The Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare) raises many questions:
Here is my guide to finding answers to the questions that I thought were important, as an individual consumer looking for an individual policy. The links here were functional on 5 November 2013; the information here is from a lay person perspective, and should not be construed as legal or medical advice... just a way to help find things on the various sites.
Recommended order as follows, but most steps are independent.
Experian? Yep, one feature Experian offers is "identity service" where they ask questions based on your credit history to verify your identity. They do that for free credit reports... and now they do it for the ACA. There are two alternatives: prove your identity to a facilitator in a face-to-face meeting (call the NHL support number to get a list of local facilitators: 885-768-5465), or use the 64 page paper application.
I guess there is a third alternative... after failing to successfully check eligibility each day for a week, I called NevadaHealthLink to report the problem. They said there were only two reasons it would fail: that I haven't lived at the same address for the last two years (well, it has been eleven), or that I have no credit history (my credit report shows lots of credit history). After going around that discussion a while, and getting a supervisor involved, rather than figuring out the problem with the web site, they offered to take an application over the phone. This took 3 hours, about half of it on hold while the agent checked with IT about this problem, and the supervisor about that problem, but finally it got done. I can't (yet) see the account they created for me, but they claim I will be able to in due time.
I guess the reason that I had problems getting validated was because when I am asked for an "address" I use my PO Box, rather than my street address, because the PO Box is where I get mail. It occurred to me today to try using the street address, and the identity verification went right through. It seems to have lead into the same application process that I went through on the phone, so I don't think it is appropriate for me to go too far into that process on the account I set up, as my application has been completed on the account they set up. So be sure to use your physical address. My agent tried and tried (and hopefully succeeded, if I expect to receive mailings) to get my mailing address (PO Box) into the application, as I do not get USPS mail at my physical address.
The application indicated that I qualify for Expanded Medicaid. NevadaHealthLink people told me that I would receive a coverage card and paperwork from NV DWSS within 7 working days. When that didn't happen, I called NV DWSS and they said that they have 45 days to process the application. Due to the date of the application (delayed several days because the other problems), the processing date would be 2 January 2014. On 3 January 2014, the automated system still said my application was pending, so I called talked to a person again, and they said I didn't misunderstand the date, but that something must have delayed things, and that I will get a call back within 48 hours. I seriously doubt they work on weekends, though, so I don't know why they don't say "2 business days" instead of 48 hours.
It is an uncomfortable feeling being without health care insurance of any sort.
Note that when browsing plans, you will be listed as "unqualified", which doesn't mean you are not qualified to obtain a health plan, but that you haven't gone through the verification process, and the qualification process, for a government subsidy.
The list is long, and scrolling is confusing as the plan names disappear, and it would be nice to print it, but the "Print" button that is offered seems to do the same function as the "Close" button. If, instead, you choose to click on the plan name, you get the same list, but just for one plan. There is no "Print" button offered here, and if you try to use the browser print feature, all you get is a waste of paper, with the plan text overlaid on the list of plans.If you can't figure out what listed category a specific medical expense would fall into, more detail is available, from the providers. You can print those lists, too, but they have a different format for each provider, so comparison of two printouts will take a bit of searching. But the detailed lists are not directly available at NHL. Instead you must go to the site mentioned in the next item.
If they tell you to call Experian with a code, you can, but if you get told your information hasn't come through yet, it is not clear that it is worth calling back each time you try, over the next several days. However, if the error persists for more than 3 days, and you get told the same thing by Experian, you should call the NHL support line and report the problem. Since it hasn't been 3 days yet (See red paragraph above for what happened later), I have no idea what there answer will be if the problem persists longer than that, other than the facilitator or the paper application.Once you have been verified and qualified, then the premium prices on the NHL site will be adjusted by your subsidies, for a better report of what you must actually pay for coverage.