Health Care Exchanges Still Struggling to Fulfill Promise of Obamacare

health care exchanges

The federal government still struggles to get its health care website running properly and many states aren’t faring much better. According to NBC News, those that launched health care exchanges with small goals have done the best job of providing a functioning service.

Kentucky, for instance, focused on a slimmed-down approach to signing users up for health insurance and reports 15,000 users enrolled as of last week, compared to Maryland numbers wherein 16,000 people completed applications on the state’s website, but only 1,100 were enrolled.

Hard Questions on Health Care Exchanges Answered

Although some states are managing to move forward slowly, 27 states will rely on the federal government to work out problems with its system, rather than face those woes themselves. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is scheduled to answer questions from the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Oct. 30, but the outcome of that meeting remains unknown.

The Committee has already grilled the contractors who built the site, and The Washington Post reports that the contractors were ordered to take the website live before adequate testing was conducted.

Obamacare Hotline Fares Little Better than Website

While the website struggles, the government’s telephone hotline, designed to help those who are having difficulty on the website, faces additional criticism. Some are comparing their experience with the health care exchange’s hotline to Discover Card’s “Peggy” credit card commercial, which pokes fun at competitors’ poor customer service operations.

Even with the hotline, those who were unable to secure a user ID through the government site still are finding it difficult to receive help. Sebelius has vowed to fix the ailing website by a November 30 deadline. Until then, many will continue to face frustration and dismay as the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, struggles through its infancy.