Thursday, September 26, 2013

GLITCHCARE D.C.’s Obamacare fail: Prices won’t work until November

WaPo has posted news along the lines of what I reported exclusively yesterday. Obamacare software is nowhere near ready for October 1. It is going to be Glitchcare, maybe Nightmarecare.  .

From WaPo:
Just days away from launch, the District of Columbia's health marketplace is announcing a pretty significant delay.
While the D.C. Health Link will launch a Web site on October 1, shoppers will not have access to the their premium prices until mid-November. The delay comes after the District marketplace discovered "a high error rate" in calculating the tax credits that low- and middle-income people will use to purchase insurance on the marketplace.
The insurance marketplaces, if working as plan, are supposed to spit out an estimate for a tax credit after a shopper enters in some basic information about where she lives and how much she earns. In the District, that won't happen next month. Instead, the eligibility determination will be made "off-line by experts" by early November[...]For a bit more background, here's what the D.C. Health Link sent out at 4 p.m. [Wednesday]: 
DC Health Link is not currently deploying the function that makes new Medicaid eligibility determinations and calculates tax credits for purchase of private insurance due to a high error rate discovered through extensive systems testing. 
People seeking Medicaid coverage or tax credits will be able to use DC Health Link to create an account and submit an on-line application. Their initial eligibility determination will be completed off-line by exw Those people who have submitted applications will automatically receive an eligibility determination for tax credits in early November.  Based on an accurate premium reduction calculation a consumer will have ample time to make an informed decision about which health plan to enroll in.  Coverage will begin Jan 1, 2014, as long as payment is made by December 15.

This is along the same lines of the problems I have been reporting on, but my sources tell me that the problem exists not only to varying degrees at state levels but also at the federal exchange level. At the federal level, just like the D.C exchange, there is a very high error rate on pricing and the SHOP exchange program will not be online. It will be paper only.

WaPo commenting on the D.C. problem, and problems at the federal level notes with considerable understatement:
 This certainly is not good news for Obamacare, especially in the wake of the other reports on similar glitches at the federal level. The Obama administration has repeatedly promised that, starting on October 1, all Americans will be able to purchase insurance coverage on the new marketplaces. In the District of Columbia, that won't be true.

See my exclusive reports, yesterday: here and here.