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Applying for Health Care Not Easy

By: The Associated Press (Exclusive)
By: The Associated Press (Exclusive)

Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama

A draft copy of the 21-page of a Health and Human Services Department form proposed for use to apply for low-cost insurance from Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program is photographed in Washington, Tuesday March 12, 2013. The government�s application for health insurance, which uninsured people will use to get taxpayer subsidized coverage starting next year. Applying could get complicated, with multiple questions about income, household composition, employer coverage and even race and ethnicity. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Applying for benefits under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could be as daunting as doing your taxes.

The government's draft application is now on the Internet.

It runs 15 pages for a three-person family. The online version has 21 steps, some with added questions.

At least three major federal agencies, including the IRS, will scrutinize your application.

That's just the first part of the process, which lets you know if you qualify for financial help.

You'd still have to pick a health plan.

Some fear that consumers will be overwhelmed and give up. Administration officials say the application form is being refined.

Still, the idea that picking a health insurance plan could be as simple as shopping on the Internet is starting to look like wishful thinking.


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