Another Health Care Law Quirk Pops Up

WASHINGTON (January 3, 2014) Another quirk surfaced in the Obama administration's new health insurance system.

It turns out there’s no easy way to update coverage for a new baby or in the event of other common life events.

With regular private insurance, parents just need notify the health plan about a birth.

The administration says babies will still be covered, but parents must now tell the government about the new arrivals, too.

The problem is the HealthCare.gov website can't handle such updates yet.

It's not just a new baby that could trigger bureaucratic hassles, but other life changes affecting a consumer's taxpayer-subsidized premiums including marriages, divorces, new jobs, changes in income or even moves to new communities.

Officials say for now consumers should just notify their insurers, but they’re working on an upgrade so HealthCare.gov can handle such updates, too.

Also, researchers have a warning for patients with cancer or other serious conditions.

They say out-of-pocket costs could be so high, they'll still struggle financially.

For example the premium for an adult younger than 65 with no job-based coverage who makes $24,000 a year would be capped at about $130 a month, which should be manageable.

But if that adult gets seriously ill or has an accident, deductibles and co-pays could be as much as $5,200 in a worst-case scenario, which is more than 20 percent of income, and that would leave the person under-insured, researchers say.


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