guess they will do. Looking at their 'services' page I see:
HealthWorks for Northern Virginia is a charitable nonprofit that provides medical, dental and behavioral health services to anyone in need, regardless of age or ability to pay
So a one non-profit health clinic with offices in Herndon and Leesburg is going to provide sign up guidance to the millions of people that live in the Northern Virginia area? This will not end well. Perhaps the HHS could reach out to the abortion clinics too. There's bunches of them and I'd bet they'd be glad to help.

I did a little checking to find out about that organization, since they obviously are a very important part of the ACA implementation in Northern Virginia. First off I learned that, according to their web site, the President of the board is Tom Couglin.

No, not that guy, this one:
Tom Coughlin, a resident of Sterling, has more than 32 years experience in the Public Health Service in the Department of Health and Human Services. He is recently retired from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care
A recently retired HHS employee. Well that makes sense. The CEO is listed as Deborah Dever. LinkedIn has her listed as the President of Money Mailer - you know, those packets of index card sized coupons you used to get in the mail? That was her. I say used to as I haven't seen any of them in quite a while. I guess they just couldn't compete with Google.

That's all I have time for today. I think perhaps next time I will explore a state Marketplace site - like the state of Washington DC's marketplace. That should be fun.

Today marks the Autumn Equinox, so off I go to seize what I can of the day, as it will only get less as winter progresses. To quote a wise old TV cop "Let's be careful out there"

1 comment:

  1. This actually helps. And it's fun- keep up the good work!