VALUE PENGUIN Info and Feedback

Discussion in 'Health Care Reform Forum' started by ValuePenguin, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. AllenChicago
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    AllenChicago Well-Known Member

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    Since HealthCare.gov was down today, I took a prospect to ValuePenguin | Insuring Your Decisions With Data to run a quote for herself. She's 30, works part-time and will earn about $9,500 this year.

    The Value Penguin site showed that after subsidy, she could get a Silver plan from BCBS-IL for just $46.02 per month. I think the law (ACA) says that people with MAGI under 100% of the Federal Poverty Level can't qualify for a subsidy?

    Is this correct? If so, then VP needs to tweak the subsidy code a bit. This lady is pretty excited, but I think I'm going to have to break the news to her tomorrow that she's better off signing up for the new Illinois Expanded Medicaid program.
    -ac
     
  2. SamIam
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    SamIam Well-Known Member

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    You are correct sir!
     
  3. taterpeeler
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    taterpeeler Well-Known Member

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    attention all kmart shoppers.... do not use this site for running OFF EXCHANGE business... you will be in for a rude awaking... VP 1091... actual price when I got to the carrier, 1350.... not cool but now I know.

    to the VP guy, you know I like you and your site, we have spoke on the phone. I never mentioned your name in this post so it would not rank. I cant have these things happening in the future and now that I know the quotes are ON EXCHANGE ONLY then I cant see the site as usable since we will all see quotes on exchange once exchange is up
     
  4. TXINSURANCE
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    TXINSURANCE Well-Known Member

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    Identical plans on and off should be priced identical.
     
  5. AllenChicago
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    AllenChicago Well-Known Member

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    They are priced identical..by law. Since we don't know where V.P. gets his rates from, or when they're actually retrieved, it could be erroneous or out of date data.

    If you recall, even the Federal Exchanges were having major calculation errors right up until the last week of September. V.P. might have downloaded the data before the base calculation numbers were corrected.

    Anyway..thanks TaterPeeler for letting us know that there is a difference between ValuePenguin.com and what a carrier is quoting there in Texas. I'm gonna go right now and do a couple of Illinois comparisons.
    -ac

    EDIT TO ADD..

    I just ran some comparisons between the premiums at Value Penguin and Blue Cross Illinois. The Value Penguin premiums are averaging about 6% lower than what the BCBS-IL website is showing. Also, I saw transposition errors that were likely the result of an overworked data-entry person. For example, on the Blue Cross Precision HMO plan GOLD, the Value Penguin Plan description lists the Family Deductible @ $5,000 and the Individual OOP Maximum at $6,000. The numbers are correct, but they should be reversed.

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  6. TXINSURANCE
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    TXINSURANCE Well-Known Member

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    I also saw it was calculating subsidies on Assurant which to my knowledge is not on any state market place.
     
  7. ValuePenguin
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    ValuePenguin Member

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    TXInsurance: Our tool as it was originally constructed was meant to be for informational purposes only and focused on the ON EXCHANGE plans. I apologize if there was a misunderstanding. Could you let me know which plan you were comparing? The only thing we may have missed that may have been different on our site vs on a carrier's site is the impact of tobacco. We don't have the correct tobacco adjustments yet and are in the process of adding it in. It's requiring us to quote each carrier in each state independently and it is taking some time.

    AllenChicago: I tested some BCBS quotes in IL earlier and didn't find any differences in price for the ones I looked at. Could you give me an idea of what the user details were that you were comparing? Thanks for noting the transposition error.
     
  8. TXINSURANCE
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    TXINSURANCE Well-Known Member

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    Carriers that are OFF marketplace should not adjust for subsidy. Some plans are not subsidy eligible as well if your really wanted to be accurate. If you excluded carriers that are OFF MARKETPLACE from subsidy calculations you would catch 99% of the problem.
     
  9. ValuePenguin
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    ValuePenguin Member

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    Which carriers do you see that are off marketplace only. The data we have from texas is sourced directly from healthcare.gov/CMS regarding the qualified health plans. Our understanding is that all the plans included in this data set are the ones included on the exchange. We have no other data being sourced for the federal exchange based states.
     
  10. TXINSURANCE
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    TXINSURANCE Well-Known Member

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    I service over 20 states. I believe it was Colorado. Assurant is aka Time.
     

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