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A new year with insurance.

January 1, 2014

Well, the day is finally here.  I am officially insured by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.  I was never able to sign up for coverage through the federal exchange, healthcare.gov.  My application got caught in an endless loop right at the step where you confirm the policy you want to buy.  Several phone calls to the healthcare.gov phone line (800-318-2596) did not solve the problem though I must say the customer service representatives tried their best.  They’ve all become quite adept at saying, “Thank you for your patience” and “I’m very sorry you have had this experience.”  All told, I think I visited the website well over 100 times and called the phone line perhaps 20 times.  I did not count, though I wish I had.

Since I was unable to obtain my insurance through the exchange, I had to buy my policy directly from the insurer.  My agent tells me I will not be eligible for the $97/month tax credit because I did not go through the exchange.  This seems patently unfair to me since the exchange didn’t work.  I couldn’t afford to wait for coverage until the government could fix the problem.  Fortunately, I only need insurance for three more months.  I will be covered by Medicare April 1st.

It is unfortunate that actually signing up for insurance has been this hard for so many people.  It casts a pall over what should have been a joyous occasion.  Millions of people have the opportunity to get much cheaper coverage or coverage they can finally afford.  Some people in the upper middle class will pay more than they did before, but in all fairness they can generally afford it even though they will bitch about it.  I probably would too in their position.  Too bad I don’t have that disposable income to be in their position.  Like so many others, I have slipped from what I thought was a firmly ensconced position in the middle class to what I suppose must be called the lower class.

Well, tomorrow I have an appointment to go to.  I could not have made it without insurance.

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