“I am not terribly different than some other writers who have been in the individual market. We have BCBS covering a family of four with a variety of pre-existing (but not life threatening) conditions. Like others, BCBS of Illinois informed us that our policy would no longer be valid after January 1, 2014. They also informed us that they would role us automatically into a slightly more expensive (and largely comparable) plan if we did nothing.
“Here is where it gets a bit more interesting. The “cancellation letter” directed us to the BCBS website, where we could shop through various other options. There are a large number of options (e.g., network breadth, deductibles, co-pays, etc.), many of which are also comparable to what we have at lower rates. Relatively minor tweaks to our deductible will save us hundreds per month – more than offsetting the deductibles. And, since getting the letter, we have gotten follow-up emails and telephone calls from BCBS encouraging us to compare our options at the BCBS website.
“It has become quite clear over the past couple of weeks that BCBS does not want us shopping on the Illinois Exchange. Of course I will ultimately do that, if nothing else to check out competitive options. BCBS has huge market share here and they have the best, most comprehensive network – I won’t be a bit surprised if we stay with them. That said, we have suddenly become much more attractive and important to BCBS than we were. Getting through underwriting a few years ago was ridiculously difficult, now we are being marketed heavily and encouraged essentially to skip the exchange all together and shop exclusively at BCBS.
“Count me among those who think the ACA will ultimately work to the net benefit of the vast majority of people in the individual market – myself included.”
From someone who wrote to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo after receiving one of those “cancellation” letters. My guess is that this guy’s experience is fairly typical, and once again the Obama Administration is doing a crappy job of ‘splaining.
I think Obama has done a good job of explaining. The problem is that the so-called mainstream is not interested in telling that story. They seem to think, paraphrasing Steven Colbert, the truth has a well known liberal bias. Just look at the crappy reporting job both CBS and NBC did with people that received these types of letters. Had they even spent a little effort doing some research they would have discovered the real issue is these insurance companies are using this a way to scam their customers and blame the ACA. They should be ashamed of them themselves for trying to pass this crappy reporting off as journalism.
I agree with you about the media, but I don’t think the Obama Administration hits back hard enough and clearly enough. They’re always playing defense on messaging.
I think it always appears to be defensive because the right-wing media machine just makes crap up. They brow beat the rest of the media into following their lead when the administration just ignores the obvious made up BS. If the media did its job the president would not (and should not) have to address obvious false information. The problem is if Obama push back too hard then he will be tagged as “an angry black man”. Rush has been waiting years to use this line of attack. Besides, the White House should never lower itself to the level of Fox News and the right-wing nut jobs.