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PBC News & Comment Special: My 6-month Test Drive of Obamacare

Test-driving Obamacare, your humble host has been shocked by fraudulent representations, second-class coverage and premium rates that are hardly affordable....Click here for free audiobook download from Audible, and earn $15 for the PBC Podcast!

In this special report, I take you through my 6-month trial of health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

It began with silence--my January request for followup by email was never responded to.  In February, I spent 4 hours on hold before I got a human.  He assured my that my doctor was "in network" for Anthem Blue Cross, as the doctor's office had informed me.  I signed up for the most expensive "platinum" plan, with no co-pays or deductibles.  He vaguely mentioned that the new policy "may not permit" lawsuits, but could not say definitely.

In March, I got a physical from my doctor, expecting little or no out of pocket expense.  When the bill came, it said my doctor was not "in network" and thus I would pay part of the cost.  Then I learned of the second-tier "narrow networks" for ACA customers, which was news to me and my doctor.  And I found out that Anthem had been trying to get my doctor to sign an agreement to accept lower reimbursement from ACA covered patients.

I have filed a grievance with Anthem, which opened a file in May and has not done anything else.  In July, I filed appeals with two California state agencies, asking to be switched to another insurer.

Single payer--Medicare for all--is the solution.  But toxic politics will make that difficult to achieve.