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‘Obamacare’ AK subsidy calculator fixed

Health care enrollment restarts as shortfall ends

Posted: November 13, 2013 - 2:37pm  |  Updated: November 13, 2013 - 2:43pm

Ending a few-week delay, Enroll Alaska restarted its process to connect Alaskans to health insurance through healthcare.gov.

Tyann Boling, the chief operating officer of Enroll Alaska said her company enrolled their fourth client, since the program opened on Oct. 1, Monday afternoon following confirmation that the Department of Health and Human Services had fixed the subsidy calculator for the Alaska portion of healthcare.gov.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires, among many things, that all citizens and legal residents not covered by employer-sponsored health insurance programs buy health insurance by March 31, 2014 or face fines. Under the individual mandate, households making less than 400 percent of the federal poverty level, about $117,000 for a family of four in Alaska, will recieve some level of federal subsidy.

Federal subsidies can be paid directly to the insurance company on a monthly basis or given in the form of a yearly tax credit to individual being insured.  

Before the fixing the problem, healthcare.gov based its subsidy calculation on the cheapest silver plan available in Alaska. The calculation was actually to be based on the second cheapest silver plan available. Plans are rated from bronze at the low end of cost and coverage to gold at the high end. Also included is a catastrophic category.

Enroll Alaska discovered the issue, which was shorting individuals in favor of the federal government, in early October by doing manual calculations. But, HHS was only able to confirm the mistakes near the end of the month.

“We determined that it was $100 less than it should have been,” Boling said.

Specifically, two insurance plans occupied the lowest priced category and one was bumped up into the second cheapest category incorrectly rather than the actual cheapest, HSS Region Ten Director Susan Johnson, said.

Johnson estimated that a “couple of dozen” people were affected by the miscalculation. She is unsure if those individuals will have to reapply through healthcare.gov or get the option of an “expedited appeal.”

“We’re very pleased that it’s been fixed,” she said. “Alaska is our highest priority in Region ten.”

Region Ten covers Alaska, Idaho, Washington state and Oregon.

Due to glitches in the website that affected enrollment across the nation, Enroll Alaska had previously signed up three people and those clients are being worked with to ensure there subsidies are now accurate, Boling said.

Statewide, as of Tuesday, only about 50 people had completed applications through healthcare.gov, Johnson said.

According to a HHS report released today, 1,253 applications were filed by Tuesday seeking coverage for 2,203 people, however only 53 were counted as completed through selecting an actual health insurance plan.

 “We know that’s low,” Johnson said, adding that she expects enrollment to pick up now that the calculator is fixed.

Reach Greg Skinner at greg.skinner@peninsulaclarion.com

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KenaiKardinal88
383
Points
KenaiKardinal88 11/13/13 - 04:03 pm
0
0
Begich = Obamacare

Anchorage liberal Mark Begich was a key vote for Obamacare. Obama lied about the impact on Americans, and Begich supported this Big Government takeover.

It's time to vote Begich out of office as he's the worst representative of Alaska's interests in the history of politics. Begich got elected based on lies about Ted Stevens.

Norseman
2843
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Norseman 11/13/13 - 06:52 pm
0
0
" ....Begich got elected

" ....Begich got elected based on lies about Ted Stevens...."

Apparently KK88 thinks he can make up his own facts. Refresh your memory.......

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator TED STEVENS (Republican, Alaska): You got to get a mental attitude that these guys can't really hurt us, you know. They're not going to shoot us, it's not Iraq. Well, what the hell? Worst can be that - worst that can happen to us is we run up a bunch of legal fees and might lose, and we might have to pay a fine, might have serve a little time in jail. I hope to Christ it never gets to that.

SCHMIDT: And Stevens even suggests he knows the Feds may be listening.

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator STEVENS: I think they're probably listening to this conversation right now, for Christ's sake.

SCHMIDT: One conversation can be read as either just two men commiserating or a pact.

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator STEVENS: I told my guys, no matter what comes up, we're not abandoning you. I think you've done what you thought was right and I think was right. And so, let's stick this thing out together, OK?

Mr. BILL ALLEN (CEO, VECO): You bet, Ted.

SCHMIDT: Stevens repeatedly says neither he nor Allen has done anything wrong, that a criminal charge has an intent requirement.

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator STEVENS: It may be that what we've done leaves an impression we've done something wrong, but you have to make up your mind you're doing something wrong, you have to have an intention to do something wrong to really be guilty of a crime. So, you know, it's a long way before we're going to be in front of a jury.

SCHMIDT: And Stevens warns Allen that the two men should lay low. They should do nothing that would look like they are interfering with the investigation.

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator STEVENS: Let's not try to share information that they don't have.

Mr. ALLEN: OK.

Senator STEVENS: That would be obstruction of justice.

SCHMIDT: And finally, Stevens tells Allen to cheer up.

(Soundbite of tape-recorded conversation)

Senator STEVENS: You got to have some faith in the system and faith in the juries and faith in what's going to go on in order to succeed in this deal.

Mr. ALLEN: OK.

Senator STEVEN: Try it, buddy.

Mr. ALLEN: I will.

Senator STEVENS: OK.

Mr. ALLEN: Hey, Ted?

Senator STEVENS: Yeah?

Mr. ALLEN: I love you, you know.

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