My Obamacare journey Installment 1

Count me among the millions in the country and the thousands in Alaska that don’t have health insurance.

I’m looking forward to really digging in and learning about how the Affordable Care Act works for Alaskans. And I’ll be sharing my journey here on The LegHead Report’s website.

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There are  a number of articles posted on The LegHead Report Facebook page that everyone should find useful.

Here is my Live Chat with the person at the official Obamacare site (, which wasn’t very useful.


Live Chat Sept 25 Wed about 4:15 pm AST with Yadira at

( is the official Obamacare site where you go to learn more and to sign up for the insurance exchange.)

[4:06:03 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help.
[4:06:06 pm]: Please be patient while we’re helping other people.
[4:06:15 pm]: Welcome! You’re now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat.

Thanks for contacting us. My name is Yadira. To protect your privacy, please don’t provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information.

[4:06:37 pm]: Maggie
Hi. I live in Kodiak, Alaska 99615. How can I get help to register?
[4:06:46 pm]: Yadira
Welcome to the Health Insurance Marketplace, my name is Yadira, how may I help you?
[4:07:28 pm]: Maggie
When I type in my zip code for 99615 the computer says there is 0 help in my area. Got any suggestions?
[4:07:41 pm]: Yadira
Open enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace begins on October 1, 2013. You can take a number of steps now to prepare for open enrollment. This includes gathering basic information like your household income, making a list of questions you might have before you choose your health plan, and visiting to learn about different types of insurance and common terminology.

When enrollment begins, you can find and submit an application online, over the phone, or by mailing it to the Marketplace. In addition to calling us here, you will have access to in-person assistance to help answer your application questions.

The Marketplace will offer a single application that determines your eligibility for multiple health care programs, including private plans, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. You will also be able to find out if you’re eligible for lower costs on your monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs. If the Marketplace determines that you are eligible, you will be able to compare health plans and select the plan that meets the needs of your family and your budget.

[4:08:30 pm]: Maggie
Does this mean you can’t offer any help as to where to go locally for information? Is there someplace in Alaska that I can call for info?
[4:09:49 pm]: Maggie
Hello? Are you still there?
[4:10:26 pm]: Yadira
Thank you for your patience.
[4:11:46 pm]: Yadira
Federal grants are helping states and territories start or strengthen consumer assistance programs that can help you with any health insurance problems. They can help you file complaints or appeals and understand your rights and responsibilities.

Even if your state does not have a consumer assistance program, you still have rights and protections under the health care law, including the right to appeal decisions made by your health insurance provider.

If you are covered by a job-based health plan, you can contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor at or 1-

[4:12:56 pm]: Maggie
OK. This wasn’t much help. I’ll keep trying.
[4:13:15 pm]: Yadira
You may want assistance during the application and enrollment process, and there will be many resources available to help you. In all states, the Health Insurance Marketplace will offer several kinds of assistance to help you understand your health coverage options and select a plan that meets your needs.

Beginning October 1, 2013, there will be people in your community trained and certified to help you. They will be known by different names, for instance Navigators, application assisters, or certified application counselors, depending on who provides the service and where they are located, but all will provide similar kinds of help. Insurance agents and brokers can also help you with your application and choices.

Also, assistance is available 24/7 by calling us here or through the online chat at

[4:15:12 pm]: Yadira
Do you have any other questions that I can help you with?
[4:15:31 pm]: Yadira
Thank you for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. We are here to help you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
[4:15:38 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we’ve answered your questions. Have a great day.
[4:15:38 pm]: 9/25/2013