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The Prospector

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The Prospector

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Healthcare stumbles as full rollout looms

This is part of a continuing series on the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act deployment continues to have problems as the individual mandate’s Jan. 5 deadline looms ever closer.

The Paper Application

Some individuals have expressed confusion about the nature of the site. Across several opinion pieces in the local newspaper and innumerable pieces from other publications, there seems to be a misunderstanding about the requirement of submitting a digital application.

While the digital application is the most expeditious way to apply to the exchange, a paper application is available.

The Prospector requested a paper application via the Healthcare Hotline. It is available in English and Spanish, though it took more than a month for the paper copy to arrive.

The application itself is almost an exact copy of the digital form, though the printed instructions seem to be more intelligible.

Healthcare Hotline workers were unable to provide information about processing times for the paper application, but the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, which is handling the paperwork is reported to have hired an additional 300 staff members to prepare for the mailed forms.

$50 Healthcare for Under 30’s, Not So

A new campaign by the Obama administration features the line that many young people are eligible for healthcare coverage costing as low as $50 a month.

Upon closer inspection, there are very specific terms to be able to acquire this cheaper premium.

Individuals must earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $22,000 a year in order to receive the discounts, which is generally more than most students earn.

The average cost of the lowest plans in the El Paso region, for non-smoking college-aged students, remains around $115 a month. These plans include a high premium, generally around $6,000.

Open Shopping, but with a Catch The site has opened up the premium search tool, which allows individuals to begin the shopping process without going through the glitch-riddled registration process.

Numerous agencies and individuals have reported that there can be huge differences in the open shopping premium rate and the final rate after registration.

Smoking is also a major factor that isn’t considered by open shopping. Being a smoker can more than double the final premium, depending on other demographic statistics.

The Prospector will continue to update readers about the ongoing healthcare law roll out. Visit for more information.

S. David Ramirez may be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
S. David Ramirez
S. David Ramirez, Staff Reporter
S. David Ramirez is currently an English and American Literature major wrapping up his final year at UTEP. He has written for the Lakefront, the Thing Itself literary magazine, the Tejano Tribune and The Prospector. When not striving for journalistic excellence, he helps organize fandom conventions around the Lone Star State, including El Paso Wintercon and San Japan, San Antonio’s largest Japanese culture and anime convention. He hopes to spend his academic career educating the public about the dangers of Jane Austen and the medicinal benefits of reading the Brontë sisters. His research in popular culture studies has taken him across the nation and he hopes to continue presenting findings on music, media and literature at future conferences. David says his success is due to a pact with the dread Lord Cthlulhu of R’ley fame, but he may just be reading too much H. P. Lovecraft in his off time. He is currently applying to graduate schools for communication rhetoric or writing and rhetoric. If you, or someone you know, is on these admissions boards, please contact him directly.
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Healthcare stumbles as full rollout looms