Jan 13, 2014|
a health checkup on Affordable Health Care. The first deadline to sign up for Obamacare has come and gone. The new health care law is reportedly rebounding from a rough start, but while many Americans signed up, overall participation is dismal compared to expectations. Many who signed up and those attempting to do so--are still frustrated with the process. Some say it’s all too confusing …others warn they’re being counseled into policies they would not have chosen…and industry leaders worry the system is being flooded with unhealthy people and seniors while young so-called “invincibles” remain elusive. We'll get the latest on sign ups, payment plans, extensions, improvements and glitches. And, we’ll have experts on hand to take your calls. Angela speaks with Patrick Taylor with Benefit Planning Group and Gabe Janusa, President of Demand Insurance & Benefits.
We're discussing the hot topics of the day with co-host of First Take, Todd Menesses.
Angela discusses the shooting in Lafayette and says farewell to WWL as she hands her timeslot off to Scoot.
What's trending in sports, news, and entertainment?
Angela talks with WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore and Tulane law professor Tania Tetlow about the city's backlog of uninvestigated rape cases.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
I hope you had a wonderful weekend it a little disappointment there on on on Saturday but you know something I think all of us feel very. Positive about next year. We feel very positive about that team. On the had a lot going for them just at the very end. It didn't work out but again I think our love is only reinforced. For a wonderful group that fought fought and fought again. Will be thinking about Arizona. This time next year tension like. I do like them. All righty we are now going also into the new year on the subject that we have talked about for a very long time. The first deadline to sign up for Obama care -- the affordable care plan has passed but we're facing new deadlines and maybe some problems. This is an ever evolving program and process and we're committed to getting out as much information as we can. I want to implore you if you are having any problems now trying to sign up for the new health care act. Up please give us a call went out to 60. And so yes 260187260187. If you're an employer you're having some issues give us a call. The reason because my heroes here. As they always are Patrick Taylor president of the benefit planning group and game genius president of demand insurance. Both of you have been. Just incredible in helping. Us are all of us all of our listeners through what started out as a very complex problem. And just trying to get through the machinery of at all. Much less than understanding. That according to you all -- changing all the time. So it's a new year. I'm looking -- optimistic faces. Tell me what's going on now. Well healthcare and I got his work. That's a good thing that's beautiful thought. We are no longer had where we are Miller having to put people in the system 67 and eight times. In order to get them enrolled. For a simple one person. Going on health care health care and -- got its 1520 minutes if we have all the documentation we need. On so a lot of the bugs have been fixed and now we're waiting for insurance companies to issue ID cards and we got policy numbers that's a good thing. And we're waiting on ID cards. So it's got a lot better so. Everybody who signed up by it was December 23. Then they are than covered by January -- Williams still only have the remit payment to the insurance carrier. Some insurance -- are requiring payment by January 10 others when the money before the end of the year so depending on what carrier they choose they have different rules. Okay what are you sing differently now that we've passed. While it is still some frustration with people in China again the information while while the process sometimes that we had trouble verifying their identity of folks and without people's identity. We can't -- you know from step one step too. So what you mean we'll sometimes -- -- there was a young lady knows that living in that Richie. Chief recently separated former spouse. And she's moved several places in the last six or twelve months and she didn't really have a permanent residents. And out because of that and I guess her husband Ali a former husband used to support a lot of the a lot of bills and things like that so. All the credit was his name and her name. So it's very difficult to verify that Denny's and it didn't have prior. Credit so. That's a challenge we're trying to overcome and because of that who could put it together in time. You know we're playing until later Roman -- month -- -- into -- -- -- and straighten out. Yeah I've actually had a case like that as well we had a gentleman who -- him in 1977 Chappelle. And he owned two houses didn't have a credit card doesn't have a computer didn't have a cellphone. We actually had to overnight. Copies of his driver's license to the federal government and weighed about two weeks for his identity to be to be verified. And fortunately that was before the 23 of December so we had we had time to do that and he got a 11 effectively -- Well if you have if you don't have any of those things you're talking about a don't have the credit Joan your home centers that are but you have a Social Security number. Isn't that enough Lola in a part of the verification process is that's an optional field when you're going and you feel like your first thing a -- and -- date of birth and your your address of record. Putting so -- numbers optional and it's interesting when you pop it in which a -- basic information excluding your Social Security number. It will pop up a number of questions from Experian. 1234 questions to be exact and yet to answer its questions about your credit. And if we don't if we can't if they can't find in the system and the questions will -- stage is stuck doing nothing you can't Buchanan dance. -- used in the -- in the credit reporting agencies to verify your income not necessarily the federal government. Now one of the first questions I asked though one of the representatives -- marketplace Willis will this guy files income taxes on some conflicting and his tax returns a real person. And it -- because with their use in the credit reporting agencies. So one would think if somebody owns the home has proof of that -- has a car -- That that would be enough. Yes you would think but it's not an I would recommend anybody if you -- send something to the federal government spend fifteen dollars and send it federal express. I don't think they're going to get it if you send it by mail as it is it took us two weeks to get them to new on on a letter that we overnight to. Tell me some other experiences you've had focused -- know the two both signed up a great number of people. I think. You know one of the best examples this is the same kind of talking about with the identity. This man he and his wife what he makes 2530000. A year of their very simple people. And there from the West Bank. There in their early sixties she has talk on our problems and I think he was pretty healthy but they were spending eleven or 12100 dollars a month. Prior to health care -- -- to January 1. His employer dropped their plan. And September. So they were it they were scared to death. By the time we get finished. Their premium if I remember correctly was ninety dollars a month comic con and they had a 200 dollar deductible with a 100% coverage after that. And that would be the platinum plan no that was actually it's over plan because. Because they were between a hundred in 250%. Of the federal poverty level they got to benefit from cost sharing in addition to the subsidies. And I can what I hacking TVs so many examples of people that we're spending thousand dollars a month and other spending on treatment we just changed their lives by 900 to a thousand dollars a month. It's it's really moving when mom sits across -- desk from me and she's crime because she's she to save a thousand dollars a month. That's a lot of money. That's a whole lot go bad to this man who's an employer dropped the their insurance are you seeing that. Absolutely I'm not seeing as much as it was expected to see you know we're hearing a lot of things in industrialised employers drop coverage and just show you approach to block to exchange. I'm not seen in my practice. Up at -- a dozen times. And I have my own groups that -- drop the coverage and asked the theory employees to -- individual plans. They had several groups that have done that the good news is that a lot of them are punishing the employees. The same amount of money that they were spending on health care. Because most of the employees can go online and get a subsidy. You know the employer figured why why should I have to pay for this in the federal government will pay for. So we've been very successful except for that but these are smokers. He served 1015. Twin anchors tactic okay. Most of them as you work with and implore that you know have been. Average employee as a relatively high wage compared to -- another organization whose situations that would normally qualify for taxpayer on the exchange of the employers drop coverage. So I really think it's hit or miss you know some carries I'm summoned -- are considering it others are just kind of wait and seeing -- here however that plays out. But it in a day when I find is that really. If the employer wants to conduct math and figure out what's best for that employer -- wouldn't sit down in some money and calculate what's in the best interest of the organization. And the people that work for that organization are wonderful friends Patrick Taylor engage in -- But we also do have some callers so I'd like to go to them first John you had a question. Angela thanks to this program now wet yet so many people apiece straight and so much money that it cartridge. But I bought affordable health care about program supposed to pay for now how is that gonna happen. Tax dollars. That's at -- was -- but it. So expect. Well as a number of different tax laws that are changing just because of this so really -- to reach anti tax advisor and see how it really impacts you down to the dollars and cents but down thing going to have different fees on things. You know people not in the make inning comes over 200000 dollars and number of different you know right and actually we're going to have Jim O'Donnell in our our insurance commissioner on. In the next ourself. And that's a very good question for him perhaps you could elaborate as well on how this is being paid for. He can he can elaborate on all fees that are charged in the insurance companies which are being -- and passed down the consumers as well because -- six different taxes and fees that are associated with health care about go on just the insurance policies in the insurance companies in you may look at your insurance premium renewal notice that some -- -- line item. -- Explanation of where that the additional costs are coming from with your insurance premiums all the -- passed on directly to the consumer. Well health and answered your question John hope you continue to listen and and again Jim O'Donnell and will be joining you shortly thank you so much Cheryl from New Orleans. I don't think so much. -- in court and my question is. I went on -- bill. By vote. It's my husband and I played her. Our income actually drastically -- year that you. Or. We would have qualified or not that city that they aren't you -- out and he had been made it actually Brett has been made bad. I'm wondering if we should just wait till we act aren't able -- that that it would happen came back. You may -- edged out by kind of by order filed by a. Well for a solid challenge that you have with the waiting to April 15 to asked me when you're gonna make in 2014. Is that double lasting -- and roll. During open enrollment is march 31. -- if you wait a little bit too long to get that information you might be left hold the bags have to get their return number prior to that. And to help you out to the jet which a future income will be 2014. Okay. What time you like -- -- tax. Return of the current year to say that the -- are actually here at the it can get your -- Well at this this whole system was designed at first where it's gonna project which your income is note that we have a number of different entities that are working with. On the marketplace that -- make this all work everybody Experian IRS Homeland Security all these different. Organizations. And in some situations. And all of this is your experience had is that it actually projected what people's income was. Our going to be 2040 based on prior returns that were filed but what I found. For self employed people. That's hasn't been the case so I'm. Really you know just be mindful that I'm in when your. Wanna open if you gonna go to the open -- process this year. The federal images and the honor system to basically project how we'll come income you can have a 2014 so. I'll just do the best thing you can if you're in those. Modifications that you know whose incomes of one Arab descent to form -- and you may qualify for such but that the question also asked. -- Cheryl is. Next year it's going to be a projection for self employed person next year the next and next year they're never gonna and what happens if her income goes down. Then she's gonna get a tax credit when she does her 2014. Taxes and -- And my fear is that it when it goes up. And it does in some years I'm -- appetite at all. That's correct what are things that I'd consider doing is go back and look at your last two or three years. Either average it out our look at deep in your lowest year. It -- calculate the subsidy from your lowest year in and that's subsidy is a small amount of money. I think when I would do is I wouldn't I wouldn't worry about it which -- go ahead and buy your health insurance and see with the tax credit is next year. In the chat line up having a bad year in. You know you you didn't make as much money won't guess why you're gonna get it's you're gonna get that tax credit back to back that you can use for your premiums next year. Well that's -- -- thank them. Thank you so much calling Cheryl thank you -- you bring up some interest in points. Let's go back to well -- -- to blockage and down about. How much all of this is gonna cost but we're really talking about today is how to get through the system. And and that's. Everybody is different so they have different issues I'm so glad that Cheryl did call and I hope others will calling in and tell us your experiences. One of the things you said before we started is that prior to the beginning of the year. It was really a laborious. Process. And now you all are finding it. Easy her it's still not working at a 100%. But it is much better than it was. A month or so ago for sure. Our men amend or at minimum enrollment time. In December. Was an hour. For person if we were doing a family of three or four it was two hours. And there was no guarantee that we were gonna get through the system nine times out of ten we get through the system to get to the end of the system. And system failure and we have -- winners error message all over again I entered so many applications at 11 o'clock at night McCain team and today. So -- And you all look so refreshed. And renewed. Life is good life is so good -- we had one day offer for New Year's Apollo Olivia. If they get better every month again if you have any issues at all with the -- with your insurance these the guys to talk to we are also very fortunate to have. The commissioner of insurance for the state Louisiana Jim O'Donnell in and I thank you so much sir for giving us a call. What do. I don't know if you've had an opportunity to listen because on I use a busy but we've really been updating -- the process. And both of these gentlemen have said that things are getting a little easier are you finding meant. Yes -- -- in all war. Consumer outreach efforts. I would say yes those two or are trying to access web site or being a more successful than it worked thirty days ago no doubt. Still things can be confusing to people what has changed as of January 1. What are all. Several very significant things overall like. I'll guarantee issue is now the law of the land home and and what lifetime limits have been removed. Well great to suppression has kicked -- and follow and the subsidies tracks such as well I guess would be called. Insurance subsidies subsidies. Done through the prior arrests. Or in effect now. For those between 100 -- order to -- that the federal poverty level. So for people who do not -- health insurance right now what's gonna happen -- them. Well. For individuals. If you don't have insurance in place by march 31. -- your going to be penalized. Through the -- rest. To the extent of 85 dollars. Of this city probably problem. 995. Dollars or 1% of your income whichever is greater. And and and that takes you on March the first put those two individuals who wore uninsured. And but the if they continue an -- -- heard people say you know what I'm gonna pay the 95. I'm not gonna do it but the next year -- -- higher. It is that goes to follow. And two and a half percent -- When he sixteen. And what military here except probably -- -- 9 -- or up to 1% of income whichever is greater and -- to. Problem -- any or two and a half percent have been trumped by January 12060. Do you think. Do you think this is gonna work. I think it's very. Much open a year. Ultimately. The federal government -- the money so you would think that they would be able to do whatever is necessary. To make it work. Having said that there's seems to be any new. Fiscal conservatives. Mine fit to. At least. To the degree of want to hang out all the congress. A divided as it is that -- pre -- to. More money's being put into the program. In order to make itself would keep itself but all more and more likely. Keep it affordable. All of because. We have no statistical data to basis on at this point. But the common understanding. Amongst regulators here -- That did the millions of folks who have access to insurance. Through the marketplace. Or at the -- less healthy and older population. On the problem with that it -- that is if you don't. Young healthy. Folks in the polls to account balance. Goes higher risk more expensive. Policyholders. Then you. Are likely. To drop the cost up to those who wore in the pool. Because overall. Getting more benefits then that their tank. It can go to a point of creating a death spiral. Where. Those buckets will be -- insult -- those pockets of policyholders. That got a lot more expensive. Not counterbalanced. By healthier. Better risk individuals. -- you -- have any comment to that but to make comment on that Jim out of the hundreds of policies that we've sold over the last 45 days. Our average age is around 5051. We've only done about -- we've only completed maybe three or four people under the age of thirty. And and that's and that's a real problem and and it's not good from from the anecdotal. Information on getting from my colleagues. I'm not surprised to hear that. Well one of the problems we have to be Affordable Care Act and you would you which states. -- -- -- -- It has sake capital -- we -- want. All in the range of premiums. From the less the least healthy in oldest person is the youngest most -- In other words those least healthy old -- can only be charged -- it three times what. The young help these can beat George. It started out be Affordable Care Act that 61. But my understanding is that in the process of passage through the congress. The AA RPC. Who signed on and supported it initially. Doctor having lots of push back feedback from their membership. It went to the White House conceded we need a further contraction. Because we're getting too much. -- from our membership and the concession they got was lowering that. Cap from 61 down the -- -- or would you do that. Somebody's got to make up that difference and right now -- young people or make the old celtics'. But it's further exacerbated. By the fact that the president came in and instead. At the last minute back in November. You can keep your coverage. And this time it included not just folks who. Got grand faltered -- protection. But those who had non compliance policies that they lie. But war. Not. And providing all of the benefits that and he qualified -- AC ate up the affordable care obamacare -- policy. Called for. And ultimately. The the federal agency. She saw failed. Ordained that they would keep two different sets of books ultra premium purpose which won for those new policies that -- just described. That the folks who target the millions of folks around the country who are getting coverage. In in the new marketplace. As opposed to those young healthy to have high deductible or. The limited benefit plan and that -- were allowed to keep them yet about a year all of those things are interconnected. And when you get one -- and another. Pops up typical. And so would you give more benefits there is more close to be -- by some. And in that gets back to your question Angela. Will this ultimately. Succeed. And but my answer is I'm not sure that there's. There was a recent article where you comment I do think it's a very good idea. To have these health savings accounts to think they will help control cost. Absolutely. I've been any supporter promoter of health savings account so for the week. Well I guess it's about ten years that there have been around. Published they had been faster quicker take up on -- I think it may have. Addressed some of the issues that -- that led to the the creation of the Affordable Care Act the presage other. In the end it's sort where for me. Empowering. Consumers. With with making that choice themselves. But how much coverage they want. And that what policemen were going to play golf for that coverage. Come to wait health savings account works it is similar to deny -- -- you can put money aside pretax. To be used. To all sit deductibles are full page that you made curve for. Health insurance and I felt. -- -- That are not covered by your health insurance. And in -- or should it have been growing in popularity. They do you make. Consumers. Aware of what they're praying for their health care. And and they helped them make informed choices as to whether or not they want to actually pay for that. Cadillac of call Rachel are. They may be satisfied with. But shovel ready level of coverage. And pay the difference out of their pocket hole in the coverages in the insurance market and pay the difference out of the pocket more. Shopper rattled one doctor to another off hospital to another to get the better price. Patrick. Jim. And 75 to 80% the policies that we sell or are related health care savings accounts of the -- Qualified high deductible health plans. And two things solve it absolutely benefit the consumer is number one the math. The math almost always works when you look at the premiums than what's spent on the deductible at the end of the year. The positive out of pocket expenses are almost always. Considerably less than a co pay plan. The other thing it's very beneficial to the consumers is the fact that these -- PPO plans are not HMO point of service plans of -- -- have a much greater network of doctors and hospitals to two to attend so. And this is where people put in money every month. Yes and they will -- up the savings account and if somebody's health thing in everything alike can do that all of a sudden they're not healthy. Then they've got to go through you really it's a learning process. But how much do I have to have I don't know what the next rate costs I don't know what to CT scans cause I don't know whether my leg breaks when it's gonna cost. But I'm gonna have to know those things. It's -- -- it's going to make you aware of those things you may not have to know it but it's going to make you aware Obama will say the one another benefit this is that. When you go see a doctor -- say it simply cross. Not. High deductible plan. When you go to doctor's office you're not going to pay useful right you get paid a contractual discounted rate it may not be as low as a co pay. But it's not going to be that much greater than a co pay for just the doctor visit charts now the X rays in the blood tests and all that other stuff. But it does make you aware of which are spending. Mr. O'Donnell in the somebody called an earlier in -- asked the question who who's paying for these subsidies. Well. There they're -- they're being paid for out of the actual the general fund of the United States out of the treasury however. Also part of the affordable care Iraq or approximately. Eight new disease control urges. That are imposed upon ensure missed. But. That that that's sounds okay because nobody loves insurance companies -- about they're taxed that liability except. That those taxes or a hundred cents on the dollar pass through expenses. To the premium cost that date passed on to consumers. And in fact that's one of my biggest objections to be Affordable Care Act. It's the fact that it imposes for the first time in our country's history they premium tax on health insurance. Although it's in all of our history up until now. Premium taxes have been left to the jurisdiction in the purview. Of the states that week here at the department of insurance collectible 400 million dollars a year. In premium taxes for the state of Louisiana. Hasn't electronically -- over to the general -- We're now getting competition. For premium taxes from the federal government. First time in history and that is estimated to cost. Policyholders. Ten billion dollars over the next ten years the fees and taxes included the affordable care to. So the answers were all paying for this. Okay Jim this is gave -- sent a question for you when it comes to these. The US treasury actually writing a check to the insurance carries what does -- time -- that they have to actually get their money in the insurance Kerry's hands because. I'll look in that a lot of these policies that we've sold on the exchange in these premiums or heavily subsidized. And I just have a concern. -- -- -- I'm just wondering how timely these teams will be made the insurance to do they have any restrictions or timeframe seek to use the funds to the insurance carriers. No -- -- and and by the way let me back up -- -- -- Yeah actually ten billion are meant to say if I didn't our hundred billion over ten years ten billion per year. Plus before brand name drugs. Which will bring in another 34 billion. In these taxes however you wanna call it. To the federal government. But no and -- that and HHS says that made it. That there computer. Be able to bear they're -- capability. To transform our. The funds necessary. From the federal government to the insurance. To pay for these subsidies. Would not be ready by January 1 it was stocks and they have not yet. Given the companies pay estimated all win that technology when that capability. Would be available. Well what remains to be seen as will they -- -- Paper statements are important monthly or quarterly basis right now they're just telling that. The company's trust us we're gonna get the money to you -- eventually.