Reuters: ObamaCare exchanges still plagued by technical glitches
posted at 4:41 pm on September 5, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
It’s never been a secret that the creation and implementation of the health insurance “exchanges” in the ObamaCare legislation was going to be a task of herculean magnitude, and the clock is ticking with less than a month to go until the October 1st grand opening — but unfortunately for the Obama administration, their big rollout and open enrollment period sound like they’re going to be anything but smooth. The administration has arbitrarily delayed select portions of the law while simultaneously brushing aside suggestions that the law still isn’t ready for prime time, and Reuters reports on the latest update to mounting number of “glitches” we can expect at the outset.
Technical glitches still plague the display of new healthcare plans to be offered to millions of uninsured Americans starting in 26 days, including how medical charges and deductibles are listed, industry officials say. …
Although the signing of agreements with insurers is a mere two days behind the original schedule, it led to speculation that there were serious technical snags. Late last week a conference call between the government’s information technology contractors and insurance industry representatives revealed some of those problems, which centered on how information about health plans, such as charges for medical claims and deductibles, was displayed on a “preview” website, according to people with knowledge of the call.
An official from Florida Blue, a large insurer, was concerned that a health policy it plans to sell on the state’s exchange would mislead customers: The preview website showed no charge at all for some medical services, rather than no charge after a deductible is met.
An Aetna staffer was frustrated that policies the company once intended to sell in Ohio, but withdrew, were still showing up in the preview site. Delta Dental of Wyoming reported that its plan was showing zero deductible in policies that cover parents plus children.
“That will be misleading if it pops up as a zero deductible and will put us on the hook if they go to the dentist” and expect not to pay a deductible, a Delta Dental staffer said on the call, according to a participant. “We’re concerned about that.”
Meh. Probably the Republicans’ fault somehow, am I right?
Brian Hughes at the Washington Examiner notes that the White House originally set aside these next few weeks to really bring it home with the public speeches and engagements on behalf of ObamaCare before the start date, but now, it looks like Syria is going to be occupying a good deal of government and media attention — and that some Democrats actually might not mind all that much.
But a high-profile speech on Wednesday from former President Bill Clinton, who Obama once dubbed his “Secretary of Explaining Stuff,” to tout the healthcare law’s reform largely went unnoticed as lawmakers held contentious hearings on possible military action against Syria.
Some Democrats, however, downplayed the lack of attention on the health law.
“Politically speaking, it’s not the worst thing,” a veteran Democratic strategist, given anonymity to speak candidly about Obamacare, said. “Recently, the focus on health care has done more harm than good. I’m highly skeptical that a new PR blitz, even from the likes of President Clinton, will do much.”