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Obamacare Glitches, Phase Two


Obamacare has entered a second—and possibly, much more serious—phase of glitches. The first two weeks were characterized by load and registration problems on the front end of the site. But even during that time there were hints that more serious problems were lurking in the background. Early on there were reports, for example, that some applications were so corrupted by the software that the insurance companies couldn’t move forward with the enrollment process.

As more people are finally getting through to the site and succeeding in signing up, those second order glitches are becoming more noticeable. The WSJ reports that insurance companies are noting widespread, routine errors in the information the exchanges are sending them:

Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations, say executives at more than a dozen health plans. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska said it had to hire temporary workers to contact new customers directly to resolve inaccuracies in submissions. Medical Mutual of Ohio said one customer had successfully signed up for three of its plans.

In light of this and other developments, technology experts are predicting the exchanges will need significant troubleshooting for the next six months—and they may eventually need a systematic overhaul. If it truly takes that long to fix the system, Obamacare is in a very precarious position. Six months would bring us out to April, two months after the date the penalty goes into effect, and only a month before open enrollment closes. Having serious glitches still compromising the system at the same time that people are supposed to be penalized for not signing up could push the ACA past a breaking point.

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  • Boritz

    Re: glitches
    Allowing others to choose inaccurate/inadequate words for you is sloppy journalism at best.

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