Emails, Mark Sullivan, Austin, March 19, 2014

On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 1:48 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) <wgselby@statesman.com> wrote:

 

Here is the statement by Secretary Sebelius that we are fact-checking: On HealthCare.Gov, Texan Mark Sullivan “found a good" health insurance "plan that includes dental, for less than $80 a month.”

 

I would be interested in your own recap of the shopping experience, with specific documentation and dates if possible. I would be happy too to visit in person. I am hoping to complete this article on Wednesday.

 

Thanks.

 

g.

 

W. Gardner Selby

 

PolitiFact Texas

www.politifact.com/texas

 

Austin American-Statesman

4:19 p.m.

March 19, 2014

As I mentioned over the phone, the only thing slightly off in the sentence you quoted is that the dental coverage was separate from health insurance, which was an additional $15/month that I probably wouldn't have chosen without the subsidy.  

 

RE: Health Insurance plan cost to me

Screenshot of the amount I pay for the policy is ...here. I believe the Bronze plan I chose was called HMO 006 or something like that but I haven't seen that name since electing the plan on healthcare.gov.

 

RE: "good" health insurance plan

Not only was I happy with the plan I elected for 1. its coverage (namely the free annual check-up and cap on out-of-pocket expenses) and 2. its low monthly cost, but I was pleasantly surprised with the in-network rates I benefitted from when I actually went to use it in mid February. The medication I had to get for a shingles infection (don't ask me how a young guy like me gets shingles!) at Wal-Mart was over $340 without insurance but only $30 with my insurance. While I knew I was choosing a plan with a high deductible (because I don't often go to the doctor), I had no clue that I would benefit from these lower rates as a result of having my insurance.

RE: recap of shopping experience

I had some trouble on October 1st, 2nd and 3rd when I was trying to create an account on healthcare.gov and choose a plan; however, by October 4th I was browsing 76 different plans that were available to me. I think it was October 5th when I elected the BCBS Bronze plan. I paid my premium later on in December before the due date. Overall the shopping experience was a good one, despite the annoying lags in the system those first 3 days.

 

Also, there's a video on youtube that HHS produced if you would like to fact check that as well.

 

Perhaps you could link to my website as a favor for helping you get to the bottom of this? :)  (vasolo.com)

 

I hope this helps. Cheers, Mark

 

4:53 P.M.

March 19, 2014

The plans you sent me in earlier emails look like the ones I have. Answers to your other questions below.

 

On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 2:31 PM, Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin) <wgselby@statesman.com> wrote:

Thanks.

 

How did you learn you qualified for a subsidy and how was the amount derived? On what basis did you qualify?

I knew I'd qualify for a subsidy before I even signed up through research. The basis for qualification is income.

 

The coinsurance rate under your plan is 100 percent. Does that mean you have to pay all the costs of any medical procedure out of pocket?

Yes, up to the maximum out-of-pocket. However, like I mentioned in the previous email I was really surprised when I received a better rate for my shingles medication for having insurance. The cash price was hundreds of dollars more. I'm super impressed with the coverage, in addition to now being shingles-free. :)

 

Remind me of your title with Vasolo?

Co-founder & President. But it's a small company with just me right now so titles seem a bit silly.  

 

Correct that you’re an Austin resident?

Yes.