Obamacare had promised affordable healthcare to everyone – regardless of financial status or pre-existing conditions. That being said, the launch didn’t help matters. The majority of the online marketplaces didn’t function properly at launch. For healthcare.gov, the initial surge in the enrollments was too much for the exchange to handle and it suffered a major setback. The next couple of months brought several challenges that made life difficult for the Obama administration. One of the biggest challenges was the cancellation of policies that did not meet the ACA guidelines. Coupled with the technical challenges and 834 transaction errors, the administration suffered a lot of pain.
Although things are getting better now and the administration has crossed the magic mark of 5 million enrollments by the end of February, things were not always successful. In this two-part post, we focus on social media and look at the most common complaint posted on the administrations Facebook page and how those problems have been resolved.
1) I can’t afford the ‘affordable’ health insurance – One of the most common complaints that the administration has received on its Facebook page is rising costs. As for people who are not eligible for any subsidies, the higher copays and deductibles make things a little worse. Some people are citing tax issues and comparing this new health reform to a choice that they are forced to make. A classic complaint has been the usage of their tax money toward making health insurance affordable for others. However one common theme is the lack of knowledge. Most of these complainants are not aware of the benefits. Through outreach and education methods, the Obama administration is empowering ‘exchange navigators’ to help people through the enrollment process.
2) I cannot keep my health insurance, even if I like it – During the rollout, President Obama had promised that people would be able to keep their insurance if they like it and prefer it over the plans available with the marketplaces. However a wave of cancellations hit during the latter part of 2013 throwing the public into confusion. Several people complained on the official Facebook of the administration and cited false promises and broken trust as their primary concern. In response, the administration went ahead and allowed people with cancelled health insurance to retain their until the end of 2015.
3) My doctor does not want me to use his services after Obamacare enrollment – An unforeseen and unpredicted circumstance, several doctors sought reasons to release patients who were enrolled in the new Obamacare policies. A classic case involved people who had been seeing the same doctor for more than two decades and were terminated due to Obamacare. It is important to note that Obamacare has impacted doctors as well. A number of doctors have been dropped by issurers.
As with every high profile health reform, Obamacare has had its share of problems. In the first part of the series, we have summed up the top 3 issues people faced with Obamacare. In the final part of this series, we will cover the remaining aspects that have been troubling people with Obamacare until now. Watch this space for the next part of the series.