Thursday, March 14, 2013

Catch of the Day

You may have heard that the draft Affordable Care Act application for coverage under the exchanges is a whopping 21 pages long. Complicated, right?

Well, not really. Kevin Drum looks at it and realizes:
[T]here's a single 2-page section you have to fill out, and then there are five more 2-page sections for other members of your family. So sure, it might be long if you have a big family, but a lot of it is repetition. And if you're just a single earner? Then aside from instructions, there's really only about four pages (five if you're an American Indian or Alaska Native): one page of basic contact information, two pages of income information, and one page of current insurance information. And even the repetitive pages you mostly leave blank if they apply to your children, who have no income or job information.
This is going to be even easier on the computer screen, where most people will see it; presumably, all of the repetition will disappear, and once you say either that you don't have kids or that your kids don't have jobs, you're down to that short version.

Basically, what this boils down to is that if there are going to be income-based benefits from the government, people will have to fill out forms so that the government can figure out if they qualify. And then there's a second bit having to do with whether the applicant(s) currently has health insurance, or is offered employment-based insurance. Granted, that in itself can be challenging, I realize. Still, it's not as if this form is overflowing with extraneous or intrusive questions. I do wonder if the ethnicity question will survive, but other than that, I don't really see much. It's not as if people applying for insurance expect to keep the size of their family a secret.

Anyway, if you want to look at the full form, Sarah Kliff has it here.

And: nice catch!

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