After a laundry list of glitches have made it difficult – if not impossible – for consumers to use the online health exchanges, the Obama administration has announced a repair timetable that will have the sites fully operational by the end of November.
The administration has hired private firm Quality Software Services Inc. to fix the more than 100 issues with the exchange server that have frustrated consumers since the exchanges opened October 1. QSSI, an arm of UnitedHealth Group, is one of three contractors originally engaged to create the system. Among the reported issues are inaccurate reports and the failure of as many as 30 percent of consumers to successfully complete the enrollment process.
Though the proposed timeline is shorter than originally anticipated, it still cuts very close to the December 15 deadline for purchasing coverage to begin January 1. As a result, many lawmakers have called for extending the individual mandate deadline or deferring penalties for non-enrollment. The current deadline to avoid a tax penalty is March 31.
Issues with the exchange have frustrated consumers who are already unsure about the impact of the ACA and have prompted criticism from both sides of the aisle. The Obama administration is facing political fallout as well as a public relations quagmire: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been called upon to step down, and President Obama has addressed ongoing concerns with varying success.
Troubleshooter Jeffrey Zients remarked that the exchanges will “get better” by the week until it “will work smoothly for the vast majority of users” at the end of November.
Consumers should be prepared for a shortened enrollment period if an extension is not enacted. If you are one of the millions who will purchase insurance on the exchange, PRN Funding can provide the cash flow you need to be ready when the exchanges are fully functional. Learn more about our healthcare factoring programs and contact us today to get started.