Here's an email from TPM Reader RF ...
I signed up on the site last night after 3 visits to enter info and reflect.
Everything worked well technically (a few times I got bounced, but logged back in and went a bit farther) HOWEVER it is very confusing to compare plans.
I live in Maine and I was offered 16 plans, most within my budget (thanks to tax credits) For instance 6 "silver" plans ( which I could not tell apart from the "gold" ones.)
Eventually I went with the least out of pocket expenses, but there were 3 that seemed the same, all by the same carrier. I assume it will be better than the high deductible plan I currently am on. And if my income rises (I'm trying) I will need to pay back some of the tax credits which removes some sense of security which is what insurance is all about.
Wish we had single payer, this is so complex. Why do insurance companies get to make huge money off our most basic desire to live?
I don't think there's any good solution to this - besides something like Single Payer. The truth is most of us aren't healthcare economists and we're also not actuaries. So it's difficult to fully understand the products and we also don't have a perfect ability to make considered judgments about our health risks.
One of the plus sides of the ACA is that you have minimum requirements (itself a point of controversy). But that should mean that the policies you buy should be functioning products as far as it goes and not contain too many scammy hidden surprises. But still, it's an issue.