8:13 AM, Mar 11, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
For now, the "one-stop shopping" experience at Healthcare.gov repeatedly promised by President Obama is still at least one stop short of the goal. In early January, news reports revealed a glaring shortcoming at Healthcare.gov: no function existed to report "life events," such as the birth of a child or a divorce, which could alter coverage needs or eligibility for tax credits. Although this feature was subsequently added, the site still lacks the ability to report changes to basic contact information to a consumer's insurance company: a new address, email, or phone number.
A new topic at the Obamacare website is entitled, "How do I report life changes to the Marketplace?" Although most life changes can now be reported online at Healthcare.gov or over the phone with a customer service representative, the final paragraph alerts consumers that any changes in contact information must be reported twice [emphasis in original]: "To change your home address, email address, or phone number, update the information on your Marketplace Profile page. Be sure to report address, email, and phone changes to your insurance company too. Otherwise they may not know about your new contact information." Here's a partial screenshot of the page:
The instructions to double-report contact information to both the Marketplace and the insurance company are not just found at Healthcare.gov. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also produces flyers with information about how coverage purchased through the Marketplace is maintained. While most changes are (apparently) passed on to the consumer's insurance company once the information is reported to Healthcare.gov, the contact information curiously seems to fall into a different category that must be reported directly to the provider by the consumer [highlight added]:
Since Healthcare.gov must report changes in coverage or tax credits to insurance companies in order for coverage and billing to be accurate, it is unclear why the Marketplace is unable to communicate simple address, phone, and email changes. The site does not indicate when this capability will be added, so it's up to consumers to do it themselves or face the risk that their insurance company won't know how to reach them.
7:01 AM, Mar 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Less than a month after the exposure of a widespread vulnerability on government "open data" websites, another perhaps even more insidious opening for abuse of government websites has come to light.
8:01 AM, Feb 25, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Details of the Healthcare.gov rescue in the fall of 2013 continue to dribble out via months-old contracts and modifications posted online.
9:12 AM, Jan 6, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Six days into the new year and fourteen days after the extended December 23 deadline, the federal Obamacare website Healthcare.gov is still holding out hope of coverage beginning January 1 to some consumers.
8:36 AM, Dec 19, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
As the October 1 launch of Healthcare.gov drew closer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) realized it was in trouble.
8:04 AM, Dec 18, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Healthcare.gov website has been plagued with problems since the October 1 launch.
12:07 PM, Dec 5, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
With all the other problems experienced by consumers at Healthcare.gov, actually making payments for plans selected has gotten relatively little attention until recently. As the end of the year draws closer, however, the importance of making a payment to secure coverage by January 1 has increased.
10:27 AM, Nov 30, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
In an interview with Barbara Walters on Friday, President Obama again acknowledged problems with the roll out of the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov.
3:38 PM, Nov 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Vice President Joe Biden says that "God willing" the Obamacare website, Healthcare.gov, will be fixed. He made the remarks at the Port of Houston today.
Via the pool report:
1:25 PM, Nov 18, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
When the Obama administration launched the Healthcare.gov website on October 1, the president and his officials focused on the coverage that would now be available to the uninsured as of January 1, 2014. However, with the recent flood of cancellations of those who were told they could "keep their plan," millions more will need new insurance in place by the beginning of the new year. The well publicized "glitches" have slowed enrollment considerably, and now there is new evidence that consumers will find themselves with even less time to secure coverage than originally thought.
'If this were to happen in the private sector, somebody would have probably already lost their job.'7:41 AM, Nov 18, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Former press secretary Robert Gibbs again called for heads to roll in the government after the botched rollout of the Obamacare website. He made the remarks today on the Today Show:
9:16 AM, Nov 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
WRTV in Indiana reports that a man has tried for 6 weeks to sign up for Obamacare, but is still unable to:
The report estimates that the man has spent 60 hours trying to sign up for Obamacare.
"But after 6 weeks and 60 hours on [the Obamacare] website, he still isn't enrolled," says the reporter.
"This has been a nightmare," says the Indiana man.
3:21 PM, Nov 12, 2013 • By JERYL BIER
The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reported last week that in 2011, the IRS paid out $3.6 billion in fraudulent refunds on tax returns filed by identity thieves. Even that amount was an improvement over the previous year when the total fraud was $5.2 billion. However, on Tuesday, TIGTA released a new report that found that though the IRS is making some progress against fraud, it is not using all available tools to prevent erroneous refunds and improper tax credits.
8:10 AM, Nov 12, 2013 • By MICHAEL ASTRUE
The launch of the health exchanges has produced diverse images of failure: blank screens, improperly released Social Security numbers; a White House official undermining congressional oversight on September 6, 2013, with a phony security certification; and political appointees blaming their failures on unexpected enthusiasm for the exchanges—a fiction reminiscent of Cold War Soviets touting food lines as evidence of enthusiasm for a five-year agricultural plan causing widespread starvation.
12:12 PM, Nov 11, 2013 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The rallying cry among those who still believe in Obamacare, and that it will fundamentally transform health care in America, like to say of the program’s current problems, “It’s just a web site.” Implying that it can, like the transmission on your automobile, be fixed and you can then proceed to your destination.