Sunday, October 13, 2013

Trouble From the Start for Health Insurance Exchange

Posted By on Sun, Oct 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

More and more insurance professionals are insisting that the troubles plaguing the just-launched health insurance markeplaces are much more than simple "glitches."

"The extent of the problems is pretty enormous," an insurance executive told The New York Times. "At the end of our calls, people say, 'It's awful, just awful.'"

This morning's Times reports that much more than simply a sputtering software program is at stake:

"Even some supporters of the Affordable Care Act worry that the flaws in the system, if not quickly fixed, could threaten the fiscal health of the insurance initiative, which depends on throngs of customers to spread the risk and keep prices low."

The Times interviewed two dozen contractors, current and former government officials, insurance executives and consumer advocates, all pointing to a series of missteps—financial, technical and managerial—that led to the trouble. "Politics made things worse," says the Times, with the Republican-controlled House blocking funds to implement several major rules.

One person familiar with the system's development told the Times that the project was only 70 percent of the way toward operating properly and predictions varied on exactly when the remaining 30 percent might get done.

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