A happy Obamacare customer

To the editor,

This is my experience with Obamacare through the ConnectforHealthCo website. The registration process went smoothly. I created my account in 10 minutes. There is no login an the home page which is inconvenient (click on “Learn More” then “Shop Now” to log in). To qualify for financial assistance, click on “Do I Qualify” at the bottom of the login page. I answered a few questions and my estimated premium assistance appeared. I had to complete a PEAK application to qualify for the subsidy. This took 90 minutes. It’s time consuming but, I saved $7,817.16 in yearly premiums! Not bad for 1½ hours’ work.

Here are my results. This is for a 61-year-old non-smoker with an income of about $20,000. I run 50-55 miles a week, am in excellent health, with no pre-existing conditions. It doesn’t matter. Whatever my health, only smoking would effect my premium. I purchased a Silver Plan (silver plans pay 70 percent of medical expenses up to the deductible). Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) is  available for some silver plans. After applying the CSR, my deductible is $250, my maximum out of pocket (OOP) cost is $1,200 per year, and my monthly premium is $116.01 ($1,392.12 yearly). There is a copay of $40 till I reach the OOP.

Contrast that with my current Obamacare-compliant private insurance plan: deductible $10,000; OOP $15,000, monthly premium $339.78  ($4,077.36 yearly). The copay varies from $75 to $200 depending on the procedure. The private plan pays 50 percent of expenses up to the deductible. I will save $2,685.24 on my yearly premium. My OOP will be reduced $13,800. My deductible reduced $9,750. My copay is reduced $35-$160.

There were other plans available. For a monthly premium of about $28  ($336 yearly) I could purchase a Bronze Plan. CSR’s are not available with bronze plans.

 Bronze plans pay 60 percent of medical expenses. The plan had a deductible of $6,300; OOP of $6,300; and no copays. For a 27-year-old male, nonsmoker, making $24,000 a year, there are plans available for about $216 a year. His penalty for not having insurance would be $240, so buying insurance would cost less than paying the penalty. The real penalty would be not having insurance.

For the 5 percent of insured people facing cancellation due to not being Obamacare-compliant, I suggest reading your policy. These plans may contain exclusions for pre-existing conditions, yearly and lifetime caps, high deductibles, and few if any of the 10 essential health benefits required in Obamacare.

The support staff at Connectforhealthco is superb. My wait times were from seconds to a few minutes. The system had a glitch, which support was able to fix. They followed up with me later to be sure the login was working properly. Though it wasn’t necessary, support called and helped me complete my purchase.

This truly is a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Contact Rep. Tipton and tell him to stop being an ideologue. Tell him to support Obamacare. It is past time to provide health care to all Americans. Obamacare works!

– Chip Tuthill, Mancos

Thanks to bag-fee supporters

To the editor,

To the 2,072 who voted in favor of the city bag ordinance, thank you. We worked hard because of you. We tripled the number of people who two years ago signed a petition to ban plastic bags warranting City Council’s attention. In August, Council passed a compromise policy reflecting divergent viewpoints. On Nov. 5, it was repealed. The business of governing is not easy, and Council should be commended.

With this action, it seems a line has been drawn between those who value community responsibility most and those who prioritize individual rights. Concerning waste, we know there is no such right. Our kids know it best. The Miller Middle School 8th-graders who researched the ordinance voted 73 percent in favor of it (while 56 percent of adults voted against it). We have let down our children.

How easy it would have been for the Durango Herald to inform and encourage residents to be a part of a community solution. Instead, the editors exercised their influence rallying the public against this benign policy calling it “intrusive” in so much as it required shoppers to bring or buy a 10 cent bag. Hardly a burden.

To the 56 percent, it is easy to say what you are against. Tell us what solutions you are for (more than voluntary efforts with no funding that have been proven ineffective). The world is taking environmental action, through local and state governments, to reduce waste and the use of disposable goods. One day Durango will follow suit. Until then, thank you 2,072 who know that inaction is not an option.

– Ellen R. Stein, Durango Bag It! bagitdurango@gmail.com

Class warfare on the Animas

To the editor,

I’ve attended several meetings of river property owners that included Cathy Metz, the county and city managers as well as planners. You don’t have a clue as to what is going on in regards to under age drinking, illegal drug use, trespassing and trashing private property. Without exception, these problems were laid at the feet of tubers. The county manager observed first hand this behavior at Oxbow last summer.  There are three properties directly south of Bakers Bridge that have been subjected to this rude behavior on the part of tubers.  BTW, both the Herald and the Telegraph were called out for printing front page photos of jumpers at Bakers Bridge.

In both the Thumbin It and editorial context, you made this sound like a haves vs. the have nots issue. Nothing could be further from the truth. The state owns the water that runs through and over my property and can be used for responsible recreation. Tubers somehow have missed that keyword: RESPONSIBLE.

Next time you foment class warfare, make sure you know both sides of the issue.

– Dennis Pierce, Durango

Help Zoe get an A+

Dear Editor,

My name is Zoe Bucshon. I am a fourth-grader at Evansville Day School in Evansville, Ind. I am working on a state report on Colorado. I would appreciate it if you could publish my letter in your newspaper so your readers could send me postcards, brochures or anything else that would help me with my report. Could you please have them send the information by March 1, 2014? Zoe Bucshon, 3400 North Green River Road, Evansville, IN, 47715.

– Sincerely yours, Zoe Bucshon



In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows