Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Obamacare website giving misleading and false price estimates

From CBS News:
The new "shop and browse" feature [on the Obamacare website] often comes with the wrong price tags.[Par for the course.]

Industry analysts, such as Jonathan Wu, point to how the website lumps people only into two broad categories: "49 or under" and "50 or older." Wu said it's "incredibly misleading for people that are trying to get a sense of what they're paying."

Prices for everyone in the 49-or-under group are based on what a 27-year-old would pay. In the 50-or-older group, prices are based on what a 50-year-old would pay.

CBS News ran the numbers for a 48-year-old in Charlotte, N.C., ineligible for subsidies. According to HealthCare.gov, she would pay $231 a month, but the actual plan on Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina's website costs $360, more than 50 percent higher. The difference: Blue Cross and Blue Shield requests your birthday before providing more accurate estimates.

The numbers for older Americans are even more striking. A 62-year-old in Charlotte looking for the same basic plan would get a price estimate on the government website of $394. The actual price is $634...

Chini Krishnan is the chief executive officer of GetInsured.com. His company helped design California's new health-care-exchange website. It requires people to enter their birthdays to get a real price quote. Krishnan said, "It's important that the users have a proper, trustworthy, honest brand experience when they interact with HealthCare.gov, and I think providing accurate prices is an integral component of that."

Industry executives CBS News spoke with could not believe the government is providing these estimates, which they said were useless and could easily mislead consumers. They also said that the website repeatedly states the actual prices could be lower, but it makes no mention that they could be higher
Not surprising at all. Par for the course...........

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