health insurance

I'm a believer in having health insurance. My sister stayed one night in a hospital, and all they did was run tests — nothing was found wrong. This cost about $16,000.

But I left my job, so I need to find my own.

I applied for a Health Net plan on eHealth, and was rejected.. they haven't told me why.

So.. I need to try again. I'm applying right now for "Obamacare" through the Covered California website. I have a few complaints.

First, the standard password issues, except I had a password that complied with all their written requirements, and it still rejected it — it said the max was 16 characters, but it appears the actual max is less than that.

Second, this statement: "Would you like to see if these programs are right for you? Make sure you select ''Yes'' and get the help you need to reduce the cost of your family's monthly premiums or co-pays." — this seems like spam.. is it spam? or is it the whole point of the site? I definitely want to see a price and what I get in return, that would help me know if each program is right for me..

3. It says "County Code is Required - Please select your county code". There is no box highlighted. There is no box for selecting a country code. It turns out the phone numbers must include a country code. (update: that's "county" not "country".. adding a leading 1 to my phone numbers did get rid of the error, but I suppose it shouldn't have)

4. I entered an address. It says it doesn't match some other address it found somewhere else that I didn't type. The other address is, well, wrong — in particular, it doesn't include my unit number, and the word "Ave" is on a separate line from the street name — where did they find this other address? And will they reject my application for not being the same as it? I think I'll stick with my correct address, and hope for the best..

5. I've had to enter my date of birth twice so far..

6. under marital status, there is "Single" and also "Never Married". "Single" is the top choice, as if it would be the most common, and presumably have the usual connotation of, well, not having gotten married.. I guess I'll choose "Never Married" since it is more specific.

7. "did this person have a medical expense in the last 3 months".. oh god.. this sounds dangerous.. surely having a medical expense recently is bad for getting health insurance. Now, I did have a wisdom tooth pulled out, but I paid for it out of my own pocket, and I chose when to have it — I mean, if I knew they'd ask this question, I would have chosen to have it later, it's not as if I needed it.. also, it's a dental expense, which is typically not covered by health insurance anyway.. surely if they can sell me "medical insurance" and not cover dental, I can say I got dental work without incurring a "medical expense"..

8. "does this person have or has this person been offered affordable full coverage health insurance for January 2014?".. one of the options is CORBA. I have been offered CORBA, however, it is like $500 a month. I don't consider that "affordable".

9. the confirmation screen shows the information I entered, except my phone number.. it forgot my phone number. I suppose that's fine.. I don't need them calling me..

10. total income for this month.. hm.. technically I worked one day at oDesk, but I got paid that day, and they also paid me for all my outstanding vacation days.. so I earned more than I usually would.. sortof. I didn't earn that money this month though, surely the earning of the money happened previously. Now I could mark my pay for the 1 day I work, but I assume this "how much did you earn this month" thing is supposed to guess how much I'm likely to earn in a month going forward..

11. hm.. now they want me to sign this under penalty of perjury — very serious stuff, they say — hm.. I check back through and notice that it asks if my home address is the same as my mailing address. Well.. sortof.. I don't have a home. My mailing address is the last address I plan to ever have.. maybe I should call them.. part of me says this is a bad idea: "don't ask permission, ask forgiveness, etc.."..

..so I took the risk of asking permission, and I got it!

I asked if I could mark my home address as the same as my mailing address, even though it isn't — since I'm homeless — and they said yes.

I asked if "dental expenses" counted as "medical expenses" and they said no.

I asked if I needed to count the 1 day I worked for oDesk this month, and they said no (I should put my projected gross income).


..oh, after all that, I get insurance, but it doesn't start until next year. what about the rest of this year?.. I hope I don't almost-but-not-die :(

(update: although my insurance ends this month, it turns out that I have 60 days to elect COBRA coverage, and it is retroactive to November 1st, so I'm effectively covered for free for 60 days.. that's nice.. and strange.. and it almost gets me to January 1st, missing only December 31st..)

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