For those of us who need to deal with Obamacare directly through the Healthcare.gov exchange, finding health insurance becomes more bizarre and frustrating each day.
After completing our 2015 application for coverage and managing to find a "reasonable" plan that will cost us only about $10,000 per year (before Obamacare, an identical plan in South Dakota would have cost us $3,000 per year), we just received a notice that we cannot receive coverage in South Dakota because we don't own or rent a home in the state and pay utility bills. Apparently, you need to provide proof of both mortgage or lease payments and the payment of utility bills to be eligible for healthcare coverage through the Obamacare exchange in South Dakota. Considering we had South Dakota coverage in 2014, I can only assume this is a new development.
So under Obamacare, you can't be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, or even if you are not a U.S. citizen, but you can be denied coverage if you do not own property or pay rent to a slumlord and pay utility bills.
Even after explaining to the Dakotacare representatives that we live in an RV and provide for our own utilities by living off-grid, they either could not or would not understand our situation and address this ridiculous policy. The fact that we are legal residents of South Dakota, with valid drivers' licenses, pay annual property taxes to South Dakota on our truck and RV, are registered to vote in the state, receive all of our mail in South Dakota, and have South Dakota residency in the eyes of the most powerful federal agency in Washington...the IRS, was not a convincing enough argument. The help desk at Healthcare.com didn't have any answers for us to solve this. Like most of my dealings with this group, they were clueless and helpless, trying to refer us to the South Dakota insurance commission to seek some help.
At least we have a partial solution. We will skip buying health insurance for 2015 and save that $10,000. If they try to penalize us with a fee for not buying insurance, we have ample documentation that we applied through the federal exchange, were approved, and were prepared to buy insurance when we were denied by the Obamacare-approved insurer on the exchange. I don't believe we can be penalized for not buying something that we tried to buy but were then denied by the provider. But who knows, things get weirder and weirder in this country every day.
Next year we will switch our residency to Idaho, where we do at least own raw-land property and pay traditional property taxes. I doubt the Idaho healthcare exchange will require proof of utility bill payment since it seems that about 30% of the state already lives off grid!
I've been trying to give this legislation the benefit of the doubt for the last year and a half, but the steaming pile of excrement that is Obamacare just seems to get worse and worse every day. From revelations that a major designer of the program devised a way to sneak elements of it by the "stupid" American public (Jonathan Gruber), to "we have to pass it first before we can know what's in it" (Nancy Pelosi), to let's keep delaying the employer mandate and the impacts on Medicare until after our next elections because the impacts on the voters are just going to suck, and on and on and on, this is a piece of legislation that is destined to die a long, slow, painful, multi-trillion dollar death. There's really only one thing to say:
YUCK FOU OBAMACARE!!!!!