From the Boston Globe:
Problems continue to plague Mass. health marketplace
By Chelsea Conaboy | December 7, 2013
With three weeks left in the year, not one of the thousands of Massachusetts residents who need to enroll in new health insurance plans by Jan. 1 has been able to do so through the state insurance marketplace that was revamped to comply with the national Affordable Care Act.
About 126,000 people enrolled in health plans subsidized by the state have until March to choose a new plan and can keep their current coverage until then. But thousands of others are depending on a new plan to start on the first of the year, and some worry that their coverage will not be ready in time…
Well, those Romney-Care plans were obviously ‘sub-standard,’ anyway.
Gina Kamentsky of Somerville has been trying to enroll through the Massachusetts Health Connector for weeks. Her insurance plan, bought through her partner’s [sic] former employer, expires this month. Because of expensive medications and a doctor’s appointment she cannot miss, the 54-year-old artist from Somerville said she needs coverage in January. Plus, the landmark 2006 state health insurance law, the model for the national law, requires her and most others to have coverage…
In other words, this is even hurting lesbian artists and their partners. So you know it is serious.
More than 32,000 people have been able to complete an application. Only about 1,700 have selected a health plan. A small number have been able to submit payment information online, bringing them near full enrollment, but the state will not process those payments until Dec. 23.
The Connector Authority will mail invoices starting next week, said executive director Jean Yang. That leaves little time for customers to return a check or credit card information and for the Connector Authority to deliver payments to insurers, with all information needed to create accounts and finalize enrollment.
“Obviously time is tight,” Yang said. “At the same time, we are working extremely closely with the carriers, so that they know what’s coming.”
What about the insurance companies? They have to do all of the paperwork and verify everything between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day!
The $69 million website was built by CGI, which helped develop the much-maligned federal health insurance site, HealthCare.gov…
What a coincidence!
Many people who applied for a subsidy are in a holding pattern, waiting for the Connector Authority to verify their eligibility so they can shop for a plan. Yang said Health Connector staff and contractors are working to find the fixes necessary to make online verification possible and, in the meantime, to identify applicants who need coverage starting Jan. 1…
It always comes down to this same bottleneck. Which, once again, would indicate that the only people who are even trying to sign up for Obama-Care are people who think they are going to get a subsidy.