December 26, 2013

Regarding the Dec. 24 news article Health-care enrollment deadline is quietly extended ”:

I have been watching the media coverage of the Affordable Care Act for a long while, and with great interest, in large part because I am a health insurance agent. Much criticism of the law is well-deserved. I have experienced more than my share of frustration dealing with a system that isn’t totally working as well as with a rule book that seems to change daily. 

However, the system is improving vastly, especially in the past few weeks. This week, I signed up dozens of new clients who were referred to me through the D.C. Health Link exchange. Each was given a detailed description of the differences in plan design and the corresponding costs, and each was walked through the process all the way to approval for a Jan. 1 start in their coverage. We printed the confirmation pages because some sites showed that no application was submitted to the exchange, another glitch in the system.  

The bottom line is that these people have health insurance that protects them against financial disaster and encourages preventive measures (at no cost, in most cases). The system is not perfect, and it never will be. It was not perfect before, either. But, slowly, we are making progress. It would be gratifying to see more coverage of the positive effects of the new health-care laws — such as people with preexisting conditions saving hundreds of dollars a month in premiums. 

Steve Nearman, Alexandria