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Begich says he enrolled via online marketplace

Posted: November 11, 2013 - 10:25pm

JUNEAU — U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said he successfully enrolled Monday in a health insurance plan through the online marketplace open to Alaskans, shirking a congressional benefit.

Going the route he did, Begich said he gave up an employer contribution of 75 percent of his premium, which members of Congress are eligible to receive if they enroll through a Washington, D.C., marketplace. The first-term Democrat, who has been a supporter of the federal health care law and who faces re-election next year, said he wanted to have the same experience as other Alaskans and felt it was only fair to enroll the way he did.

While there have been problems with the online marketplace since its Oct. 1 launch, Begich told The Associated Press that he had no problems completing his enrollment Monday, which he has said was the first day members of Congress could pick plans.

Begich said he has seen a marked improvement — including changes in the speed and information available — in the last five to 10 days. He said the difference between now and the first week of the launch is like “day and night.”

The online marketplace is intended to allow individuals to browse their options for private insurance to be in compliance with the federal health care law. People can shop and sign up on their own, as Begich did, or with help, like that of a broker.

Late last month, Enroll Alaska, a broker established to help sign Alaskans up for health insurance under the health care law, said it was suspending enrollments through the website until problems were fixed. One issue was with the calculator used to determine if individuals qualified for income-based subsidies.

Begich said he was told by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that as of Monday morning, the subsidy calculator for Alaska was working.

“There should be no reason now people should have any problems,” he said.

Enroll Alaska chief operating officer Tyann Boling said Monday afternoon that she had not yet received confirmation that the issue had been corrected and would not resume enrollments through the site until that confirmation is received.

Begich said he has brought to the White House concerns he’s had with the site and will continue to monitor the site for problems.

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KenaiKardinal88 11/12/13 - 03:27 pm
Anchorage Liberal Begich Either a Liar or Idiot

Begich was a key vote for Obamacare - it's a disaster. How did he even get a "Congressional" benefit from Obamacare?

He voted for it and now he's running away from it.

Vote Begich out. He's a big-spending liberal who votes with Obama over 90% of the time.

Raoulduke 11/13/13 - 01:53 am
The Market

KK 88 So! Voting 90% for your party.Means 10% of the time.He did NOT.So! The conservative's that took Their oath of office.Then signed a pledge to an INDIVIDUAL to shut down this country.Sounds like that was alright with you.You don't see any sign of FRAUD,PERJURY,and TREASON in doing this.Wish you well.Oh! Yes! Would you explain your meaning of the term"COMMIE FISHERS".

Offcenter 11/13/13 - 06:48 am
congressional exemption

Tell you what Begich, you enroll in Obamacare and I'll take your job in Congress so I can opt out of the mess.

What I want to know is if any of the souls who voted for Obamacare _really_ thought they could fix the healthcare system with insurance? The people who voted for it are either too ignorant of basic economics to be in charge of anything or so indifferent to the real plight of real people that they actually count as evil.

Fantzi05 11/16/13 - 12:40 am
Mark Begich and Obamacare

Senator Begich is a minion following whatever plan Obama has for his own benefit. I am not impressed and will not ever vote for him. I have sent him numerous letters about upcoming votes and his comments back are basically "Thanks for your input but I will vote the way I want to". I thought he was supposed to represent the will of the Alaskan people. Someone forgot to tell him, I guess. But what does it matter to him. He has a pension and everything he has for life now while Alaskans suffer. VOTE BEGICH OUT!!!

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