A Washington State woman’s catastrophic coverage insurance was cancelled. Under ObamaCare, her monthly cost rocketed from $276.00 to $415.20. The new premium was impossible for her to pay so she took advantage of the offer to find other options, which turned out to be only one “option” that turned out not be an option but a government order. She was put into the Medicaid system without the ability to opt-out.
Since she couldn’t afford the new plan offered by her insurer, she told me she was eager to explore her new choices under the Affordable Care Act. Washington Healthplanfinder is one of the better health-exchange sites, and she was actually able to log on. She entered her personal and financial data. With efficiency uncommon to the ObamaCare process, the site quickly presented her with a health-care option.
That is not a typo: There was just one option—at the very affordable monthly rate of zero. The exchange had determined that my mother was not eligible to choose to pay for a plan, and so she was slated immediately for Medicaid. She couldn’t believe it was true and held off completing the application…
I fully expected her to realize that she had forgotten some crucial piece of information, like a decimal point in her annual income. We checked and double-checked the information, but the only option still appeared to be Medicaid. She suggested clicking on “Apply for Coverage,” thinking that other options might appear.
Instead, almost mockingly, her “Eligibility Results” came back: “Congratulations, we received and reviewed your application and determined [you] will receive the health care coverage listed below: Washington Apple Health. You will receive a letter telling you which managed care plan you are enrolled with.” Washington Apple Health is the mawkish rebranding of Medicaid in Washington state.
The page lacked a cancel button or any way to opt out of Medicaid. It was done; she was enrolled, and there was nothing to do but click “Next” and then to sign out.
The bottom line: she could not choose to be uninsured and pay a penalty. The woman now on Medicaid without the ability to choose a plan she can pay for, is the mother of a WSJ writer. Read the entire article here.
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