October 1st, the Washington State Insurance Exchange is due to open, as part of Obamacare.

The exchange is billed as an open market, where residents with or without insurance coverage can "shop" for a new or more competitive plan.  Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler and Gov. Jay Inslee have been touting this as great resource for single-person and family insurance.

However,  first-hand experience from a noted blogger shows the effects of Obamacare may not be a rosy as officials are portraying.

Jeff Reifman is an independent consultant and blogger in our state.  Via his website, jeffreifman.com,  he lays out his personal experience with how his insurance plan has been affected by the implementation of Obamacare.   Just because you already have a plan, or are not planning to shop at the state insurance exchange doesn't mean your plan won't be affected.

Many insurance companies are tweaking and adjusting their policies to bring them more in line with the Obamacare offerings, even if they're not part of the actual exchange. Reifman is one of a number of people who buy individual insurance, just for themselves.  As he reveals in his blog,  the impact of the Affordable Care Act on his plan has been stunning:

'Yesterday, I received a letter from Premera Lifewise, my provider, that described the new plan that they said, “is the closest match to my 2013 plan.” If they don’t hear from me, they’ll “automatically move [me] to this plan and you’ll be covered for 2014. What does this plan offer?

My deductible would rise from $1,970 to $6,350 for their network of providers. For out of network providers, they’re allowed to maintain a second deductible, currently, $3,940 which would rise to $12,700. This in itself is a laughable joke. They are essentially converting a bad insurance plan to what is essentially only a catastrophic health plan.

The cost of my plan would drop from $294 per month to $254. However, there would be a new copay for any specialist beside my doctor of $50 per visit.

If this is increased competition and choice, then the Affordable Care Act is dead on arrival."

Reifman is one of many who seek out their own health insurance, not having a plan through his employer because he's an independent consultant-blogger.    He indicates for those people, purchasing individual insurance in Washington state has always been a bit of a challenge.  And apparently now,  the Affordable Care Act  has made that even more of a challenge.   According to his information, the Washington State Insurance Commission has yet to allow out-of-state providers to participate in the upcoming exchange.

The insurance exchange has been touted as bringing competition and choice options for individuals and families, but initially that does not appear to be the case.