Confusion Continues for Obamacare Health Exchange Rollout

Originally, Obamacare’s deadline to
sign up for health coverage that takes effect in January was
December 15. That date was pushed to December 23. Last week, the
administration also announced that insurers selling policies
through the law’s exchanges would have to accept payment as late as
December 31 for coverage that begins on New Year’s Day.

These delays were generally supposed to ease the transition into
the new insurance regime following the multiple technical and
administrative troubles that have afflicted the rollout of the

as USA Today reports
, there’s still a fair amount of confusion
about who is signed up and who has paid for coverage through the
federal exchanges:

Some frustrated consumers are sending premium payments to
insurers who have never heard of them. Others say they will pass up
federal subsidies and pay full price through insurers, while still
others have given up altogether on the promise of health insurance
by Jan. 1.

Consternation and confusion over applications sent through the
federal website continue into the last seven days
before the Dec. 23 enrollment deadline. Consumers with health
issues are particularly nervous about the prospect of not having
insurance at the start of the new year. Federal assurances last
week about a “special enrollment period” for people whose
applications have been hung up on the site are little comfort as
neither insurers nor consumers have any idea how this will work and
who will qualify.

Meanwhile, we continue to see problems in the state-run
exchanges. Earlier this month, the head of Maryland’s health
insurance exchange
stepped down
following a problem-plagued rollout in the state.
The move followed the
resignation of the top exchange official in Hawaii
, another
state which has had trouble getting its exchange up and running.
Yesterday, the head of Minnesota’s state-run exchange
also resigned
, reports MPR News:

The head of Minnesota’s health insurance marketplace resigned
Tuesday after facing criticism over the troubled rollout and a
questionably timed vacation in Costa Rica.

April Todd-Malmlov submitted her resignation during an emergency
closed session of the government board of MNsure, Minnesota’s
version of the insurance exchange that’s tied to the federal health
care overhaul. She had been under increasing pressure over
insurance sign-up problems and failed to get a vote of confidence
from Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week.

No federal officials have yet been fired over the botched
rollout of the federal exchange, which performed even worse than
the vast majority of the states.

from Hit & Run

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