More Exchange Disasters in Oregon, Colorado, California, Idaho

by Jim Geraghty

Terrific: Oregon governor John ”Kitzhaber and other officials said they’re not not sure the federally funded website, which has cost more than $140 million, will be fully operational by the Dec. 15 deadline.”

And the news in Colorado isn’t much better:

“It’s painful. It’s odious. It’s embarrassing to have to go through all these questions that are not necessary if they’re going to get kicked out anyway,” said Nathan Wilkes, an IT expert and board member for the state’s health exchange, Connect for Health Colorado . . . 

Now, state and exchange officials are not saying how much more Colorado will have to spend to build a streamlined system that will be much more friendly to consumers. So far, Colorado has spent nearly $200 million building its own exchange. The soonest a revamped system would be up and running is next October, long past the deadline for consumers to sign up for health insurance for 2014.

Nor in California . . . 

Managers of Covered California added a provider directory to great fanfare shortly after the enrollment site launch, then uncovered directory system errors, including inaccurate profiles of doctors and hospitals.

Covered California took down the directory component of its site for maintenance. At press time, the directory was still not routinely available . . . 

[Alison Gordon, a self-employed health broker in California,] said only applicants who have low incomes and can qualify for subsidies are getting through the application process. But Covered California isn’t passing the information from the completed applications along to carriers, and she wonders if that’s because the carriers themselves lack the final certifications they need to sell coverage through the exchange.

“The stats released are bogus,” Gordon said. “When they say they got 36,000 calls in one week, it’s because the website isn’t up and working properly.”

Producers also see many site errors. After agents and brokers enter the required information, they often receive error messages preventing them from actually using the online portal. The producers then have to send consumers links consumers can use to download paper applications.

. . . nor in Idaho:

Your Health Idaho Director Amy Dowd told state lawmakers because of the federal technology failure, she has no accurate numbers about how many Idahoans have enrolled in the state insurance exchange so far. But she hopes to have those numbers in a matter of weeks.

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