Insurers Looking For Ways To Get Away From Obamacare Website

Here’s a shocker – insurance companies, and even some states, are looking for ways out of using the healthcare.fail website for signing up new insureds. The administration claims the website problems are mostly fixed (even though they aren’t fixed) but they still haven’t gotten around to even implementing the system for paying the insurance premiums.

Insurers and some states are continuing to look for ways to bypass the balky technology underpinning the health-care law despite the Obama administration’s claim Sunday that it had made “dramatic progress” in fixing the federal insurance website. …

One of the leading states operating its own exchange is considering ways to decouple itself from the federal infrastructure it relies on to confirm residents’ eligibility for federal tax credits. That technology has been affected by planned and unplanned outages.

James Wadleigh, chief information officer of Connecticut’s exchange, said he was looking at having a new vendor support identity verification in addition to the federal vendor. He also said he wanted to be able to tap state databases, such as the labor department’s, to validate incomes and was seeking a way to prove people were legal residents without depending on U.S. data. ….

Insurers also are telling the administration they want more help to work around the federal system so they can enroll many customers directly.

The U.S. has begun a pilot program with insurers in three big states—Florida, Ohio and Texas—to identify problems in the current system, in which insurance companies still have to send would-be customers briefly to the HealthCare.gov site to verify their eligibility for financial assistance, where many have become stuck. The government describes the direct-signup effort as a way to give consumers more choice in gaining coverage. (Read More)

A Fox News reporter reported this morning that he tried all weekend to sign up but kept getting stuck on the eligibility verification page, so that’s not working out so well.