I’ve had the unpleasant experience recently of dealing with the 2013 Covered California website. One of the things you have to decide is which level of coverage to get—Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum—and then which Plan to get. I couldn’t find any online tools that truly compare all of the options, so I built my own spreadsheet.
The problem was that the existing calculators fail to show the impact of prescriptions and the medical and prescription deductibles. I’ve wiped my own data out and made it generic, and included it below for your calculating pleasure.
What I found was surprising: given my family of four, and zip code just south of San Francisco, there wasn’t a huge difference between the plans and levels. Sure, there seemed to be a big difference, but when I calculated out how much we were actually likely to spend based on the past year or two (doctor visits, number of prescriptions) the numbers looked very different from what the simple “silver or bronze?” calculations showed.
In fact, for our situation (quite a few doctor visits, lots of prescriptions—we’ve got some issues as a family), the projections actually showed the Platinum and Bronze plans to be overall cheapest (though not by a huge amount). The difference was mostly in the amount spent on prescriptions.
We ended up going Platinum, since there was only a relatively small percentage difference in the overall cost once I included the other costs into the equation. The reason was that Platinum offers better out-of-network coverage than the other plans.
However, since I don’t know your family situation (number of people being covered) or your zip code, your mileage may vary. NOTE: this spreadsheet might also work for the Affordable Care Act website (Obamacare). I don’t know since I live in California. But my guess is, it’ll work with minimal terminology changes, if any.
Check it out and see. Download the spreadsheet. You’ll need to enter data in all of the yellow cells. If you don’t have Excel, use Google Spreadsheet (that’s what I used, in fact).
Let me know how it goes.
Today I finished the second draft of my new novel, Harris Tweed. Quite happy with it.
Here’s a one sentence summary:
When HARRIS TWEED escapes his injured aunt’s attackers, he flees across country with the ghost of a young girl, to find his estranged uncle and unravel a past of lies and occult murder while [...]
Apple introduced simple–and really, really good–Screen Sharing starting back in OS 10.5 (Leopard), but most people don’t seem to know about it. We’ve got multiple computers (Mac laptops, a desktop, one PC, an iPad, iPods, iPhones), and I’ve found Screen Sharing to be a great way to help me manage and use all of these [...]
Ok, long post here. Consider yourself warned. Maybe I should make this into a 50 page iBook.
As of Mac OSX Lion, Apple’s iCloud service is still a bit on the raw side, and it can be pretty painful to get it working with any sophistication across multiple iOS devices and Macs. Since it took [...]
I recently bought myself an XBox 360, and intended to hook it up to my HDTV for high-def video, and to my stereo for audio.
But my stereo is old, and doesn’t accept HDMI inputs. And my high-def TV doesn’t have audio output. So I needed two separate cables out of the XBox: one for [...]
Name Withheld asks,
Hey – I’m considering a Mac Mini to do a home entertainment solution as per your config. A few questions:
• What do you use to connect to your TV screen? Are you happy with the quality? I like the idea of the flexibility provided by a Mac Mini vs Apple TV, [...]
I had been walking all day, starting south of QianMen in one of the old Beijing Houtongs, remnants of a much older Beijing. I worked my way through the crumbling old neighborhood to the LiQun duck restaurant mentioned in a guidebook, a small, out of the way place where the only English I heard spoken [...]
The man crab-walks up to me and asks, “Lady bar?” and I imagine some sort of chocolate covered ice cream on a stick, but that’s not what he’s asking, so I politely decline. Not hungry, anyway. I wasn’t expecting to find Gentleman’s Mammary Clubs or porn shops in China, but you can hardly exit a [...]
At 7 AM on Saturday, Justin and I are met by Wang Ping, our guide to a remote and wild section of the Great Wall known as Jiankou, about 200 kilometers and 3 hours from our hotel. Ping has brought a friend, an attractive young woman of an uncertain name. After asking her to pronounce [...]
Using only a printed piece of paper showing the address in English and Chinese, a pocketful of cold, hard cash, and a caveman’s flair for wordless pointing and grunting, Justin, Steven and I share a taxi to the Adobe office. The driver isn’t familiar with the address, but in a city large enough for 17 [...]
It’s a short line of sleepy, shuffling rather-be slumberers at 11:15 pm Sunday night in the Air China waiting line. LAX is a wishy-washy pile of an airport, closer to Lacks or Ex-LAX than to re-LAX. It’s taking five minutes a person to move the line ahead. China here I come, albeit slowly.
11:50. At [...]
Slept late Saturday after last night’s 3 AM Xbox party, my head feeling like a pumpkin tossed off the porch by rejected trick or treaters. Greg, Kim and I head into the desert valley flatlands to Twitter-chase a couple of lunch trucks that we’re expecting will shortly pull up in front of a Vietnam memorial. [...]
Friday morning. Inauspicious start to a week of travel. I’m heading to Beijing a few days from now, but first I’m taking an extended weekend in Los Angeles. Unbeknownst to me and ignored in the email that United sent to my iPhone, the flight out of SFO is early for a change, so I arrive [...]
At some point in the silent post-midnight hours after I went to bed, but before dawn’s chirruping chorus awoke my second son, Quentin Wilberforce, T.F. visited himself upon us yet again. I have never seen Quentin, nor have I heard the passage of his footfalls outside our door. He must be very light to avoid [...]
<This is a guest post written by my wife, Marci>
We are counting down the days until our oldest son, Ben, becomes a Bar Mitzvah. There are so many last-minute items to take care of, so Doug and I have divided the list and set out to conquer!
My task was going to Lucky’s, a [...]