Massachusetts exchange is overhauling their ObamaCare exchange, too

posted at 6:41 pm on May 5, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Late last month, Oregon finally decided to cut its losses and dump its disaster of an online ObamaCare exchange, becoming the first of the fourteen states plus D.C. that built their own individualized website to give their failed endeavor the ol’ heave-ho. Barely two weeks later, Massachusetts is almost following in Oregon’s footsteps, via the Boston Herald:

The Patrick administration will hire yet another outside company to try to salvage the state’s disastrous Obamacare website as it tries to avoid the embarrassment of a federal takeover.

Virginia-based hCentive — which has worked on the Colorado and Kentucky Obamacare exchanges — will develop software to fix the Bay State’s site by open enrollment in November, the Massachusetts Health Connector announced. …

The Health Connector did not disclose a price tag for the hiring of hCentive or the cost of the entire project, or how it would be paid for. The state has received $180 million in federal grants to build the state exchange, and it’s unclear whether Massachusetts will ask for more money from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

“At this point, I don’t think anyone’s concerned about the price,” said the Connector official. “They just think Uncle CMS is going to pay for it.”

Massachusetts’ exchange website was all kinds of problematic, with its own unique set of glitches requiring time-consuming manual workarounds and putting applicants for subsidized insurance plans into temporary Medicaid holding patterns, all of which slowed down their transition from their state-run healthcare system to fulfilling ObamaCare’s requirements:

The Massachusetts Health Connector website, the state’s version of a health insurance exchange implemented under the national Affordable Care Act, has been plagued with glitches since it became operational in October. …

According to the Health Connector, the automated determination process, through which the Connector figures out what subsidy someone is eligible for and what insurance program they should be in, has not worked. There have been problems in account creation log-in, slow performance, time-outs and sporadic error messages.
Viewpoint: Don’t expect Health Connector to work when you’re expecting

State officials have created workarounds to get people enrolled in insurance plans – using paper applications, call centers and multiple computer systems rather than the automated online system that the state contracted with technology vendor CGI to build.

CGI, you might remember, was also the creator of HealthCare.Gov, but now Massachusetts is ditching the contractor to hire hCentive in a last-ditch effort to salvage things with new software. At the same time, they’re going to be laying the groundwork for joining the federal website, lest they fail to get things fixed before November and the need arise — any bets on that one?


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How effed up does the thing need to be when it won’t even work at ground zero for Gubment Healthcare.

Bishop on May 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

And as long as I’m here, this blast from the past:

The show is over. Exit the theater.
The grownups have entered the chamber, and to the disappointment of a few, we’re not gonna have a govt. shut down.
Exchanges open Oct 1st.
Repubs will start working with Dems now to sort various anomalies that exist…you know, govern and stuff.
Cruz will be adding pages to his mailing list and step up his fundraising.
It’s all going according to plan.
But feel good…you were part of that plan all along.

verbaluce on September 25, 2013 at 2:41 PM

Bishop on May 5, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Why do they need an exchange when everyone is required by law to have insurance.

RickB on May 5, 2014 at 6:47 PM

It’s all good fun pointing out all of Obamacare’s growing pains as it settles into its permanence. Whatever helps the medicine go down as we come to terms with the fact that our health care system has been fundamentally overhauled and there is no turning back.

Eva D. Struktion on May 5, 2014 at 6:48 PM

Will they need more federal money to fix it…?

d1carter on May 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

…these blue states are great!

KOOLAID2 on May 5, 2014 at 6:51 PM

I think it is fair to say you all are RACIST HATERS…. Obama & Duval Patrick are Black & you are criticizing them… you are obviously racists….& you hate womyn & the Poor & immigrants & the elderly, you want them all to die horrible deaths quickly, that’s what you all are.

JFKY on May 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM

OT – this tomorrow.

On Wednesday the swine flies to Los Angeles, to cash in from the pigs who became billionaires, selling cola hedgefunds, coordinated by obama and his thugs.

You’re being milked in full sunshine.

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 7:02 PM

cola coal hedgefunds

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 7:04 PM

But these Obamacare posts are about whistling past the graveyard, by next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

And, HA slave, a note from Schumer

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

How effed up does the thing need to be when it won’t even work at ground zero for Gubment Healthcare.

Bishop on May 5, 2014 at 6:44 PM

Socialists never admit failure – they keep spending your money to try and “fix-it” – when that fails they take all your shit and tell you to *uck off……

redguy on May 5, 2014 at 7:06 PM

From RCP

Election 2014

Hagan Runs Anti-Obamacare Attack Ads Against GOP Contender
PPP: Tillis 40,Brannon 28, Harris 15
Why Mary Landrieu Could Wish for a Republican Senate Takeover
Republicans Have an 82% Chance of Winning Back the Senate

Schadenfreude on May 5, 2014 at 7:07 PM

If Republican politicians were smart… which, sadly, they really aren’t… they would craft a bill to allow consumers in states with failed exchanges use the exchanges from other states. And it would be worded just vaguely enough to backdoor allowing ALL people to shop insurance across state lines.

Sometimes you have to play down to your opponents level.

brainy435 on May 5, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Will they need more federal money to fix it…?

d1carter on May 5, 2014 at 6:50 PM

heh, it’s not “federal” money – it’s money we gave to them as taxes……

The feds only get their money from the evils of capitalism……

redguy on May 5, 2014 at 7:08 PM

If Republican politicians were smart… which, sadly, they really aren’t… they would craft a bill to allow consumers in states with failed exchanges use the exchanges from other states. And it would be worded just vaguely enough to backdoor allowing ALL people to shop insurance across state lines.

Sometimes you have to play down to your opponents level.

brainy435 on May 5, 2014 at 7:07 PM

The Republicans are just stupid on a lot of things…
They don’t have a clue what to do with “healthcare” – that’s why the dems went and screwed that up….

redguy on May 5, 2014 at 7:09 PM

I vote for Romney Care II. Not only would it mandate everyone’s participation, but it would by definition double down on all subsidies, as it would create so many more indigents per O’s economic measures. Combined with a newly mandated $11.00 per hr min wage, increased taxes on the eeevil rich and creation of unicorn energy production, life will be oh so good.

vnvet on May 5, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I think it is fair to say you all are RACIST HATERS…. Obama & Duval Patrick are Black & you are criticizing them… you are obviously racists….& you hate womyn & the Poor & immigrants & the elderly, you want them all to die horrible deaths quickly, that’s what you all are.

JFKY on May 5, 2014 at 6:58 PM

You forgot kids. I hate kids too. Especially elderly, black, womyn kids and Get off my lawn!

Oldnuke on May 5, 2014 at 7:27 PM

I think it is fair to say you all are RACIST HATERS…. Obama & Duval Patrick are Black & you are criticizing them… you are obviously racists….& you hate womyn & the Poor & immigrants & the elderly, you want them all to die horrible deaths quickly, that’s what you all are.

Your point?

You’ll have to excuse me, but: I have to go back and oppress some more of the Proletariat.
They’re not going to oppress themselves, y’know…

orangemtl on May 5, 2014 at 7:37 PM

Does any state have a really functional exchange for BarryCare, and is anyone truly happy with them?
How about it OR, HI, MN, MD, NV, …. anyone?
Do the folks up in Dixville Notch NH enjoy driving all the way to the other end of the state to find a hospital on their network?

Another Drew on May 5, 2014 at 7:39 PM

They’re not overhauling it – they’re foisting the costs on US and oatting themselves on the back for their generosity!

Skywise on May 5, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Don’t forget that we were as covered as it is possible to be covered, without enrolling low income people on Medicaid. Scott Brown offered to put in a waiver for Massachusetts, but John Kerry and Duval Patrick would not hear of it, they wanted the Medicaid, and they got extra money for it, more than you, and they wanted the money to set up a NEW health exchange so they took that money.

The old Health connector worked. The mini plans were cancelled by Obama Care. Those people are eligible for medicaid now. Right.

The new expensive health connector didn’t work. People in MA lost their plans that were OK for Massachusetts, and STILL not acceptible to Obama Care. They screwed with the business insurance, which nobody KNEW could be worse than it was! We were all covered, as many as is possible to be in a free country. Duval took the money and he is not one to get anything done right.

It looks to me like we had another “failure of Human understanding.” Yes He Can. He wants to be prez.

Fleuries on May 5, 2014 at 7:48 PM

What do Oregon, Maryland, and Massachusetts have in common? All three are run by Incompetent Democrats. Enough said.

regmgr on May 6, 2014 at 5:41 PM