Potential enrollees to the federal healthcare marketplace are being thwarted by website technical issues and concerns are beginning over what some media are calling "flawed data" being generated.
"Emerging errors include duplicate enrollments, spouses reported as children, missing data fields and suspect eligibility determinations," according to a marketwatch report quoting executives of over a dozen health plans.
New customers were being directly contacted by Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Nebraska, reports the marketwatch story, in order to "directly ... resolve inaccuracies in submissions."
This is a problem also noted in a Reuters story, which states that many "navigators," community organizations and non-profit groups getting money to help millions of Americans sign up for Obamacare, are being "hobbled" by the technical problems. States the Reuters reporter:
"The site is allowing only a trickle of users to advance through the enrollment process since its launch on October 1."
Lauren Banks, director of policy and advocacy at AIDS Alabama, which received the largest navigator award in the state at just over $500,000 has tried contacting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to the Reuters story. Said Banks:
"They still have been in communication with us, it's just not been as close as it was. Before, I could pick up my phone and call my grant officer."
The group has been doing it old-school in the mean while, helping consumers fill out paper applications to determine eligibility for subsidies. In addition events are being scheduled in dozens of Alabama locations in order to explain the healthcare law to residents.
Computer experts have been stating that glitches in the system are hindering people. In the story earlier from Foxnews, months of problems were predicted from software experts. In addition said George Edwards, a computer scientist and professor at the University of Southern California:
“[It's] like trying to repair a car while someone is driving it."
Speaker of the House John Boehner
Speaker of the House John Boehner was said to be wondering about the threat of penalizing the public for this mess. Boehner asked:
"How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?"
And in light of a CNBC story on the matter, which reports a survey finding that "just 1 in 5 people were able to log on to government-run health marketplaces such as HealthCare.gov without running into any technical hurdles," Boehner's question seems a good one because:
"Under current deadlines, most Americans must have health insurance through their employer, Medicare or Medicaid programs, or from an exchange-sold plan by around Feb. 15, or face a tax penalty in 2014."
In California, potential enrollees would use this official Covered CA website to enroll.