The articles are starting to flow describing what went wrong in the Marketplace roll-out.
From the NYT Today: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/us/politics/from-the-start-signs-of-trouble-at-health-portal.html?_r=0
Deadline after deadline was missed. The biggest contractor, CGI Federal, was awarded its $94 million contract in December 2011. But the government was so slow in issuing specifications that the firm did not start writing software code until this spring, according to people familiar with the process. As late as the last week of September, officials were still changing features of the Web site, HealthCare.gov, and debating whether consumers should be required to register and create password-protected accounts before they could shop for health plans.
More:Worried about their reputations, contractors are now publicly distancing themselves from the troubled parts of the federally run project. Eric Gundersen, the president of Development Seed, emphasized that his company had built the home page of HealthCare.gov but had nothing to do with what happened after a user hit the “Apply Now” button.
From Ezra Klein in the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/14/five-thoughts-on-the-obamacare-disaster/
Are there problems behind the problems? In the weeks leading up to the launch I heard some very ugly things about how the system was performing when transferring data to insurers — a necessary step if people are actually going to get insurance. I tried hard to pin the rumors down, but I could never quite nail the story, and there was a wall of official denials from the Obama administration. It was just testing, they said. They were fixing the bugs day by day.
According to Bob Laszlewski, those problems aren’t resolved. They’re just not getting much attention because the health-care law’s Web sites aren’t working well enough for people to get that far in the process. Laszlewski does a lot of work with the insurance industry, so I’d take this post of his very seriously:
The backroom connection between the insurance companies and the federal government is a disaster. Things are worse behind the curtain than in front of it”
Here is one example from a carrier–and I have received numerous reports from many other carriers with exactly the same problem. One carrier exec told me that yesterday they got 7 transactions for 1 person – 4 enrollments and 3 cancellations.
For some reason the system is enrolling, unenrolling, enrolling again, and so forth the same person. This has been going on for a few days for many of the enrollments being sent to the health plans. It has got on to the point that the health plans worry some of these very few enrollments really don’t exist.
The reconciliation system, that reconciles enrollment between the feds and the health plans, is not working and hasn’t even been tested yet.
If he’s right then…yikes.
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